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UN Global Compact Russia

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BECOMING SUSTAINABLE. RESULTS OF THE PRESENTATION OF RUSSIA'S REVIEW ON SDGS AT THE UN

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On July 16, 2020, TASS News Agency in Moscow hosted a session conference of the UN Global Compact Network Russia following the presentation of Russia’s Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High-level Political Forum. The session was organized by the Association "National Network of the Global Compact" (the UN Global Compact Network Russia) in partnership with the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation and the UN Information Center in Moscow.

We have called the session “Becoming sustainable” with the intention to emphasize the process that has already been definitely and obviously launched in Russia - the process of transition to a sustainable development model.” said Marina Vashukova, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Russia, opening the session. “On the one hand, it has been launched, on the other - at this point we do not have a common strategy on sustainability, and we have no idea how many obstacles we will come up against. Nevertheless, the state and civil society, as well as and business are passionate about this prospect, are involved in it and are trying to find a common language, terminology, understanding and shared values. In particular, we could observe this in the process of multilateral consultations during the preparation of the first Voluntary National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The results of this work were presented on July 14 at the High-level Political Forum in New York (HLPF) by Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The HLPF annual meeting under the auspice he United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the UN core on Sustainable Development, which plays a central role in the global review of the 2030 Agenda, summarizing materials, results of consultations, regular inclusive progress surveys at national and subnational levels, including Voluntary National Reviews (VNR). 47 countries carried out voluntary national reviews, including the first voluntary review of Russia. It was prepared by the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation in the process of multilateral consultations with stakeholders with the active participation of business, the backbone of which were the participants of the Global Compact, the UN’s largest initiative on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.

The corporate sector, Russian companies involved in the 2030 Agenda, in the years since the adoption of the SDGs, have made significant progress in transforming their strategies and practices in line with sustainable development

In this view, on the last day of the High-level New York Political Forum, the participants of the UN Global Compact Network Russia special session discussed the results of the Russian VNR presentation at the UN platform; the critical role of business in achieving the SDGs; examples of innovative business models implementation and the overall progress of Russian business in the context of the 2030 Agenda; the active position of Russia and Russian business in the international movement to transform the world for the SDGs; as well as the prospects for the sustainable development agenda in Russia and new tracks for voluntary reviews on the SDGs. These topics were discussed within the three thematic modules: “Russia and the SDGs. First success or first plans? "; Business and the SDGs: From Acceptance to Action! "Experience. Expertise. Prospects”.

“Our session is, in fact, a side-event of the Forum, which was supposed to be in New York that day, but was reformatted into an online event”. said Alexander Plakida, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Association “Global Compact National Network. “Thus, we continue regular discussions on business strategies in the context of the SDGs at the UN Global Compact Network Russia and beyond it (the latest notable events in this regard are the Cooperation Forum held in February 2020 in partnership with FAO and FSC to bring together over 200 Russian and international experts and participants in an offline format; Russian online session "Pivot Point: The new Perspectives for the SDGs" within the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on June 16, 2020 attracted representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the UN Global Compact National Network leaders - VEB.RF, En+, PhosAgro, Polymetal, TATNEFT, Severstal, RUSAL. Today we have reached a new level and the mission of this session-conference is to support the efforts of the state and business in sustainable development context, to support Russia’s SDG review.”

The TASS session was held in a blended format (offline and online) with the participation of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, UN offices in Geneva and Nairobi, UN agencies and programs (UNEP, UNIDO, FAO, UN-Habitat, UN GC) and other international and Russian specialized organizations.

The main speakers were international experts from 9 countries of the world: Russia, USA, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Kenya, Iraq and Argentina.
1. Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (video presentation of Russia’s Voluntary Review on the SDGs)
2. Christopher Miller, Acting Director of the World Bank in Russia, Program Manager of the World Bank in Russia
3. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (Switzerland)
4. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Denmark)
5. Vladimir Rakhmanin, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia (Hungary)
6. Alejandro Verdier, Minister, Chargé d'Affaires of Argentina to the United Nations (Argentina)
7. Alexandra Davidsson, Secretary General at the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption (Sweden)
8. Eva Vati, CEO and founder of VATI of Sweden AB (Sweden)
9. Luis Herrera Favela, Project Coordinator, UN Human Settlements Program – UN-Habitat (Kenya)
10. Oleg Bazaleev, Social Performance Manager at Crescent Petroleum (Iraq)
11. Anna Lvova, Head of Department of International Relations and Communications, International Investment Bank (Hungary)
12. Sergey Korotkov, Director, UNIDO Centre for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation – ITPO UNIDO Moscow
13. Talia Minullina, Head, Agency for Investment Development of the Republic of Tatarstan
14. Tatiana Radchenko, Deputy Head, Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation
15. Anton Tsvetov, Deputy Director, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
16. Dmitry Zaitsev, Auditor, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation
17. Svetlana Bik, Chairman of the Expert Council for the Long-Term Investment Market at the Bank of Russia, Member of the Expert Council for the national project “Ecology”, Member of the Council of the Russian Ecological Society
18. Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director on Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Deputy Chairman of the Association "National Network of the Global Compact

Representations and expert community partnership at the session confirmed the importance and relevance of the SDG concept, which is already in the focus of the Russian government, and agreed to consider this stage of attention to the 2030 Agenda as a starting point for the formation of Russia’s new approaches to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, it is necessary to take into account many aspects of the global context and the international partnership’s priorities in sustainable development at the UN platform.

In accordance with expert statements, the continuation of the discussion and further practical proposals will be built upon the initiative and with the support of the UN Global Compact National Network Russia and its partners in the nearest future considering new facts and phenomena due to the crisis, real and formalized prospects for dialogue between business and the state within the framework of the 2030 Agenda, the special aspects of sustainable development tools integration and application in business practice, recognizing the SDGs a natural and not a forced stage of modernizing business thinking, a general assessment of the level and quality of Russian business involvement in the 2030 Agenda, global trends and business projects on the SDGs financial and investment agenda, the advantages and benefits of business participation in achieving the SDGs, country, regional and territorial experience in the SDGs, the public administration system readiness to implement the Agenda and the specifics of monitoring progress on the SDGs (methodology and expertise, consultations and partnerships).

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