|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference to Launch Report Titled ‘The Regions of Russia
and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals’
Dialogue between the regions of the Russian Federation and the United Nations could make an important contribution to sustainable development, both in that country and globally, officials said today at a Headquarters press conference sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation.
Briefing on a report titled “The Regions of Russia and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals”, Aleksey Borisov of the Russian Federation’s United Nations Association stressed the importance of implementing projects presented by two regional governors, saying they could make significant contributions to sustainable development, a particular priority following the Rio+20 Conference held earlier this year. Accompanying Mr. Borisov were Lev Kuznetsov, Governor of Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Oleg Betin, Governor of the Tambov Region.
Mr. Kuznetsov said his region was of huge importance to national economic development, adding that achieving that depended on the involvement of talented youth living and working in the region. He said he had presented the Secretary-General with a project called the International Humanitarian Centre for Youth, aimed at enabling young people to participate actively in finding solutions to key developmental issues that were part of the Secretary-General’s five-year programme of priorities. In fact, one of those priorities called for the greater inclusion of youth in political, social and economic life, he recalled, pointing out that many United Nations goals overlapped with his own.
He expressed hope that the International Humanitarian Centre for Youth would facilitate the integration of young people into the global development process, and allow people to see all that Siberia had to offer. The ability of youth around the world to speak the same language and share the same priorities and goals would be the best way to ensure that the most important United Nations goal — ensuring a sustainable world — was met.
Mr. Betin said feeding people was becoming increasingly acute, while also underlining the importance of improving the quality of foodstuffs and agricultural produce. Although the production of genetically modified organisms was prohibited in the Russian Federation, there were no effective methods to control imports, he noted, calling for the establishment of a “Safe Food Fund” to help ensure the highest safety standards. Tambov was the Russian Federation’s highest-rated region in terms of ecological conditions, and much scientific research into agriculture took place in the city of Michurinsk, he said, noting that scientists there were studying how best to prevent food deterioration and create the healthy foods of the future.
He said he had suggested to the Secretary-General the convening of an international conference in Michurinsk to “fine-tune” the Russian Federation’s road map for ensuring safe food production of food, and hoped the United Nations would help to develop the programme for such a meeting.
Asked about funding for the International Humanitarian Centre for Youth, he said he had already started using regional budget funds, adding that youth programmes would acquire federal status in 2013. He said he was also looking into how the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) could fund the project.
When asked about the main areas of the Centre’s activity, he said it aimed to help people’s participation in international humanitarian and social programmes. In order for the Russian Federation and the world at large to fine-tune youth programmes, it was important to understand what was most important to young people.
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