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2020 is rich in anniversaries, reminiscent of, without exaggeration, the fateful events of modern times. Among them – the end of the most bloody and large-scale in the history of the Second World War and the formation of a modern world order, as reflected in the statutory documents of leading international institutions. Moreover, if the preservation of the political stability of the world order is responsible UN, then the moral compass in the post-war coordinate system, indicating the intellectual vector of the development of the international community, is UNESCO, which also this year celebrates its 75th anniversary.

On November 16, 1945, the Charter of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was signed in London. But it was with the annexation of the Soviet Union on April 21, 1954 that UNESCO’s activities acquired a global scope, and the noble mission of “rooting the idea of ​​protecting peace in the minds of people”, which has not lost its relevance today, has received universal recognition and legitimacy.

UNESCO is highly respected in our country. The Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, uniting the heads of relevant Russian ministries and departments, prominent figures in education, science, culture and journalism, representatives of the creative and business circles, is doing significant work to promote and popularize the highly moral principles and values ​​of the Organization.

Carried through decades, our collaboration with UNESCO Is an example of a mutually respectful and mutually enriching partnership, as evidenced by the results meetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Director General of the Organization Audre Azoulay in Moscow in 2019

The Russian Federation is one of the undisputed leaders in terms of the number of associated schools and UNESCO Chairs, retains leading positions in the field of oceanography, hydrology, earth sciences, bioethics and artificial intelligence. The UNESCO-Russia Prize named after I.I., established in commemoration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (2019), contributes to the enhancement of the scientific prestige of the Organization. DI Mendeleev in the field of fundamental sciences and the program of grants of PJSC “PhosAgro” / UNESCO / IUPAC in the field of “Green chemistry”.

Russia takes an active part in sports and anti-doping programs UNESCO, including the promotion at the international level of the Kazan Action Plan developed in our country.

Cultural cooperation is developing dynamically. In 2018, with the participation of Audre Azoulay, the International Day of Jazz was successfully held in St. Petersburg. In 2019, the next, 30th in a row, Russian nomination “Temples of the Pskov School of Architecture” was added to the World Heritage List. In 2022, the capital of Tatarstan is preparing to host the jubilee session of the World Heritage Committee, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

As one of the largest donors and a responsible member of the governing and most subsidiary bodies UNESCOThe Russian Federation supports the initiative of the Director General for the “strategic transformation” of the Organization aimed at increasing the efficiency of the institution and its adaptation to new realities. It seems that the key to this should be the systematic strengthening of UNESCO’s program profile, provided that its intergovernmental character is preserved and that the division of labor enshrined in the UN system is strictly observed.

It is in the common interest of the member states to reduce the degree of politicization UNESCOconstraining its effectiveness. It is necessary to exclude from the agenda the issues of territorial integrity and sovereignty that are not typical for the Organization, to take out of the brackets the very possibility of settling scores between states at the site of the world forum. Regrettable are the ongoing attempts to promote in UNESCO politically engaged and opportunistic projects, shaped in the spirit of the infamous concept of “rules-based order”, which run counter to the Organization’s traditional principles of consensus, inclusiveness and dialogue.

At the same time, despite its natural “softness”, UNESCO at times you should still be strong. An organization cannot remain in the shadows in situations involving gross violations of its high principles and ideals. In particular, we are talking about such reprehensible stories as the “cleaning” of the educational space of Ukraine and Latvia from the Russian language, as well as the cases of restriction of freedom of speech and pressure on the Russian media observed in the Baltic States and a number of Western states. Finally, it is time for the international community, led by UNESCO, to take effective measures to restore the World Heritage Sites in Syria that have suffered at the hands of terrorists. The Russian Federation is ready to contribute to this in every possible way.

Throughout its history UNESCO more than once had to brilliantly overcome various political and financial difficulties. Following the recovery from the protracted budget spike caused by the refusal to “pay the bills” by individual states that left the Organization, the institution is now faced with a fundamentally new challenge – the coronavirus pandemic, which has dealt a tangible blow to all areas of UNESCO’s competence. I have no doubt that this difficult stage will also be passed with dignity, and UNESCO will continue its course towards building a world based on “moral and intellectual solidarity of mankind.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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