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Statement by the representative of the Russian Federation at the meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions (BRS) on the BRS Programme of Work and Budget

Statement

by the representative of the Russian Federation

at the meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions (BRS)

on the BRS Programme of Work and Budget

 

(On-line, 26 July 2021)

 

 

 

Madam Chair,

First of all, we thank the Secretariat for preparing the draft programme of work and budget for the next biennium.

The Russian delegation  would like to emphasize that the interim budget is to be approved for only one year on an exceptional basis due to the extraordinary circumstances  of the COVID-19 pandemic. We call for providing comprehensive financial information when considering the draft programme of work and budget of the BRS for 2022-2023 which is to be considered in June 2022 during the face-to-face COPs session.

The Russian delegation has no objection to the adoption of the proposed programme of work and budget for 2022, as well the supplementary budget for 2022, to finance the activities carried over from 2020-2021 from savings. Furthermore, all subsequent budgets should, as before, be approved for the biennium during the face-to-face COPs session in order to ensure transparency of the budgetary process and planning efficiency.

It is of particular importance that the draft budget for 2022 reserve funds for holding key events in the face-to-face format. First of all, we are talking about meetings of the BRS COPs and conventions’ bureaus.

The Russian delegation stands for the apportionment of the expenses among Member States on the basis of the new UN scale of assessments which is to be adopted at the end of this year for the period of three years. We would like to ask the Secretariat to clarify how and when the change in the UN scale of assessments will be taken into account in the apportionment of the expenses.

Traditionally, the Russian Federation supports the strengthening of the principles of multilingualism in the work of conventions. We consider it unacceptable to reduce the costs of providing interpretation of official meetings, as well as written translation of pre-session documents into all official UN languages, including Russian. It is regrettable to note that a number of recent questionnaires have been prepared in three official languages only. We hope that this will be fixed in the near future.

We are convinced that when determining the conditions of service of their employees, the convention secretariats should be guided by the decisions and recommendations of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and the relevant decisions of the UN General Assembly.

The Russian delegation would like to propose to instruct the Secretariat to prepare a detailed information report on the savings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and specific proposals on the distribution of these funds for the next session of the Conference of the Parties.

We look forward to having productive discussions within the COPs Budget Contact Group.

Thank you.