In 2011, after the closure of UNDP Country office in Moscow, the Russian Federation and UNDP have entered in a new stage of partnership focusing on cooperation at the regional and global levels. Since then, the Russian Government allocated over US$ 20 million to development assistance through UNDP projects and initiatives worldwide. The contribution of the Russian Government ranges from supporting livelihood improvement initiatives to promotion of trade and crisis prevention and recovery.
Russian Federation and Official Development Assistance
The Concept of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance has been approved by the Decree No.259 of the President of the Russian Federation on 20 April, 2014. This Concept represents the vision, goals, objectives, principles and main directions of the Russian Federation's State Poli-cy in the Area of International Development Assistance, as well as the priorities for and modalities of providing technical, financial, humanitarian and other assistance to foreign States. It aims at facilitating sustainable socio-economic development of recipient countries and settlement of crisis situations caused by natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies, internal and/or international conflicts. International assistance to Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States, in particular to Central Asian countries, pursuing a policy of good neighborliness and alliance with Russia, is defined as the key priority. Russia’s ODA budget was US$ 713million in 2013, and increased over 40% from 2012. Until recently, about 60% of ODA had been channeled through multi-lateral sources. It is envisaged that the bi-lateral assistance will prevail in near future. Thematically, the key priorities of Russian ODA are health, food security and the Eurasian integration.
Partnership Framework Agreement
On 23 January 2015, the Government of the Russian Federation and UNDP signed a Partnership Framework Agreement. It establishes the foundation for a long-term Russia strategic partnership with UNDP for the implementation of development projects in other countries. This document brings to a new level the strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the UN in achieving the development goals, while also high-lighting Russia’s growing role as a donor in advancing the post-2015 agenda globally. The Agreement foresees cooperation in the following key areas:
UNDP has been cooperating with emerging donors in Europe and Central Asia for more than a decade, providing them with knowledge and operational mechanisms of development assistance, offering access to its extensive network of country offices, and serving as reliable partner in building partnerships and technical capacities.
Programmes and projects financed by the Russian Federation
Russian Federation has also contributed $2 million to the UNDP part of Syria SHARP Appeal. Russia has also provided $1 million to the UNDP part of the Philippines appeal and $1 million for post-hurricane recovery in Cuba.
Support to multilateral efforts and the global development agenda
The first event in the series – the International Expert Seminar “Small and Medium-Size Innovative Companies in the SCO: Policy and Measures of Governmental Support” – was held in Moscow on June 17, 2014.
Two other seminars “Trade and economic agenda of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union” and “Mechanisms of trade facilitation and economic development in the Shanghai Co-operation Organization Member States” were held in Moscow on 13-14 May 2015. The last two seminars focus on the following issues: (1) common goals and challenges of foreign trade and economic development of the SCO and the EAEU Member States; and (2) prospects for co-operation of the SCO and the EAEU in regional economic integration in Eurasia; (3) issues of trade facilitation in the SCO Member States; (4) programmes and projects of economic development assistance in the SCO Member States and mechanisms of sharing experience to deepen international economic co-operation.
UNDP – Russia - BRICS international expert seminars
UNDP has since November 2011 been partnering with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development in a series of international expert seminars, which through expert brainstorming, provide an analysis of the themes which could become a priority for Russia’s co-operation with BRICS countries, and basing on these themes to establish a scope for possible joint projects.
The series is also a part of the official expert consultations’ mechanism in economic and trade issues within BRICS. The first seminar on the issues of “Innovation and Sustainable Development in BRICS” took place in Moscow on 30 November 2011; the second - “Low-carbon Development and Green Protectionism: Challenges for BRICS Countries” on 15 March 2012). The third one - “Innovation and SME development in BRICS” – took place on 18 January 2013. The forth one: BRICS and Africa: New Opportunities for Co-operation” took place on 28 February 2013.
In all seminars UNDP secured participation of high level experts from BRICS, brought its substantive perspective and was able to engage with the Russian government at high level (Deputy Minister). The series was finalized with a joint report and a final conference in Moscow on 5 December 2013.
During the G20 Russian Presidency in 2013 UNDP has engaged on two main tracks: a) With the Ministry of Finance – regarding the agenda of the Development Working Group where UNDP took active participation, including a presentation on the post-2015 development agenda in February 2013. b) With the Sherpa’s office – regarding UNDP’s support to the Outreach track with the Civil Society, Civil 20. Specifically: