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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:
1. Support to multilateral efforts and the global development agenda, especially in what concerns:
2. Development co-operation in the developing countries around the world, with particular focus on the CIS region, and with specific emphasis on assistance to Low-Income and Lower-Middle-Income Countries. The co-operation will mainly focus on:
3. Collaboration in countries where the Government is providing bilateral development assistance with a view to enhancing effectiveness of such assistance. Leveraging the knowledge, experience and expertise in development co-operation, including by involving academic institutions and individual experts from the Russian Federation in accordance with UNDP’s regulations, rules, policies and procedures when done through UNDP projects/programmes.
4. Promoting a skilled cadre from the Russian Federation in the field of development within UNDP, inter alia, via establishing a Russian Federation Programme for Junior Professional Officers (JPO), to be fully funded by the Government and to be agreed upon through a separate agreement.
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.
AGREEMENT ON ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RUSSIA-UNDP TRUST FUND
Agreement between the Russian Government and UNDP for the Establishment of the Russian Federation - United Nations Development Programme Trust Fund for Development, with initial funding of $ 25 million from Russia over the next four years, was signed by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 11 June, 2015.
The Fund has been established in accordance with the Partnership Framework Agreement between UNDP and Russia to support development cooperation activities in developing countries around the world, with particular focus on the CIS region, and with specific emphasis on assistance to Low-Income and Lower-Middle-Income Countries in priority areas such as sustainable development, poverty reduction, rural development, sustainable management of water resources, the response to HIV/AIDS, disaster risk reduction and early preparedness to emergencies, post-disaster response and early recovery, sustainable energy and in other fields through fund-based, programmatic cooperation.
The Fund shall focus on the CIS countries, with possibility of including other countries which are in need of greater assistance to reach the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals, including the post-2015 development framework.
Projects aimed at promoting the integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and other regional groupings and associations with the participation of the Russian Federation, shall be treated as a priority.
The Fund shall also finance UNDP projects, developed in partnership with and using the knowledge, experience and expertise of Russian ministries, agencies, think tanks, universities and NGOs involved in international development assistance, including projects aimed at knowledge management and capacity building, such as organization of trainings, internships and secondments of Russian specialists in specific projects funded by the Fund in the recipient countries.
Projects financed by the Russian Federation from the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development
Programmes and projects financed by the Russian Federation beyond the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development
Other the Russian Government’s contribution to:
The Russian support to implement technical assistance initiatives:
Support to multilateral efforts and the global development agenda
Russia - UNDP - SCO international expert seminarsThe Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation together with the Russian Foreign Trade Academy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized in 2014-2015 a series of international expert seminars aimed at drawing up the economic agenda for the SCO. The representatives of governmental institutions, academia, and business community from the SCO countries, as well as the experts from international organizations, will participate in the seminars. The main purpose of the series is to discuss the themes that could become a priority for Russia’s co-operation with the SCO countries.
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.
Russia - UNDP - 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: