Meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

3 February 2020

February 3rd, at the UN headquarters in New York, on the sidelines of the 74th regular session of the UN General Assembly, and in the framework of the UN Association of Russia’s Program «Regions of Russia and the UN Sustainable Development Goals», the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov had a meeting the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

During the meeting, the sides discussed the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the UN General Assembly on September 25th, 2015, and the sixth edition of the Report of the UN Association of Russia’s Program «Regions of Russia and the UN Sustainable Development Goals» (2019), which reveals some of the achievements of the Republic of Tatarstan in implementing the «2030 Agenda».

Among those attending the meeting with A. Guterres were V. Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations and the UN Security Council, A. Borisov, First Deputy Chairman of the UN Association of Russia, the Head of the UNESCO Chair, Vice-President of the World Federation of UN Associations, D. Chumakov Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations and the UN Security Council (for economic, administrative and budgetary issues), R. Akhmetshin the Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan and Plenipotentiary Representative of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation Federation, T. Minullina the Chief Executive of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency. The Rector of MGIMO University, Chairman of the UN Association of Russia A. Torkunov welcomed all the meeting participants.

After the meeting, the sixth edition of the UN Association of Russia’s Report «Regions of Russia and the UN Sustainable Development Goals» (2019) was presented at the UN headquarters to the general public.

The event was moderated by A. Borisov, the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN. Vasily Nebenzya and Alexander Trepelkov, the Officer-in-Charge of the Division for Sustainable Development Goals in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs greeted those gathered for the presentation. The Permanent Representative remarked that: «Activities to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in the regions of the Russian Federation have already become a good tradition. Civil society plays an important role in the synergy between the implementation of intergovernmental agreements and the activities of the Russian regions. The long-term program of the UN Association of Russia „Regions of Russia and the UN Development Goals“ is an interesting illustration of „public diplomacy“ as it carries out educational activities about the work of the Organization and encourages the regions to participate in UN projects. »

The President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov said a few words at the beginning of the presentation, noting that the United Nations is a worldwide association of states that has no match in terms of legitimacy, representativeness and universality. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals have been integrated into the Strategy for the Socio-Economic Development of the Republic of Tatarstan until 2030, Rustam Minnikhanov added.

The speaker went on to emphasize that the well-being of Tatarstan depends on the preservation and growth of interethnic, inter-religious peace and civil harmony. The Republic has a specific policy aimed at maintaining the fragile balance of interests of all national and religious groups, and above all between Muslim and Orthodox citizens, he remarked. Rustam Minnikhanov also reminded the audience that some unique cultural monuments and religious shrines are being revived such as Ancient Bolgar and the island-village Sviyazhsk. The reconstruction of the world-famous icon of the Mother of God of the Kazan monastery of the Theotokos is nearing completion. One great achievement was that we managed to include the ancient city of Bolgar and some masterpieces of Russian architecture (the Assumption Cathedral and Sviyazhsk Monastery) in the UNESCO World Heritage List. With the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a project has been launched to set up a Bulgarian Islamic Academy, which will become a leading scientific, educational and spiritual and educational center.

Rustam Minnikhanov went on to say that the activities of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals reinforce international collaboration and create a strong basis for economic and social development in the interest of future generations. «This is the goal of our work on sustainable development in the Republic of Tatarstan: a better life for present and future generations which strengthens the multinational Russian Federation» he said.

The presentation on «Achievements of the Republic of Tatarstan in the field of sustainable development» was delivered by T. Minullina the Chief Executive of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency. The report was followed by lively discussions on the achievements of Tatarstan.

The presentation of the Report «Regions of Russia and the UN Sustainable Development Goals» was a true success as it was a real contribution to the implementation of the main goals of the program: the development of projects in organizations of the UN system, improving the image and investment opportunities in the Russian regions and informing the population about the Sustainable Development Goals.

— See the MGIMO web-site for russian version

Meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres