Wrapping up his first official visit to the Russian Federation, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien hailed Russia’s vital and strategic role as a Member State actively engaged in global and multilateral relief efforts and emergency expertise.
We have an excellent partnership with the Russian Federation in humanitarian affairs, and this has a clear impact in our ability to respond to people’s needs around the world noted Mr. O’Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, as he concluded his first official visit to the Russian Federation, with the aim of building on the strong partnership between Russia and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Russia plays a vital and strategic role as a Member State actively engaged in global and multi-lateral humanitarian efforts, as well as a provider of considerable emergency expertise, assets and relief supplies, and as a generous donor to humanitarian funds.
Over the two-day visit, Mr. O’Brien met senior Government officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Natural Disasters, Vladimir Puchkov, and Deputy Defence Minister, Anatoly Antonov. He also met representatives of the United Nations family to brief them on his visit to Ukraine and Russia.
We have had productive discussions over the past two days in Moscow, on areas where we can work together more closely and concretely, in relation to current international humanitarian crises noted Mr. O’Brien.
I thanked Russia for their generous aid to the people of Ukraine, Syria [and] Yemen, among others, and stressed that we must do all we can, as neutral and impartial humanitarians, to rise above the political and security aspects of these crises. We agreed to closely coordinate aid planning to ensure the most effective delivery of aid and protection for the most vulnerable people who need our help.
Visiting the impressive National Crisis Management Centre, the Emergency Relief Coordinator noted that the international humanitarian system faces a rise in humanitarian needs as a result of major conflicts as well as natural disasters.
As we prepare for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, we are looking for ways to deal with the world’s new challenges. We need the continued leadership and commitment of major powers like Russia to help broaden the partnerships required to strengthen aid delivery concluded the UN relief chief.