The national statement notes that the Convention to Combat Desertification is the only UN multilateral agreement that embraces almost all countries, which regulates relations in countering the degradation of lands and sets forth strategic goals on preserving productive soils on the planet.
In his speech, Ruslan Edelgeriyev put forward an initiative to extend the convention to the boreal and Arctic regions, which are more typical of our country. At present, its mandate is limited to arid, semi-arid and dry lands. It was suggested that the international community create an intergovernmental group to study this issue and draft a relevant programme of action, paying special attention to the rights, benefits and commitments of states in the global management of land resources.
The Adviser to the President emphasised the importance of putting into practice the concept of land degradation neutrality. This approach makes it possible to define “problem zones” in different countries and regions of the world with a view to investing there to maintain the stability of land resources and enhance their effectiveness.
The Russian Federation favours the closer integration of programme actions at the junction of the three Rio Conventions: the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which is particularly important during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030).
Ruslan Edelgeriyev held talks with foreign officials on the sidelines of the event. He also met with Executive Secretary of the Convention to Combat Desertification Ibrahim Tiau and Executive Secretary of the Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa. The participants in these meetings expressed their willingness to develop cooperation. Ruslan Edelgeriyev suggested his colleagues consider global environmental issues in a more comprehensive format. He noted that in dealing with these issues, it is also necessary to resolve in parallel the problems of hunger and poverty and to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.