23.09.2010. UNDP has conducted the round table ‘Engagement of Russian Business in International Development Assistance in CIS countries’
Today in the UN House, a discussion was held on the results of the research paper ’Engagement of Russian Business in International Development Assistance in CIS countries (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan)’, conducted for UNDP by the Eurasia Heritage Foundation.
Opening the discussion, Frode Mauring, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, pointed to “… the progress achieved in moving towards broader participation in global development partnerships. This is a positive development consistent with Russia’s ambition of being a significant actor on international arena. We appreciate the leadership role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. Hard work and dedication have already demonstrated in laying a foundation for development of an international assistance framework in the Russian Government.”
In the course of the discussion, it was noted that international development assistance has become a topical issue for Russia now because the country is in the process of changing its status from a recipient of international aid to an international donor. The participants of the round table have also emphasized the timeliness of the research paper. The participants included representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Bank, Rossotrudnitchestvo, USAID, Higher School of Economics, as well as of business and expert communities.
Mr. Zagrekov from the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs underlines the relevance of the study. In his opinion, the research paper gives “… an objective picture of the topic in question and provides a useful analyses”. According to Mr. Kvitko from the Ministry of Economic Development, “… Russia is not a beginner in providing international assistance. Even the Soviet Union had a solid experience in implementing international assistance projects”. However, this experience was to a great extent lost, and now it is necessary to develop a new system of Official Development Assistance based on new modern principles. Mr. Kvitko also highlighted the important role that the private sector has to play in the process of formation of the development assistance system.
Speaking about the participation of Russia’s private sector in ODA projects, Mr. Mauring stressed its importance in countries bordering the Russian Federation, where these projects can benefit from language, cultural and historical commonalities. The United Nations promotes a broader participation of the private sector in international development assistance through the UN Global Compact initiative. This year, the UN Global Compact Summit reiterated the need for such participation on the part of both public and private sectors.
Ms. Valkova from the Ministry of Finance voiced out some criticism of certain conclusions and recommendations of the research paper. In her opinion, the Ministry she represented would be interested to find in the paper more information on mechanisms and channels of cooperation between the state and private sectors. “It is necessary to identify new approaches and mutual interests and to look for a platform, on which we could cooperate”.
The discussion arose around the necessity to split notions of promoting Russian private sector interests in other countries and the Russian private sector participation in ODA projects. Round table participants said that one of the main problems for nowadays is lack of clear mechanisms of cooperation between public and private sectors in the emerging Russia’s national development assistance programme.
The round table discussion resulted in the approval of the draft of the Research paper generally. After addressing comments made by the round table participants the report on the Research will be published in Russian and English.
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