A visit of the Secretary General of the UN to MoscowUN Secretary General Kofi Annan, came with an official visit to Moscow, on April 5 was received by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fradkov. Talks with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov took place.
There was reaffirmed on the Russian side the invariability of its strategic line on strengthening the central role of the UN in world affairs. Russia's readiness was stressed to continue making a weighty contribution to enhancing the authority and efficiency of the UN Security Council as the key element in the shaping of an effective system of collective security.
The progress in implementing Russia's initiative backed by the United Nations General Assembly for creating under UN auspices a global system of counteraction against present-day challenges and threats was examined. In this context the sides accentuated the importance of ensuring the productive results of the Panel of Wise Men set up by the UN Secretary General to build up multilateral approaches in world politics under the aegis of the UN.
Among the priority topics of the talks were questions of the further strengthening of international cooperation under the aegis of the UN and its Security Council in the fields of counter-terrorism, the resolution of crisis situations and the overcoming of economic and social problems in the conditions of globalization.
From a common standpoint questions were examined relating to the necessity to transfer under the aegis of the UN the processes of political settlement in Iraq and the reconstruction of the country after the end of the period of occupation.
The need for continued fulfillment by the UN of its stabilizing role in the Middle East in support of the efforts of the Quartet of International Mediators, in particular Russia and the UN, primarily in the implementation of the Road Map for Middle East settlement, was reaffirmed.
Ways for deepening cooperation between Russia and the United Nations in assisting political settlement and reconstruction in Afghanistan were outlined and the importance of consolidating the UN's central coordinating role in international efforts in that country was underscored.
Again voicing concern over the dangerous flare-up of tension in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), Lavrov and Annan spoke for taking by the international community, including the UN, necessary measures to ensure the security and rights of the Serb population and other national minorities in the province in the context of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1244.
Mutual readiness was expressed to continue to assist the improvement of UN peacekeeping activities on the basis of the Charter of the Organization and the decisions of its Security Council. In accordance with the line declared by the President of Russia from the UN rostrum on expanding Russian participation in peacekeeping operations Russia will build up its contribution to anti-crisis activities under the aegis of the UN.
Lavrov and Annan noted that reforming the UN with a view to its adaptation to the new international realities and tasks remains an important priority. Russia stands for a responsible approach to the question of enlarging the UN Security Council, as it affects the interests of all the members of the Organization. This topical question ought to be decided on the basis of the widest possible consensus of the member states of the UN.
Moscow is pleased with the talks held and the positive results of Kofi Annan's visit as a whole. We expect them to aid in further deepening constructive cooperation between Russia and the UN in the common interests of shaping a just and secure world order.