STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UN, AT THE JOINT BRIEFING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ECOSOC AND PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 20 January 2022)
I have the honor to deliver the statement on behalf of G77 and China.
The G77 and China welcome this first briefing by the Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC. We recognize the valuable contribution that these coordination initiatives represent to articulate efforts and promote synergies, and we call for further actions related to this matter.
We are confronted with a triple challenge: recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic; achievement of the SDGs – during the remaining decade of action; and the existential threat of climate change.
The Group of 77 and China believes that vaccine inequity is hampering recovery of the developing countries from Covid-19 Pandemic. Unless vaccines are distributed on just and equitable basis, our chances to defeat the virus are minimal. We should also address the barriers to development and distribution of medical equipment, including aspects related to intellectual property, technology transfer and scaling up of local and regional manufacturing capacities. In this regard, we welcome the initiative by the PGA to convene a high-level meeting on vaccine equity and hope that both the General Assembly and ECOSOC will continue to play their respective roles in ensuring vaccine equity.
Second, we need to generate the financial resources for the recovery of our economies from all possible sources. The rising and unsustainable debt burden is a major concern among many developing countries. The Group therefore supports the High-Level Thematic Debate on “Debt Sustainability for Better Recovery” to be convened jointly by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC.
Similarly, there is a need to ensure that the new general allocation of $650bn special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the IMF are utilized for the recovery. The majority of these SDRs should go to the developing countries in need. The Group, therefore, underlines the necessity to channel a sizable part of the unutilized SDRs to the developing countries, which need the liquidity.
Third, social protection measures have proved instrumental in providing essential services and liquidity to the poor and needy during the times of Pandemic. Universalization of access to social protection should be a priority during 2022.
Fourth, we recognize that infrastructure impacts the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Investment in quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure is critical for the COVID-19 recovery and the achievement of sustainable development in its economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Many developing countries need support in project identification and development and mobilization of private and public investment. Private sector investment can and must be scaled up significantly, especially in areas such as energy, communications, transport, and technology. We recognize the important role of the United Nations development system, the World Bank, and other multilateral institutions in addressing the capacity and funding gaps in quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure investment, working through existing initiatives, especially in developing countries.
Fifth, a follow-up of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact would be important to ensure reflection of Group’s priorities in the actions including those proposed in the Pact. The Group looks forward to the fulfillment of enhanced commitments at COP27.
Sixth, the report by the Secretary General titled “Our Common Agenda” provides several new initiatives. In light of the recent announcement by the President of the General Assembly for cluster discussions, the Group intends to formulate possible common positions on the issues of interest for the developing countries in the Report.
Seventh, the Group believes that racism is antithesis to the spirit of humanity. The pursuit of equality underpins the ideals enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the principle of leaving no one behind incorporated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite our efforts, inequalities in the economic, social, and political spheres, however, continue to permeate institutions, social structures, and everyday life. In this regard, we welcome the initiatives of the President of the ECOSOC.
Eighth, the Group will continue to accord high priority to the challenges faced by LDCs, LLDCs, SIDs and Middle-Income Countries to achieve the sustainable development goals.
The year 2022 contains a number of crucial milestones and events for the sustainable development agenda, including the adoption of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, 2nd High-Level Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), the 2nd Oceans Conference, the High-Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda, and 5th LDC Conference. The group is committed to engaging constructively and actively in all processes and calls for a decision on a new date for the postponed LDC conference at the earliest.
The Group of 77 and China remains committed to engaging in the process of ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery guided by the 2030 Agenda and stands ready to work actively with the General Assembly and ECOSOC towards the achievement of this goal.
I thank you.
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