STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. MOHAMED GAD, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF EGYPT TO THE UNITE NATIONS AT THE INTEGRATION SEGMENT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL: "INNOVATIVE COMMUNITIES: LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT SOCIETIES" (New York, 1 May 2018)
Mr. Vice President,
1- I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, I would like to thank you for convening today's meeting of the Integration segment of ECOSOC under the theme "Innovative communities: leveraging technology and innovation to build sustainable and resilient societies."
2- The Group of 77 is of the view that policy integration is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We acknowledge the importance of the segment as a platform for dialogue and exchange of views and recommendations for the way forward in policy innovation and integration. In this regard, the Group of 77 underlines the critical importance for the integration segment to maintain its role in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development namely the economic, social, and environmental dimensions.
Mr. Vice President,
3- In light of our relentless efforts to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, it is evident that there is an urgent need to address the lack of technology and innovation infrastructure, as well as the capacity constraints of developing countries, particularly those in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. It is also important to strengthen research capacities in developing countries, and enhance technical assistance and capacity building, tailored to the specific needs and constraints of developing countries. It is also critical to strengthen international cooperation to provide adequate support, and facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, expand infrastructure, and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services. This is to be supported by encouraging the development, dissemination, and diffusion and transfer of environmentally sound technologies to all developing countries on favorable terms, including on concessional, and preferential terms. In this regard, we underscore the need to fully operationalize the technology bank for the LDCs.
4- The Group would like to emphasize that infrastructure, industry, and innovation are strongly inter-linked and share the common goal of achieving socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development and contribute to poverty eradication. We underline that poor access to infrastructure remains a major impediment to development, diversification, and value addition. It also hinders sustainable urbanization in many parts of the world. It is therefore imperative to work towards reaching effective solutions to achieve resilient and accessible infrastructure development that is climate-sensitive and resource efficient.
5- We strongly believe that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of each country and is important for supporting mass entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, which creates a new momentum for economic growth and job creation and expanded opportunities for all, including women and youth. We highlight the importance of innovation-driven development, which is conducive to an equitable, inclusive, innovative, invigorated and interconnected world economy, and contributes to the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, thus increasing employment in all sectors.
Mr. Vice President,
6- The creation, development and diffusion of new innovations and technologies and associated know-how, including the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, are powerful drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. However, inequality on innovative capacity, connectivity and access to technology, including information and communications technology, are prevailing conditions within and among countries. The "digital divide" is a reality for developing countries whose ability to sustain healthy levels of sustainable growth is affected by the lack of adequate technology infrastructure. In this regard, the Group underlines the importance of promoting the development and use of information and communications technology, infrastructure, as well as capacity building, including rapid universal and affordable access to the Internet.
7- The Group of 77 would like to underline the importance of strengthening the resilience of cities and human settlements, to reduce the risk of disasters and vulnerabilities. We also emphasize the importance of additional efforts to increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning mechanisms of States, in order to ensure that early warning leads to early action. In this regard, we encourage all relevant stakeholders to support these efforts.
8- We recall our commitments in the New Urban Agenda, adopted in Quito, Ecuador. Building resilient cities requires an enabling environment, and a wide range of means of implementation, including access to science, technology and innovation and enhanced knowledge-sharing on mutually agreed terms, as well as capacity development and mobilization of financial resources. This should take into account all available sources at the global, regional, and national levels, as well as enhanced international cooperation and partnerships among Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system, and other actors, based on the principles of equality, non-discrimination, accountability, respect for human rights and solidarity, especially for those who are the poorest and most vulnerable.
9- I would like to conclude by recognizing the fact that appropriate incentives, including harnessing the potential of science, technology and innovation, closing technology gaps, and scaling up capacity-building at all levels are essential for the shift towards sustainable development and poverty eradication.