STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. DR. SAHAR NASR, MINISTER OF INVESTMENT AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION OF EGYPT, TO THE 2018 HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 16 July 2018)
Thank you Madame President,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Allow me at the outset to express the Group's appreciation to you Madame President for organizing and convening this HLPF session. Three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and we are not yet fully on track to implement it. The Group affirms that poverty eradication in all its forms and dimensions is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Likewise, ending hunger and achieving food security is fundamental for sustainable development. In this regard, we express concerns that 783 million people still live below the international poverty line and the number of undernourished people has been on the rise since 2014 reaching an estimated 815 million in 2016.
The Group is concerned that the current pace of progress toward achieving the SDGs clearly indicates that we are still not on a path to its full implementation, including Goals 6, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17 that are under review for this year. The scale and level of ambition of the 2030 Agenda requires strengthening the means of implementation, particularly for the developing countries, as well as creating the enabling global environment for development. Sustainable financing options, global partnerships, and long-term investments are needed for achievement of the 2030 Agenda. We affirm that "win-win" cooperation can bring significant gains to all countries and all parts of the world.
We reaffirm the need to address the diverse needs and the challenges faced by countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation, as well as the specific challenges faced by MICs.
In connection with the goals under review this year, the Group emphasizes that water is critical for sustainable development. It is a matter of concern that 844 million people around the world still lack basic managed drinking water services, and 2.3 billion people still lack a basic level of sanitation services. In this regard, we express our appreciation for the organization of both the Eighth World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil from 18 to 23 March 2018, and the High-Level Conference on "Water for Sustainable Development", in Tajikistan from 20 to 22 June 2018, which aim to address the global challenges related to water.
We stress the necessity of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable energy for all, and we are concerned that 1 billion people are still living without access to energy.
We affirm the need for addressing all economic, environmental, and social challenges faced by cities and human settlements. We are concerned that the actual number of people living in slums increased from 689 million to 881 million.
We emphasize the need to ensure more sustainable consumption and production patterns with a view to ensure the availability of financial and technical assistance as well as technological capacity for developing countries in that regard.
We stress the need to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. We call upon all relevant stakeholders to take concrete measures to address all the challenges and the existing gaps of implementation in order to ensure the timely and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
In conclusion, the Group reaffirms the principles of international law and of the UN Charter. We stress the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of states, and urge states to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.
We look forward for the upcoming session of HLPF under the auspices of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC in order to oversee the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the global level.