STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. SAMEH ELKHISHIN, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE'S SIDE EVENT "INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: MAKING INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS WORK FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS" (New York, 16 October 2018)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We would like to thank UN Women and UNOPS for organizing this side event as well as the distinguished panelists for their presentations.
The Group expresses its concerns that 844 million people lack basic water services, 4.5 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation and that almost 1 billion people also currently live without electricity. Declining private investment in infrastructure indicates structural impediments to sufficiently align investment with long-term sustainable development. The Group stresses that those challenges should be addressed through our collective endeavors with a view to identifying the means to accelerate the pace of progress toward achieving 2030 agenda.
The Group emphasizes that the developing countries are the most affected by lack of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, while facing serious financing challenges due to insufficient access to resources, both from the public and private sector, which results in a wide global infrastructure gap.
In order to bridge this gap, both public and private investment have key roles to play in infrastructure financing, including through development banks, development finance institutions. The role of multilateral development banks is critical to provide financing resources with a view to enhancing access to and improving quality of infrastructure services which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
The Group believes that prioritizing, inter alia, infrastructure development, including care infrastructure, can reduce and redistribute the disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work by promoting the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men. The provision of infrastructure, technology and public services, such as water and sanitation, renewable energy, transport and information and communications technology can, among others, support the reconciliation of work and family life for both women and men.
There is a need to improve the security and safety of women on the journey to and from work and the security and safety of women and girls on the journey to and from educational facilities. This can be done through gender-responsive rural development strategies and urban planning and infrastructure, including sustainable, safe, accessible and affordable public transportation systems, street lighting, and separate and adequate sanitation facilities, so as to facilitate women's access to places, products, services and economic opportunities, keeping in mind that these measures cannot generate or sustain more discrimination.