STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SOMAIA BARGHOUTI, SENIOR ADVISER, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 25: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 1 October 2019)
1- I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group 77 and China.
2- At the outset, allow me to extend our warmest congratulations to you and the other members of the Bureau on your election. We assure you of our full support and cooperation.
3- The Group would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for his informative reports under this agenda item, which will surely help enrich our deliberations.
4- The Group attaches great importance to the agenda item under consideration. We believe that this year's discussions on this topic should focus on action-oriented strategies and inventive approaches to address the different forms of inequality in order to fully implement the objectives of the World Summit for Social Development as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
5- As stated in the report of the Secretary-General "almost 25 years after the World Summit for Social Development, social progress has been slow and uneven, and major gaps remain." The report further went on to state that income inequality not only persists, but has increased, undermining efforts to eradicate poverty. This along with other trends, such as the erosion of social cohesion, challenges the ability to meet the commitments made at the World Summit and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, including its overarching pledge to leave no one behind.
6- The Group welcomed the convening of the Summit on Sustainable Development Goals held last week. At that Summit, our Governments joined together to call for a decade of ambitious measures to deliver the SDG's by 2030 and pledged to take action to advance the agenda in important areas of social development. That same week, the international community also adopted the political declaration on Universal health coverage. Our Group hopes that its adoption will accelerate progress towards ensuring access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines as well as vaccines for all which are also essential to reduce poverty and inequality and achieve sustainable development for all.
7- Turning to the International Year of the Family that was held in 1994. One of the main objectives of the proclamation of the Year of the Family was to strengthen national institutions to formulate, implement and monitor family policies and respond to problems affecting families. We took note with appreciation that the SG's report recalled that some Member States have made efforts to strengthen existing institutions charged with the implementation of family policies. The Group invites Member States to further invest in family-centered policies and programmes, as important tools for fighting poverty, social exclusion and inequality.
8- Further, the Group recognizes the valuable contribution of older persons to the development of our societies. We would like to express deep concern regarding the many challenges that they continue to face. The international community must work towards the elimination of the structural and institutional prejudices, ageism, and stereotypical images to ensure older persons full enjoyment of their human rights, their dignity and well-being.
9- Moreover, the Group is of the view that disability should be a priority issue in international cooperation for inclusive development. The Group welcomes progress achieved in recent years, by governments and other stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the private sector in mainstreaming disability in the implementation of their national development efforts.
10- The Group 77 and China wishes to reaffirm the critical role of the Commission for Social Development in advancing action for social progress and the eradication of poverty through promoting the Program of Action of the Copenhagen Summit. We commend the Commission's commitment to place the fight against inequality and exclusion at the forefront of its work. Likewise, we fully appreciate the contribution of the Commission to the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the implementation of the SDGs within its existing mandate.
11- At the same time. the Group reaffirms that international development cooperation, especially North-South, remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable development, and more importantly, to promoting the Programme of Action of the Copenhagen Summit. The international community and development partners have a pivotal role to play in collaborating with and supporting developing countries in implementing their social development agenda.
12- We also reaffirm our position that South-South cooperation should complement, rather than be seen as a substitute for, North-South cooperation. South-South cooperation is a collective endeavor of developing countries, as reaffirmed in the Nairobi outcome, and must be driven by the countries of the South.
13- As in previous sessions, the Group of 77 and China will submit under this agenda item three draft resolutions, the first on the World Summit for Social Development, the second on the follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, and the third on the International Year of the Family. The Group looks forward to valuable contributions and support of all Member States, with the aim of contributing to the achievement of our mutual goals in the field of social development.