STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE, OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE ANNUAL SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF UNDP, UNFPA, AND UNOPS - UNDP SEGMENT (New York, 4 June 2020)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group congratulates you and other members of the Bureau on your able leadership of the work of the Executive Board, particularly during these tumultuous times.
3. The Group wishes to thank the UNDP Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner, for the report on the work of the Organization. We note UNDP's engagement in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, to kick start the Decade of Action and Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. We reiterate our endorsement of UNDP's core mandate in supporting national efforts to achieve the SDGs and in line with national priorities.
4. The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly reverse the development gains achieved over the past decades. It has already exacerbated existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, with its disproportionate impacts on the poor and vulnerable. The Group underscores UNDP's flexibility - as part of the system-wide response - in assisting developing countries to deal with the human aspects of the response, and to recover from the pandemic in a more resilient way.
5. One of our undeniable common and overarching objectives is to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions. This is also one of the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. It must be kept fully in focus, while addressing the interconnected nature of all SDGs. For our Group, the 2030 Agenda requires an integrated approach and collective action at all levels, particularly as we grapple with responding to the current crisis and its consequences. In this regard, UNDP has a central role in assisting developing countries to strengthen our policy and institutional capacity.
6. We deeply acknowledge the support that UNDP provides through the repositioned United Nations development system. We call on UNDP to continue to coordinate its development work within the UN system, while taking into account the interlinkages between sustainable development, humanitarian action and peacebuilding activities, in accordance with the mandates of the QCPR guidance, as reaffirmed in GA resolution 72/279 on the UNDS repositioning. We note the progress made in implementing UNDP's strategic plan 2018-2021 and urge UNDP to build on the lessons learnt during the first half of its implementation, as well as in addressing the current COVID-19 impacts.
7. The Group of 77 and China reaffirms the importance of sufficient and predictable core resources for development activities as the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda. It is critical that UNDP and other entities be given the ability to respond to the rapidly changing development conditions, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, the Group stresses the need to increase ODA allocations to developing countries, by meeting ODA commitments.
8. A final word, Mr. President, on the importance our Group attaches to South-South cooperation and particularly, to the role of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation. We stand firm in reasserting its mandate in advancing and coordinating South-South cooperation activities globally and across the UN system. We reiterate the commitments enshrined in the BAPA+40 outcomes adopted by the UN General Assembly, noting that South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South Cooperation. In this regard, priorities for the UNOSSC must be set by countries of the South, guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership, and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit. We further reiterate the call of the Group for the strengthening of the UNOSSC aiming to bring South-South and triangular cooperation to support the efforts of Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
9. The Group looks forward to constructive discussions during these virtual sessions and to a productive engagement on accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
10. In closing, Mr. President, please accept our best wishes for a successful presidency.
I thank you