STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR RUDOLPH MICHAEL TEN-POW, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON TRENDS, OPTIONS AND STRATEGIES IN POVERTY ERADICATION ACROSS THE WORLD (New York, 30 June 2020)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group welcomes the convening of this High-Level Meeting. This event is an opportunity for us to assess how best we can address eradicating poverty, to kick start the Decade of Action and Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. It comes against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging our nations.
3. The Group reaffirms that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, for all people everywhere, is the overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda. It remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
4. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked an unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world: hunger and famine of historic proportions; sixty million more people pushed into extreme poverty; up to half the global workforce - 1.6 billion people - without livelihoods; and a loss of $8.5 trillion in global output, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
5. The Group acknowledges that progress in poverty reduction has stagnated globally in recent years. This is explained by factors such as, the current global health crisis, economic slowdown, conflicts, and climate change impacts. Developing countries stand to be impacted the most in the long-term, due to the fragility of our health systems, limited social protection coverage, as well as our vulnerability to external shocks. Those left behind are becoming increasingly harder to reach, particularly disadvantaged groups.
6. Our Group reaffirms that climate change is occurring at a much faster rate than previously anticipated, according to recent scientific evidence. It disproportionately affects people in vulnerable situations, contributing to a rise in inequality, and makes it more difficult for the poor to escape poverty. It is estimated that, under a low-impact scenario characterized by powerful mitigation and adaption strategies that are successful, between 3 million and 16 million people will be in poverty by 2030 because of climate change; and that under a high-impact scenario, between 35 million and 122 million will fall into poverty.
7. Paradoxically, the world is connected online now more than ever in the face of social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This technological change can be an engine for economic growth, offering new possibilities in health, education, communications and productivity. Unfortunately, developing countries, in particular, the least developed countries, face difficulty in connecting due to high costs and the lack of adequate infrastructure. This further deepens global inequality and undermines efforts to eradicate poverty.
8. Our Group is concerned by the current volatility in global financial markets. Over $100 billion in capital has flowed out of emerging markets since the outbreak of the pandemic; the largest outflow ever recorded. We are also concerned that global trade is expected to plunge between 13% and 32% in 2020. But for us, the greatest concern is for the lives and livelihoods of the poorest and those in vulnerable situations who are severely impacted.
9. There is no doubt that the current pandemic is further derailing the efforts by developing countries to implement the Sustainable Development Agenda. It threatens to undermine the gains made in many areas. This is a grave concern as the world is not on track to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, as called for under Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda.
10. The Group reiterates its call to strengthen international cooperation, solidarity and resource mobilization, including developed countries' ODA commitments. We must recalibrate our actions to effectively respond to the current pandemic. We must urgently take measures to address the root causes - including climate change - of poverty, hunger, and all forms of malnutrition. The role of the United Nations in leading a coordinated global response to these maladies is crucial. This pandemic must, therefore, be treated as the opportunity to rethink our approaches and strategies for the Decade of Action.
11. Our Group wishes to underscore that eradication of extreme poverty requires investing in policies that are in line with the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement. The Group also underscores the importance of economic diversification and improving investment and financing into sectors that are critical to accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. To bridge the digital divide, the Group emphasizes the need to accelerate the transfer of technologies, including on concessional and preferential terms, that are essential for implementing a wide range of SDGs.
12. We look forward to further dialogues in the Colloquium series, and to a world without poverty.
I thank you.