STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE, PERMANENT MISSION OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE BRIEFING FOR THE SDG MOMENT (New York, 27 July 2020)
Madam Deputy Secretary General,
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group welcomes the convening of this briefing at the end of two weeks of virtual engagements for the 2020 HLPF. We commend the Secretary-General's efforts under the present circumstances to ensure the implementation of the mandate contained in General Assembly Resolution 74/4, entitled "Political declaration of the high-level political forum on sustainable development convened under the auspices of the General Assembly." We believe that an annual SDG moment could highlight inspiring action on the Goals, in the context of the general debate of the General Assembly.
3. In this regard, the Group thanks you for the background note that was circulated for our consideration. We welcome and support this initiative, especially in the face of a global crisis that is upending our lives, livelihood and societies.
4. Highlighting inspiring SDG Actions is crucial to building momentum towards accelerated actions that could put us on the right trajectory to achieve our goals. The G-77 and China would like to outline a number of comments and questions relating to the preparation and execution of the mandated SDG Moment.
5. It is no secret that we are not on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Its' overall progress has been slow, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges and created new vulnerabilities, prompting the need for urgent actions at all levels and by all stakeholders.
6. First, 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, and "rural poverty eradication" should be highlighted as a priority for inspiring action.
7. Secondly, the SDG Moment must be a State-led and State-owned process. We must preserve the geographical balance in the participation of Members. It should also reflect the intergovernmental, integrated and indivisible nature of the 2030 Agenda.
8. Thirdly, the Group underscores that the SDG Moment must pay attention to the exacerbated inequalities and structural weaknesses among and within countries, so vividly revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing countries are comprehensively impacted in the medium and long term, due to the fragility of our health systems, limited social protection coverage, widening digital divide as well as our vulnerability to external shocks. In this regard, we underline the importance of digital technology to provide solutions in addressing the challenges. Inspiring SDG Action must have a compounding effect that produces transformative solutions across multiple Goals.
Madam Deputy Secretary General,
9. The Group would like to pose the following questions for further clarification:
a) What is the rationale for selecting Member States to provide direct contributions during the SDG Moment, from the 47 VNR countries that presented at the 2020 HLPF?
b) How will the geographical balance be achieved in a three-hour virtual meeting format?
c) How will the SDG Moment compliment the other High-Level Meetings scheduled to take place during the High-Level Week, such as the Summit on Biodiversity, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons?
d) Is there the possibility of a hybrid approach for participation at the SDG Moment, meaning, both virtual as well as physical participation at the UNHQ?
10. We look forward to working closely with the Secretary General and you in the lead-up to this important meeting. You can count on the support of the Group of 77 and China.
I thank you.