STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, ON THE OCCASION OF THE THIRTY-FIFTH MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS OF THE PEREZ-GUERRERO TRUST FUND FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION (PGTF) (New York, 4 August 2020)

Dear Colleagues,

1. I would like to welcome you very warmly to this Committee of Experts meeting, and to wish you successful deliberations.

2. We welcome the convening of the Thirty-fifth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the PĂ©rez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation [PGTF]. Your commitment and dedication to convene amidst a global crisis, exemplifies the attitude of boldness that is proudly commended by the Group. I wish you all the best in your deliberations in the next few days.

3. This year is a defining year for the international community. The current trajectory of development debilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic requires a formidable and coordinated response. Undoubtedly, the PGTF will be in high demand given the current COVID-19 pandemic. The role of the PGTF in supporting economic and technical cooperation among developing countries could contribute to a resilient recovery from the humanitarian, social and economic fallout of this global crisis.

4. 2020 also marks 75 years since the creation of the United Nations and ten years remaining to realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The PGTF would not have been effective on the ground without the instrumental role that the United Nations System plays. This includes the management of funds by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the implementing channels through the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]. As my predecessors, Guyana is proud of the achievements made so far by the PGTF, as an instrument for promoting South-South Cooperation and South-South solidarity.

5. This Committee of Experts and the PGTF play a significant role in supporting the development demands and needs of our members. This role must be highlighted as a way to increase support for the Trust Fund. We must, therefore, recall the recommendation by the Committee in 2017, to hold briefings on the features and performance of PGTF for the G-77 and China delegates to the Second and Fifth Committees of the UN General Assembly. This will help to increase awareness in identifying sources of funding within the United Nations system. These efforts should be promoted also in the work of the different G-77 Chapters, as well as at the upcoming G-77 Ministerial Meeting. As my predecessors, I stand ready to support the Committee in such an endeavour, particularly within the context of the upcoming annual UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities and the expansion of PGTF resources in accordance with the relevant mandates of the South Summits and Ministerial Meetings.

6. Let me express, finally, our deep gratitude to the Executive Secretariat of the Group of 77 for supporting the work of the Committee of Experts over the years. We are also grateful to UNDP and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, for their continuing support to the work of the PGTF.

7. I thank you.