STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE, PERMANENT MISSION OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 19: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 75TH SESSION (New York, 12 October 2020)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to convey the Group's appreciation to the Secretariat for the reports before us under this agenda item.
3. The Group of 77 and China reaffirms our unwavering commitment to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve sustainable development, in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner.
4. As such, the Group reaffirms the principles of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We further reiterate that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be guided by these principles, in accordance with paragraph 74 of the 2030 Agenda.
5. The year 2020 represents significant milestones in our development history. It marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, the start of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development, and the first time since the formation of the UN that a single phenomenon has upended life, livelihoods and societies. Decades of development gains have been reversed, economic growth slowed, poverty and inequality intensified, and progress towards the attainment of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals has been derailed.
6. The Group acknowledges that amidst the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are presented with a unique opportunity to recommit to our collective ideals and to reaffirm the urgent need to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in particular the eradication of poverty, which is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. In line with same, the Group welcomed 2020 SDG Moment which placed emphasis on poverty, as one of its main focused areas.
7. Allow me to highlight the views of the Group on the various issues under this important agenda item.
8. The Group acknowledges that the implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and attaining "the future we want" are imperative to the full realization of sustainable development. Though the 2030 Agenda is our primary focus, we must work to ensure that efforts to implement the mandates of pre-existing sustainable development commitments are adequately supported, in the context of their contribution to the overall achievement of sustainable development.
9. We underscore that SIDS remain a special case with regards to sustainable development, owing to their unique and particular vulnerabilities, which have now been exacerbated by the effects of the COIVD-19 pandemic. The Group reiterates the urgent need for enhanced support, tailored to meet their specific needs with respect to the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
10. The Group notes the importance of the marine ecosystems and the ocean to the economic, social and environmental development of many of our Member States. Thus, we recognize the importance of protecting and preserving the Caribbean Sea as a special area within the context of sustainable development.
11. On the issue of Disaster Risk Reduction, the Group recalls the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, reaffirming that disaster-prone developing countries, particularly LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and African countries, as well as MICs facing specific challenges, need particular attention considering their higher vulnerability and risk levels.
12. Regarding Climate Change, the stark reality is that we have perilously veered off course from the target of limiting global warming to below 1.5oC. The Group sounds a clarion call for much more ambitious climate action in order to get us back on track, in line with the principles, targets and commitments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.
13. The Group firmly believes that land restoration and the achievement of land degradation neutrality are essential steps in our path to the SDGs and building back better.
14. The Group welcomed the convening of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity during the high level week and reaffirms our collective commitment to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, for the benefit of present and future generations. We stand ready to work for a successful fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Kunming, China in 2021.
15. Moreover, the Group acknowledges the relationship between the Earth and its ecosystems, and advocates for the promotion of a holistic approach to achieve sustainable development in harmony with nature, respecting its integrity as a whole.
16. We also reiterate that ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy remains critical for the advancement of new economic opportunities, creating sustainable and inclusive communities. Therefore, we anticipate the convening of the high-level dialogue in 2021 to promote the implementation of SDG 7 of the 2030 Agenda and its targets, in support of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014 - 2024).
17. Sand and dust storms continue to pose significant transboundary hazards which threaten to undermine the achievement of the SDGs and associated targets. In this regard, the Group calls for accelerated action, with a view to enhancing partnerships and cooperation to better support countries to address the challenges posed by these phenomena.
18. The Group urges all financial institutions, and relevant stakeholders to continue their support for Lebanon, technically and financially, as they contend with the consequences of the oil slick and the recent tragic explosion.
19. In conclusion, the Group intends to engage constructively with our partners to ensure that we pursue our common aim of achieving sustainable development for all. We look forward to adopting all resolutions under this agenda item by consensus.
I thank you.