STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR CAROLYN RODRIGUES-BIRKETT, PERMANENT MISSION OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE JOINT MEETING OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT ITS 75TH SESSION AND THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (New York, 14 October 2020)
Your Excellency Ambassador Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Your Excellency Ambassador Amrit Rai,
Chairman of the Second Committee,
1. I speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to warmly congratulate you on convening this joint meeting. It is a proud reflection of our Group to see you serving in this capacity.
2. We commend you also on the selection of the theme "Developing sustainable infrastructure and utilizing science and technology in response to COVID-19." It reflects important aspects in our recovery and rebuilding efforts from this global pandemic.
3. We know the challenges of building sustainable infrastructure and of mobilizing science and technology in the response to COVID-19. We were already faced with such challenges to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda before this pandemic struck.
4. As such, our countries face an uphill battle in fighting the pandemic owing to a number of structural and developmental problems, including the lack of appropriate infrastructure and limited access to science and technology. Many of us are at a disadvantage in accessing medical supplies essential to combat this disease as we struggle to make use of digital technologies in order to bring health service, remote learning, social assistance and job opportunities to our peoples.
5. Investments in these areas are very important to our recovery efforts, as is a level playing field in international trade and development cooperation. Consequently, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has highlighted the potential for sustainable infrastructure and science and technology in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and more importantly, as key means of implementation of the Agenda, in an integrated manner.
6. The development of sustainable infrastructure and the advancement of science and technology have tremendous potential for eradicating poverty, ensuring education, improving health systems, keeping business continuity and promoting socio-economic development. These serve as critical enablers of economic development and investment, with significant benefits for employment and social welfare. They are vital to our full participation in the global value chains and trade.
7. However, this potential cannot be realized as some countries, particularly developing countries, are lagging behind in building in sustainable infrastructure and there remains a great knowledge gap in science and technology between developed and developing countries. Therefore, it is fundamental that developed countries and relevant stakeholders provide enhanced and coordinated support to developing countries, in our efforts to build sustainable infrastructure and to mobilize science and technology to fight the pandemic and accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
8. The Group cannot emphasize enough the importance of international cooperation and solidarity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that a truly transformative, inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 is pursued, with a pledge for people, planet and prosperity; one that addresses existing challenges, reduces exposure to future crises and accelerates action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. We must ensure that the world emerges stronger from this crisis. We must also embrace the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, abide by international norms and together, rebuild trust in the multilateral system, with the United Nations at the center.
9. This pandemic can be envisioned as an opportunity to re-align our development efforts and further reaffirm our commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It must also allow us to step up investment in sustainable infrastructure and to share more evenly the benefits of science and technology, in order to build back better and prepare ourselves to prevent and respond to possible future disruptive crises, such as the pandemic we face now.
I thank you