Madam President,

1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

2. At the outset, the Group congratulates you and other members of the Bureau for your able leadership of the work of the Executive Board. The Group thanks to the UNDP Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner, for his comprehensive statement delivered in this session. We hope to continue working to make international cooperation an effective tool to achieve sustainable development.

3. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is one of the most relevant issues for developing countries and the Group reiterates the importance it accords to the core development mandate of the UNDP in supporting national efforts in sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs, in line with countries' national need and priorities.

4. We reiterate our overarching common goal to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, recognized as the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, while making linkages with the cross-cutting nature of all the SDG's. To do so and truly leave no one behind, poverty eradication needs to be an integral objective of all policies and be addressed as a multidimensional phenomenon.

Madam President,

5. The COVID-19 pandemic has showed the importance of international cooperation and multilateralism and need for the international community to work together to ensure recovery. It has already exacerbated existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, with its disproportionate impacts on the poor and vulnerable and it will undoubtedly reverse the development gains achieved over the past decades. In this regard, the Group underscores UNDP's flexibility - as part of the system-wide response - in assisting developing countries to deal with the human aspects of the response, and to recover from the pandemic in a more resilient way.

6. The United Nations development system has a crucial role to play helping countries build back better and overcome socioeconomic challenges the pandemic has worsened. In this context, the Board's role is to ensure the organizations were equipped with guidance and tools to address those challenges.

7. The Group is of the view that the new UNDP strategic plan, 2022-2025 should build on the lessons learnt during the implementation of the current strategic plan, as well as in addressing the current COVID-19 impacts, with programming that reflected COVID-19, the 2020 quadrennial review, poverty, and inequality, including through South-South cooperation. The new plan should refine the UNDP role in a renewed multilateralism, recognizing national ownership, the UNDP integrator role, and normative and operational responsibilities, underpinned by strong oversight, accountability, and transparency. It should represent the views of the whole membership, and to reflect particularly the development needs and concerns of developing countries.

8. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the global context for sustainable development has fundamentally changed. The pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to the nations and peoples of the Global South. They need more international support and solidarity than ever before to effectively respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

9. In this vein, we reaffirm that economies of the South and South-South cooperation are nowadays major actors and drivers of global economic growth and international cooperation for sustainable development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Given the important role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, as complement to North-South Cooperation, the Group is of the view that the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, as the global and the UN system-wide coordinator for South-South Cooperation, should be endowed with the necessary support and enhanced capacities in order to allow it to perform effectively its normative and coordination functions, and to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

10. The Group would like to take this opportunity to welcome the successful conclusion of the 20th session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation held this last week, which is the first session after the adoption of the landmark outcome document of BAPA+40. In this regard, we commend the UN Office for South-South Cooperation for achieving a satisfactory conclusion of the session.

Madam President,

11. Addressing climate change remains a crucial challenge for many developing countries and further support to developing countries on climate change in a more comprehensive manner in areas such as air quality protection and renewable energy is required.

12. The Group would like to stress the importance of the adaptation efforts of the UNDP in order to respond in a flexible manner to the development challenges of developing countries while taking into account the lessons learned from the implementation of the current Strategic Plan and the Objectives of the 2030 Agenda.

13. On funding, the Group reiterates the importance of meeting ODA commitments, which will remain crucial for the SDGs. Support to the domestic mobilization of resources, when requested by programme countries, must be seen as additional to, not a replacement for, the efforts requested by the QCPR to ensure adequate quantity and quality of funding for the UNDP itself. Also, it is critical that UNDP and other entities be given the ability to respond to the rapidly changing development conditions, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

14. The imbalance between the core and non-core resources of the Organization continues to be a matter of concern at a time when the challenges for development are increasing. The Group emphasizes the need to increase ODA allocations to developing countries, by meeting ODA commitments. We stress the importance of the predictability and availability of regular resources to allow UNDP to fulfill its mandate in an efficient manner and independent manner.

15. Finally, the Group looks forward to a constructive discussion during this session of the Executive Board and we look forward to strengthening our close cooperation with UNDP with the aim of achieving long-term development.

I thank you, Madam President.