STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. ALY DIANE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNITED NATIONS DAY FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION (New York, 10 September 2021)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the occasion of the United Nations International Day for South-South Cooperation, where we will reflect on "South-South cooperation: solidarity in support of a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future".
2. We are meeting at a time of unprecedented global crisis. The impacts of the COVID19 pandemic, threaten to derail and reverse the gains made so far in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
3. Developing countries are facing multiple development challenges including frail health systems, increased poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, insufficient financing and high debt levels, inadequate market access for goods and services, unstable global supply chains, the expanding digital divide, restrictions in accessing needed pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and reductions in revenue from tourism, remittances and exports, among others.
4. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that multilateral cooperation is the key to overcoming global challenges. In this context, developing countries have continued to work together in solidarity to address the pandemic and to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This was clearly underlined by our Group at the last Ministerial Meeting held in November 2020, which stressed the need to address the COVID-19 pandemic through a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral and international cooperation among States, peoples and generations that enhances the ability and resolve of States and other relevant stakeholders to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
5. The Group reiterates that poverty eradication in all its forms and dimensions as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Going forward, if we are to stay on track to achieve the SDGs and simultaneously recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic, it is imperative that we strengthen the means of implementation for developing countries, particularly in the areas of financing, technology, and capacity building and create an enabling global environment for development.
6. At the last Ministerial Meeting, the Group stressed the critical importance of multilateral and international cooperation, including South-South cooperation, as a relevant tool to tackle humanity's challenges and recommitted to the full embrace and strengthening of the multilateral system, particularly of the UN system.
7. In June this year, the High-level Committee (HLC) on South-South cooperation convened and stressed once again the importance of South-South cooperation, particularly in light of the global pandemic. It reiterated its commitment to the implementation of BAPA+40 outcome document and stressed the imperative that the United Nations Development System contributes actively and tangibly to the agenda and purposes of South -South Cooperation, particularly in the recovery phase of COVID-19 pandemic, at the request and with the ownership and leadership of the developing countries.
8. The Group reaffirms its view of South-South Cooperation as a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
9. The principles of South-South Cooperation are equally important including respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
10. The Group would like to congratulate the UN Office for South-South Cooperation for truly acting as the facilitator and catalyst for South-South and triangular cooperation, globally and within the UN. The recently formulated UN system-wide strategy for South-South and triangular cooperation is testament to UNOSSC's commitment to bring coherence in the UN systems support to Member States.
11. On this UN Day for South-South cooperation, the Group reiterates its commitment to South-South cooperation as a key modality to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
12. Finally, the Group would like to acknowledge the work and able leadership of Mr. Adel Abdellatif, Director, Ad Interim, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, for his commitment to championing a more vibrant South-South agenda both here at the United Nations and around the world and channeling new opportunities for South-South cooperation.