STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UN, AT THE 2022 ECOSOC PARTNERSHIP FORUM ON "BUILDING BACK BETTER FROM THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) WHILE ADVANCING THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT" (New York, 2 February 2022)
I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
We welcome the convening of the partnership forum at this critical junction, as countries around the world continue to grapple with the triple crises of recovering from the pandemic, achieving the SDGs during the remaining decade of action, and tackling climate change.
The G77 and China believes that all efforts to build forward better towards a recovery guided by the 2030 agenda must first and foremost recognize that developing countries have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, facing significant challenges in accessing vaccines & healthcare equipment, insuring food security, adapting education systems, grappling with enhanced poverty, and encountering major fiscal space constraints, including rising inflation and increasingly unsustainable debt burdens.
As a first step towards an inclusive and sustainable recovery, we must ensure the universal and equitable access to not only COVID-19 vaccines, but also to related health materials, equipment and technologies, including through the consideration of waivers of restrictive intellectual property provisions, technology transfer and scaling up of local and regional manufacturing capacities in developing countries.
Second, we must ensure that developing countries have the necessary fiscal space for recovery. Pre-pandemic, the SDG financing gap was $2.5 trillion, and some estimates posit that it could increase by a further $1.7 trillion . Bridging this gap is essential to move towards recovery.
This would require, amongst other measures, debt treatment, development of new and innovative financing mechanisms for climate change, fulfillment of ODA commitments, access to concessional finance by all developing countries in need, as well as larger FDI. In this regard, it is essential to channel unutilized quotas of existing and newly allocated SDRs from advanced economies to the developing countries most in need of liquidity.
Third, we must work towards universal access to social protection during 2022. Such measures were critical in providing a cushion to the needy and vulnerable from the worst effects of the pandemic.
Fourth, investment in quality and resilient infrastructure must be scaled up. Such investments have the potential to combat climate change, create decent employment, stimulate growth, reduce risks, and build resilience to future crises.
Fifth, with regards to climate change, both existing commitments and the enhanced commitments pledged at COP 26 must fulfill the need to mobilize climate finance from all sources to reach the level needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular the commitment of developed countries to fully deliver $100 billion annually in climate financing.
Sixth, the specific challenges faced by LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and Middle-Income Countries must be recognized and accorded high priority in order to achieve the 2030 agenda.
Seventh, the pandemic laid bare the inequalities pervasive in the digital sphere. We must ensure that developing countries have meaningful and affordable access to the Internet and ICT products especially in education.
Lastly, we must address the root causes of the structural economic and social inequalities among nations, including in the areas of trade, investment, tax, and technology.
The G77 and China fully supports revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development in line with SDG 17 and must consider various national realities, capacities, and levels of development, in accordance with and respecting national plans and priorities.
We reaffirm that South-South Cooperation is a strong, genuine, broad-based partnership grounded in the principle of solidarity and mutual respect and is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South Cooperation.
We encourage ECOSOC, as the main coordinating organ of the UN, to ensure a coherent, transparent, and consultative approach to all partnership initiatives while ensuring equitable representation from the South.
I thank you.