Mr. Chair, Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

2. At the outset, allow me to extend our warmest congratulations to you, Mr. Chair, and the other members of the Bureau on your election. The Group of 77 and China assure you of our full support and cooperation during your tenure in this session of the Third Committee.

3. The Group thanks the Secretary-General for the submission of the reports under this agenda item, which will certainly help to enrich our discussions and work.

Mr. Chair,

4. The Group attaches great importance to the agenda item under consideration. We believe that this year's discussions on the topic should lay focus on the action-oriented strategies and approaches to address the different forms of inequalities in order to fully implement the objectives of the World Summit for Social Development as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

5. During the last session, a report was requested on the "Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly, with a particular focus on the goal of eradicating poverty in the world".

6. In the report submitted, the Secretary General has called for strengthening long-term social policies to enhance people's capacities for and resilience to future crises, as well as for preserving social spending to support national policies and strategies to fully implement the 2030 Agenda, leaving no one behind. The analysis contained in the report of the Secretary General provides us with an overview of the discussions held by the Commission for Social Development during its sixtieth session, and the need to address inequality to eradicate poverty and achieve the goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on trends in inequality within and among countries.

7. As stated by Secretary General in his report, "The steady progress of the past decades has been halted or reversed owing to the multifaceted and widespread impacts of conflicts, climate change and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which have also exacerbated inequalities. Rising food and fuel prices and slowing economic growth are worsening poverty and could have devastating impacts on a large segment of the world's population. If no effective actions are taken, these challenges could fuel societal polarization, thereby undermining social cohesion."

8. Therefore, the international community and multilateral institutions should revitalize global development cooperation and invest in inclusive and sustained growth, eradication of poverty and hunger, reducing inequalities and enhancing the well-being of all. We must enable the developing countries to eradicate the poverty and hunger and achieve the SDGs. The developing countries need financial support of at least $3.3 to $ 4.5 trillion per year to achieve SDGs within the given timeline. For this, resources must be mobilized from all possible sources: fulfillment of the 0.7 percent ODA target; redistribution of the $650 billion new SDRs; and concessional finance from the multilateral institutions and development banks. At the same time, there is a need to take coherent and coordinated actions and innovative measures to promote vaccine equity, build better health systems and improve early warning and monitoring systems for pandemic preparedness at the global, regional and national levels.

9. We are deeply concerned about the uneven progress achieved in fulfilling all of the interrelated commitments made at the World Summit for Social Development and by the lack of satisfactory progress of social development. Conflicts, slowing global economic growth, volatile financial markets, high rates of youth unemployment, global health threats, humanitarian emergencies, corruption, unilateralism, the challenges posed by climate change, imposition of coercive economic measures and other related challenges, increase the difficulty to advance and impede progress in the fulfillment of social objectives. It is crucial to meet these challenges in order to achieve and sustain progress in social development.

Mr. Chair,

10. The Group of 77 and China also reaffirms that international development cooperation, especially North-South cooperation, remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable development, and most importantly, in promoting the Programme of Action of the Copenhagen Summit. The international community and development partners have a pivotal role to play in collaborating with and supporting developing countries in implementing their social development agenda.

11. We also reaffirm our position that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation and reaffirm that South-South cooperation is a collective endeavor of developing countries.

Mr. Chair,

12. Turning to the International Year of the Family that was held in 1994, the strengthening of national institutions to formulate, implement and monitor family policies and respond to problems affecting families was one of the main objectives of the International Year of the Family, 1994. The Group invites Member States to invest in family-oriented policies and programmes, as important tools for, inter alia, fighting poverty, social exclusion and inequality, promoting work-family balance and the empowerment of women and girls and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity, to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Family-friendly activities should be promoted also at national and regional levels.

13. We continue to believe that we must prepare ourselves to respond better to the new realities of ageing populations, and to include the changing age structure of populations in our efforts to eradicate poverty. We recognize the essential contribution that older persons make to the functioning of societies and towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development if adequate guarantees are in place. In that regard, we stress the importance to enable the rapidly growing populations over 60 years between 2019-2030, to remain in good health and maintain their many vital contributions to the well-being of their families, communities and societies.

14. Further, the Group recognizes the valuable contribution of older persons to the development of our societies, and therefore calls for analysis and action to address protection gaps, and ensure the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for older persons, through mainstreaming the rights of older persons into sustainable development strategies, bearing in mind the crucial importance of intergenerational solidarity for social development.

15. The Group is of the view that disability issues must be further mainstreamed as an integral part of policies and programmes for inclusive development, while we are implementing the 2030 Agenda. The Group welcomes progress achieved in recent years, by governments and other stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the private sector, in mainstreaming disability in the implementation of their national development efforts. Disability should be a priority issue in international cooperation for inclusive development, in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. Chair,

16. As in previous sessions, the Group of 77 and China will submit under this agenda item three draft resolutions, the first on the World Summit for Social Development, the second on the follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, and the third on the International Year of the Family. The Group looks forward to valuable contributions and support of all Member States, with the aim of contributing to the achievement of our mutual goals in the field of social development.

I thank you.