STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MUHAMMAD IMRAN KHAN, COUNSELOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 21: GROUPS OF COUNTRIES IN SPECIAL SITUATIONS: (A) FOLLOW-UP TO THE FIFTH UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; (B) FOLLOW-UP TO THE SECOND UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 13 October 2022)
I have the honour to deliver the statement on behalf of the G77 and China
We have arrived at the end of Istanbul Programme of Action. However, it is alarming that, at the end, only 4 countries graduated from the list of LDCs.
46 LDC nations, comprising 14% of the global population, are the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries.
They are the victims of global inequality: in access to vaccines, in access to finance. Only 27% of the LDCs population is online.
Recent geo-political conflicts and tensions have also disproportionately impacted the Global South and particularly the countries in special situation.
Land Locked Developing Countries also face particular set of challenges.
Lack of territorial access to the sea, aggravated by remoteness from world markets and high transit costs and risks, continues to pose serious constraints on the overall growth and socioeconomic development of landlocked developing countries.
Number of deaths due to COVID-19 in landlocked developing countries tripled between April 2021 and April 2022, to 157,000 deaths, and only 26 per cent of the population was fully vaccinated at the end of April 2022 compared with 59 per cent worldwide.
Adverse global economic conditions, including stalled growth, surging inflation, energy crisis, high sovereign debt levels, volatile commodity prices, rising food prices and dysfunctions in global food security, skyrocketing shipping costs, supply chain and production disruptions and elevated shipping and trade costs, are constraining LLDCs to recover from the socioeconomic impacts of COVID19 pandemic
In order to fulfill our collective commitment to 'leave no one behind', we must start with the farthest behind.
The adoption of the Doha Programme of Action was an important step in addressing the problems of the poorest. The Programme of Action sets an ambitious target to enable 15 additional LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation by 2031. This will not be possible without revived global partnership.
We look forward to the second part of the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs to be held in Doha, Qatar from 5-9 March 2023 at the Heads of State and Government level. Since the Programme of Action is already adopted, the Doha Conference, we expect the Conference to focus on building partnerships and political momentum in support of the implementation of the DPoA in a timely manner.
Similarly, accelerated implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action would support the achievement of its objectives in the remaining few years. We also need to work on the preparatory process of the Third United Nations Conference on LLDCs to be held in 2024.
At the implementation phase of both the Programmes of Action, we need to focus on key priority issues faced by countries in special situation:
First, we must redress the Covid-19 vaccine inequality by ensuring adequate and timely access to quality, safe and effective vaccines for all, including through scaling up of local and regional production capacities.
Second, the historical commitment of developed countries to provide 0.7% of GNI as ODA, and 0.15% to 0.25% to the LDCs, must be fulfilled.
Third, five LDCs are in debt distress, while 22 are at high risk. Similarly, 34.3% of landlocked countries are now assessed to be at high risk or in distress. They should be offered quick break through sound debt management, debt swaps, and debt buybacks.
Fourth, we must ensure the normal functioning of open markets, global supply chain connectivity and cross-border travel for essential purposes.
Fifth, the reallocation of $250 billion unutilized Special Drawing Rights can provide a speedy avenue to provide additional liquidity to countries in distress.
Sixth, the existential threat posed by climate change must be addressed resolutely in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.
The developed countries must fulfill their pledge to provide $100 billion plus in annual climate finance, striving to achieve a better balance between mitigation and adaptation. A loss and damage financial facility should be created to compensate for the impacts of climate change. And, the industrial countries should lead the efforts to reduce global GHG emissions, and enhance net zero well before 2050.
I thank you