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 ITEMS 19 AND 23: NEW URBAN AGENDA; OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT: (A) OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM; AND (B) SOUTH - SOUTH COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 14 October 2022)
I have the honor to deliver the statement on agenda item 19, 23 and its sub-items on behalf of the G77 and China.
Allow me to begin by appreciating presentation of reports of the Secretary General. These will enrich our deliberations on the relevant issues under consideration.
The Group reiterates its support for the New Urban Agenda. 60% of the world's population lives in urban areas. While these areas occupy only close to 2% of the global land, they are responsible for the consumption of nearly 60% of global energy, generating 70% of greenhouse gases and 70% of global waste.
The Group recognizes that appropriate and realistic urban policies, regulations, planning, and design are steps forward to improve resource utilization and foster economic and sustainable development.
The Group also reiterates its resolve toward making urban and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
However, multiple global crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing global geopolitical tensions, and the depression of global economic conditions, have affected disproportionally developing countries, resulting in further constraints on the fiscal space to satisfy commitments to move forward the New Urban Agenda.
Moreover, an increase in the frequency of severe climate change events and the augmented devastation caused by climate change-related flooding and other disasters, add complexity to the significant challenges associated with the achievement of SDG 11.
We take this opportunity to highlight the urgent need to mobilize concessional and grant finance and increase funding for climate action, especially for adaptation. We also call for an independent loss and damage finance facility to be stablished at CoP-27.
Our world continues the downward spiral emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impacts, which are now being further exacerbated by conflicts and geo-political tensions.
Our Development Agenda is under serious threat, we need as a matter of urgency to work on enhancing multilateralism and reaffirming through our actions our commitments in the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first.
Unfortunately, development activities get side-lined and do not receive the same attention and resources from the international community as other matters, such as humanitarian issues.
In this regard, we commend the Secretary-General for his persistence on keeping the focus on development issues and working assiduously on improving the development sphere of the UN system.
As programme countries, we greatly appreciate the progress made thus far in the repositioned development system and the RC system.
We also emphasize that the UN development system should support programme countries in the preparation of pipeline of bankable projects, increase in production capacities, industrialization, and access to concessional finance.
The UN development system should also help developing countries in developing capacity of the developing countries to prepare bankable projects so that large sums of private money could also be mobilized for the achievement of sustainable development.
However, we remain concerned about the inadequate funding of the RC system and the development activities as a whole.
We, therefore, continue our call for a more adequate, predictable, and sustainable funding for the core United Nations operational activities for development as it is key to achieving the SDGs.
Noting the scarcity of funding we must ensure that the entities of the UN development system utilize their resources in a coordinated and efficient manner and in accordance with national priorities, plans and policies of programme countries.
During the heat of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic we saw an increase in South-South Cooperation, this is promising that in times of difficulty for all, south-south solidarity lives on.
We continue to maintain that South-South cooperation is a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation.
It should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
We also reaffirm the need to work towards an international development cooperation system that recognizes the multidimensional character of development.
The Group continues to stress the importance of the UN funds, programmes and specialised agencies to continue to take concrete measures to enhance support for South-South and triangular cooperation.
Furthermore, South-South Cooperation cannot be measured or assessed in the same way as ODA, as its value goes beyond direct and indirect costs. We therefore commend the approval of a conceptual framework by the United Nations Statistical Commission and look forward to the further development and implementation of the framework with UNCTAD as co-custodian.
The UN development system plays a critical role in our countries in support of our implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, and therefore we should continue taking concrete measures to enhance support for South-South and triangular cooperation.
Finally, Madam Chair, you can also count on the Group's commitment to engage constructively and contribute to the success of the work of the 2nd Committee.
I thank you.