STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF THE 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO CUESTA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE BRIEFING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE 77TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON HIS PRIORITIES FOR 2023 (New York, 17 January 2023)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of the 77 and China.
1. The Group appreciates the convening of this timely meeting to hear a briefing on the priorities of the President of the 77th General Assembly, and reassures its readiness to engage constructively in the remaining part of this session of the General Assembly.
2. These are challenging times, particularly for developing countries, who have been disproportionately affected from the persisting negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, conflicts, unilateral coercive measures and the current multiple crises, including the economic and financial crisis, increased pressure on food, energy, displacement of people, fragile global economic outlook, markets volatility, inflation, monetary tightening, growing debt distress, the ongoing and increased adverse impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
3. These interlocking crises have created additional impediments for the eradication of poverty, achieving food security and gender equality, promoting infrastructure connectivity, ensuring access to vaccines, energy, quality education and healthcare, access to concessional financing, developing the digital economy and other development needs.
4. Immediate and long-term actions are urgently required to enable developing countries to recover from the current multiple crises and achieve the SDGs in the remaining decade of action in order to leave no one and no country behind.
5. These required immediate and long-term actions includes:
First, the follow-up to the UN Secretary-General's proposal for an "SDG Stimulus" for the most distressed and vulnerable countries and an early and sizeable recapitalization of the Multilateral Development Banks to meet the significant financial needs of the developing countries.
Second, the provision of urgent technical and financial support to the developing countries by developed countries and multilateral development banks, an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA), concessional finance, voluntary rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to the developing countries and a new allocation of SDRs.
Third, support the work of the FAO, the IFAD and the WFP including the provision of emergency food supplies, to over 250 million people in food distress.
Fourth, ensure the universal availability of Covid-19 therapeutics, diagnostics and other health tools, vaccines and treatments and build strong and resilient health systems with a view to strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness and response and contributing to achieving quality universal health coverage.
Fifth, the climate change agenda must be fully and faithfully implemented in accordance with the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The Group urges the full implementation of the decisions adopted during the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, including the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan. The Group also looks forward to the early operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund and its adequate resourcing.
Sixth, urgent promotion of technology transfer and capacity building as well as technological and scientific cooperation from developed countries to developing countries in order to foster sustainable development in its three dimensions and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Seventh, it is essential to reform international financial architecture to broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making. This implies further governance reform in IFIs, especially the IMF and the World Bank, to increase the voice of developing countries; improved global sovereign debt architecture with the meaningful participation of developing countries; criteria beyond the GDP for determining the eligibility to access concessional finance; inclusive and effective platforms to design and discuss international tax rules and norms at the UN and rationalizing the role of credit rating agencies, for mentioning a few.
Eight, the international trading system should be further reformed. We need to ensure preferential trade access for developing countries and promote export led growth as an effective way to achieve the SDGs.
Ninth, urgently mobilize at least $1 trillion annually for investment in sustainable infrastructure in developing countries to boost the achievement of the SDGs in the remaining decade of action.
6. The year 2023 contains a number of crucial milestones and events for the sustainable development agenda, the second part of the 5th LDC Conference, the United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028; the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework; the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, which will be held back-to-back with the SDG Summit, the COP 28 and other high levels meetings. The Group is committed to engaging constructively and actively in all these processes.
7. Nevertheless, the Group reemphasizes the crucial need to strengthen efforts towards ensuring the implementation, in full and on time, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
8. This objective should continue to be kept in mind as a priority of the work of the General Assembly in the remaining part of its 77th session, and also in all intergovernmental negotiation processes that will take place in that context.
9. The Group of the 77 and China stands ready to contribute to that endeavor.
I thank you.