STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO CUESTA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UN, AT THE JOINT BRIEFING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ECOSOC AND PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 19 January 2023)
President of the General Assembly,
Madam President of ECOSOC,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The G77 and China welcomes the convening of this briefing, which contributes to a closer and stronger coordination between the General Assembly and the ECOSOC. As it is well known, these are the two main bodies of the UN entrusted by the Charter to promote the international cooperation in the economic and social fields, amongst others. Given the relevance of the bodies that you preside, this mutual engagement is highly valued, especially at this very difficult juncture where we need to address critical challenges for the humanity.
The most recent data available concerning the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals reveals that we are currently facing a major setback. The pandemic has reversed more than four years on poverty eradication all over the world. Some conservative estimations point out that 1 in 10 people worldwide suffers from hunger. Humanitarian needs have increased which undermined sustainable development in all its dimensions. The healthcare systems have collapsed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting as well the progress achieved to contain communicable diseases such as HIV-AIDS and Tuberculosis. The patterns related to the greenhouse gas emissions show that almost after a decade of reaching the Paris Agreement, efforts have been insufficient by far to contain the increase of the global temperature by 1.5-Celsius degrees, as well as for fulfilling the commitments of developed countries in regard to climate finance, transfer of technology and capacity building.
These pressing scenario requires the General Assembly and the ECOSOC to generate the necessary momentum to get back on track and boost the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In this spirit, the G77 and China highlights the following priorities:
First, the General Assembly and the ECOSOC must contribute both to reshape the international financial architecture. The ECOSOC, through its Financing for Development Forum, needs to send a clear message in this regard, mostly considering the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development to be held at the High level week of the 78th UNGA.
There is no tomorrow to start moving in this direction. Many developing countries are at risk of debt default. Access to concessional financing is considerably low to face the huge challenges related to climate change. The lags on social areas like health care and education could even increase and have negative consequences for future generations if the financial gap keeps increasing for countries in the Global South.
Furthermore, it is instrumental to maintain a capable and efficient UN development system to achieve the SDGs and prevent future crises before they occur. In this regard, we express our deep concern regarding the sharp decrease in funds allocated for development and reiterate the importance of increasing and protecting core financing as a vital part of the UNDS' funding and financing approach. Enhanced partnerships with IFIs should also strengthen cooperation between those institutions and UNDS for better coordination and allocation of resources.
Being aware of this worrying reality, the Secretary General has reiterated the urgent need to reform the global financial system, to establish criteria going beyond GDP to access finance and to push for an SDG stimulus if we want to avoid a crisis of unimagined consequences.
Second, the ECOSOC must profit from its Development Cooperation Forum to call for strengthened mechanisms to support the SDG implementation. This forum needs to deliberate on the importance of fulfilling the global targets for resource mobilization to avoid greater costs in the future. While acknowledging that the North-South cooperation is fundamental to reduce the burden imposed on the developing countries, the Group is committed to continue its efforts to solidify the South-South cooperation, especially in what pertains to science, technology and innovation, with the aim to become increasingly independent.
The General Assembly has also an important role in this regard, considering its convening power and the different deliberative processes that will take place during this 77th session. In particular, the discussions related to the Our Common Agenda report must emphasize on the need for a stronger and non-profit based cooperation among nations.
Third, the General Assembly and the ECOSOC are compelled to generate the necessary engagement to obtain successful outcomes in major conferences and high-level meetings scheduled in the coming months. Of particular interest for the G77 and China is 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", the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework and the SDG Summit.
We emphasize that the High-level Political Forum of the ECOSOC needs to be an important platform to hold constructive discussions and set a political commitment to obtain ambitious results in the Summits and Conferences that will take place in the UN, and in particular in the General Assembly in the second part of the year.
As a final note, let me assure you the commitment of the Group of 77 and China to contribute to your endeavors of leading the General Assembly and the ECOSOC towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
I thank you.