STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. DALIA TORRES SEARA, THIRD SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE 2023 ECOSOC PARTNERSHIP FORUM ON "ACCELERATING THE RECOVERY FROM THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) AND THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT ALL LEVELS" (New York, 31 January 2023)
Madam President of ECOSOC,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
The Group welcomes the convening of the Partnership Forum at this critical juncture where the world is simultaneously confronted with multiples crisis and where unequal access to vaccines, the digital gap, foreign debt burden, the structural reform of the international financial architecture, development financing flows, food insecurity, trade restrictive measures, climate financing and capacity building are not yet being fully addressed.
Faced with the negative socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, developing countries have struggled to provide adequate support to their economies, to invest in strengthening their healthcare systems and to pay their foreign debt. Although the countries of the South have seen their foreign debt almost double in recent years, they have also been the ones that had to pay approximately 379 billion dollars from their reserves to defend their currencies in 2022 -almost twice as much as the amount of new Special Drawing Rights allocated to them by the International Monetary Fund.
It is already evident that we are not on the right track to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals.
As a first step to accelerate an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels, we must 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 achieving universal health coverage.
Second, it is crucial to follow-up on the UN Secretary-General's proposal for an "SDG Stimulus" to boost sustainable development for developing countries.
Third, we must address the immediate, medium and longer-term financing challenges that developing countries face. It is imperative an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA), concessional finance; the voluntary rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to the developing countries and a new allocation of SDRs as well as a more comprehensive, inclusive and effective debt solution framework.
Fourth, we cannot postpone anymore the reform of international financial architecture. We need to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making.
Fifth, in order to foster sustainable development in its three dimensions and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda is urgent the promotion of technology transfer and capacity building as well as technological and scientific cooperation from developed countries to developing countries.
These can be urgent actions but we also need in depth reforms in the trade system to promote economic growth; invest in sustainable infrastructure; fight climate change and its negative effects and moderate food prices by enlarging food production to build a global system in which no country is left behind.
In order to get back on the right track, it is crucial a robust and revitalized global partnership for sustainable development in line with SDG 17, in correspondence with national plans and priorities and that takes into account all national circumstances and different levels of development.
The UN development system has a critical role to play in supporting countries to overcome their development challenges. We therefore continue to impress upon the need to have a UN development system that is adequately and sufficiently funded with quality and predictable funds, particularly core funding. We should examine how partnerships can support this aim taking into account that they are a critical part of financing the SDGs and the recovery process from COVID-19 pandemic.
The Group recognizes the role of ECOSOC in fostering international cooperation for development and encourages the Council to boost engagement for SDG implementation. A renewed commitment to international solidarity and cooperation, along with better coordinated efforts, are required if we want to meet our goals by 2030.
I thank you.