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 FIRST REGULAR SESSION 2023 OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS-UNDP SEGMENT: INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR (New York, 1 February 2023)
Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Board, The UNDP Administrator,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G77 and China. At the outset, please allow me to warmly congratulate you Mr. President on your election, as well as the 4 Vice-presidents. We are confident that under your able leadership, the Board will succeed in its work for the year 2023.
Our world today is facing the persistence of multiple crises that continue to threaten development gains. While many developing countries are still struggling with economic recovery and the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, their efforts have been adversely impacted by geopolitical tensions, the increased pressure on food, the economic and financial crisis, markets volatility, inflation, monetary tightening, growing debt distress, displacement of people, unilateral coercive measures and the ongoing adverse impacts of climate change which undermines their ability to move forward with the recovery process and to overcome all current economic and social challenges.
If the recent years have meant a setback in our path towards the SDGs, the current prospects are not encouraging at all. GDP per capita growth in developing countries in 2022 and 2023 is estimated to be below the average growth before the pandemic. Research by the United Nations Development Programme suggests that every additional 1 per cent rise in soaring food and energy prices could propel 71 million additional people to the ranks of the poor. If the current trend continues and GDP per capita growth in developing countries remains well below pre-pandemic rates, 574 million people, nearly 7 per cent of the world's population, will still be living on less than $2.15 a day in 2030.
We have arrived at a particularly critical juncture where concrete actions are needed if we want to achieve the Goals we have agreed on in 2015. In this context the UNDP should play an active role to support the national efforts of the developing countries in responding to these challenges. In this regard, the Group would like to highlight the following priorities to accelerate the SDG´s implementation:
First, access to Covid-19 vaccines should not be a challenge anymore. The Group appreciates the role played by UNDP in the global effort to sustain health systems and encourages the entity to continue working in that direction. The availability of Covid-19 therapeutics, diagnostics and other health tools, vaccines and treatments should be universal. Open market must not become an argument to perpetuate inequality and discrimination.
Second, we need to bridge the financial gap to boost the economic recovery in developing countries. We need an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA), concessional finance and a more comprehensive, inclusive and effective debt solution framework.
Third, it is essential to reform international financial architecture to ensure the meaningful participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making. The Group appreciates the support of UNDP on this call which has been made also by the Secretary General of the UN.
Fourth, 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 full implementation of the decisions adopted during the COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, including the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan and the early operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund and its adequate resourcing is crucial.
Fifth, we need to mobilize adequate investment in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, promote technology transfer and capacity building, build stable and sustainable supply chains and promote sustainable food production systems to foster sustainable development. There must be diversification of global supply chains and more efforts to link developing countries to these value chains.
The Group is pleased to see that UNDP continues to prioritize the eradication of poverty and promotion of investments in the SDGs. However, the drop in core funding is concerning and an attempt against its work. Developing countries face a financing gap estimated at $4.2 trillion per year to achieve the SDGs. If this trend is not reversed, we are far away from succeeding in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The Group emphasizes that a renewed solidarity and global coordinated efforts are needed to ensure real progress towards the SDGs. Cutting funding for development is the opposite of what the world needs today. This can have irreversible effects on the well-being of people in the developing world and their future generations.
The Group, therefore, reiterates the importance of ensuring the predictability and availability of core resources to allow UNDP to fulfill its mandate in an efficient and independent manner.
Finally, I would like to reiterate the support of the Group of 77 and China to your efforts and the Group looks forward to a constructive discussion during this session of the Executive Board.
I thank you.