STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO CUESTA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE SPECIAL HIGH-LEVEL EVENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ECOSOC ON "THE DOHA PROGRAMME OF ACTION AS AN ACCELERATOR OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA" (New York, 8 February 2023)
It is my honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
At the outset, the Group would like to thank the President of the seventy-seventh session of the General Assembly and the President of ECOSOC for convening this Special High-Level Event on the theme "The Doha Programme of Action as an accelerator of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda".
We meet today at an extremely critical juncture, where developing countries face multiples challenges, in particular but not exclusively, struggling with the economic and social recovery from the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the huge financial and debt distress, the rise of food prices, the escalating climate emergency and an unbalanced economic order that perpetuate inequalities and poverty.
In this context, and after the conclusion of the Istanbul Programme of Action, it is unacceptable that the least developed countries, which are among the most vulnerable, remain with the most limited productive capacity, insufficient fiscal space, large macroeconomic imbalances, the risk of debt fall out and the least access to technologies that also limit their development in all areas. Half of the least developed countries experienced a continuous food emergency for at least 13 consecutive years of the 42-year period (1981-2022), which also has severe negative impacts on the wellbeing of their populations.
In addition, it is unconscionable that although LDCs account for less than 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Over the last 50 years, 69 percent of worldwide deaths caused by climate-related disasters occurred in LDCs. This situation cannot continue. We are facing a crisis of inequality where 46 countries comprising 14 percent of the world population are at risk of being left behind while over the last 10 years, the richest 1% of humanity has captured more than half of all new global wealth.
The implementation of the Doha Programme of Action is an important step in the right direction. However, its timeframe coincides with the last years of action to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs which will require a revamped global partnership, solidarity and adequate means of implementation.
As we have expressed on several occasions, as a first step, the access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments must not be a challenge. We must provide adequate and timely access to safe, quality, effective and affordable vaccines for LDCs.
Second, we must address the unsustainable debt burdens in many LDCs and take urgent and necessary measures to reduce the situation of indebtedness if we want them back on track. Immediate actions are needed such as debt relief, debt restructuring and the rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and a new allocation of SDRs.
Third, there is an imperative need for developed countries to meet their ODA commitments. The historical commitment of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to the least developed countries must be fulfilled.
Fourth, we need to scale-up technology transfer and capacity building as well as technological and scientific cooperation from developed countries to LDCs in order to foster sustainable development in its three dimensions and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
We need to strengthen their participation in the global decision-making processes in the economic, social, and environmental fields and address structural problems compounded by the current unfair economic order.
While acknowledging that more technical and financial support is needed, we underscore that the ownership, leadership and primary responsibility for development in least developed countries rests with the least developed countries themselves.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates its solidarity with the Least Developed Countries and will support the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action within the framework of South-South Cooperation, which is not a substitute for but a complement to the North-South Cooperation. The Group would like to reiterate its gratitude to the Government of the State of Qatar for its extraordinary support in preparation of the LDC5. We look forward to the second part of the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs which will be held in Doha, Qatar, in less than a month from 5-9 March.
I thank you for your attention.