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 7TH RETREAT OF THE GROUP OF FRIENDS OF MONTERREY (Mexico City, 10 March 2023)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today the world is facing multiple and unprecedented crises and developing countries are more than ever confronted with the challenge of responding to those emergencies in the short term but at the same time striving to forge the ground for their sustainable development, attract the much needed foreign investment and ensure the economic growth and wellbeing of their population making use of their limited availability of resources.
The rising climate emergency, the debt distress, an increasingly unbalanced international economic world order, the rise of food and energy prices, the technological gap and the persistence of the negative socioeconomic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are heavily impacting developing countries and exacerbating inequalities and poverty all over the Global South.
If this context, the lack of reasonable prospects and political will is of utmost concern.
As stated in the 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, a slowdown in global growth to 1.9 per cent is projected in 2023 and investment is expected to remain subdued and below pre-pandemic trends, with public investment in many countries constrained by elevated public debt.
The unbalances in the international financial system do not provide the stability needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While since 2020, the richest 1% have captured almost two-thirds of all new wealth - nearly twice as much money as the bottom 99% of the world's population, developing countries have not been able to generate the $4.3 trillion required per year to achieve the SDGs in the remaining decade of action.
Immediate transformative actions are needed if we want to get the world back on track and end the crisis of inequality. Among those the G77 and China considers the following:
First, the reform of the international financial architecture cannot be postponed any longer. We need 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; improved global sovereign debt architecture with the meaningful participation of developing countries; voluntary rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to developing countries and a new allocation of SDRs; promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations and rationalizing the role of credit rating agencies.
Second, the establishment of the set of measures of progress on sustainable development that complement or go beyond gross domestic product to inform access to concessional finance and technical cooperation by developing countries.
Third, the commitment by developed countries to contribute 0.7% ODA remains unfulfilled and has never been achieved. All development partners should build trust with recipient countries and align their support with their national sustainable development.
Fourth, the international trading system should be further reformed, and stable and sustainable supply chains should be built to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through the promotion of export-led growth in developing countries. To this end, special and differential treatment for developing countries should be strengthened as a multilateral principle. Unilateralism and protectionism including unilateral trade protection and restrictions, incompatible with the WTO Agreements, should be speedily eliminated, including the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries for political reasons.
Fifth, developing countries should be provided with policy space for industrialization which should be facilitated, inter alia, through technology transfer, capacity building and access to finance. Despite a challenging global macroeconomic context, scaling up investment in sustainable industrial transformations is one of the opportunities to rescue the SDGs.
Sixth, there should be an 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 for Sustainable Development.
Seventh, to ensure a timely transition to a sustainable and dynamic global economy that provides fiscal space and enables developing countries to build resilience against future shocks, it is essential to mobilize, with the core support of partners, significant investments annually in quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
Eighth, there is a need to implement and follow-up on the UN Secretary-General's proposal for "SDG Stimulus" as a critical initiative to mobilize additional financial resources for all developing countries to support the implementation of the SGDs, which is more urgent considering that all the projections estimate that we are in the road of not achieving the targets set in the 2030 Agenda.
Ninth, we stress the need to combat illicit financial flows from developing countries. Illicit financial flows are draining the ability of developing countries to achieve sustained growth and development.
Finally, the Group attaches the highest importance to having meaningful discussions in the context of the Financing for Development Forum and impactful policy recommendations to contribute to bridge the gap in the seven action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and accelerate the pace of implementation needed to fulfil our commitments in the 2030 Agenda.
I thank you.