STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR YUSNIER ROMERO PUENTES, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE 2023 DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION FORUM ON "PROTECTING LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF THE MOST VULNERABLE FOR MORE EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION (SESSION 1) (New York, 14 March 2023)
Excellencies, Distinguished colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Our Group attaches great importance to the Development Cooperation Forum, as a relevant venue for global dialogue and policy recommendations on international development cooperation.
We are facing a critical moment, where many developing countries are at risk of being left behind. The Human Development Index has fallen globally over the past two years, for the first time in over three decades, which clearly indicates the huge setbacks we are confronting in terms of health, education and living standards. Currently, developing countries are facing a $1.2 trillion annual financing gap to deliver universal social protection and a $4.3 trillion deficit to achieve the SDGs in the remaining decade of action.
The Group considers that the mobilization of adequate resources to developing countries from all available funding mechanisms is critical for the implementation of actions and measures to achieve sustainable development. It is essential that the international community provides more permanent and stable, predictable, concessional, conditionality free financial resources for developing countries, particularly the most in need and least developed among them.
It is imperative that the developed countries fulfill their commitments in order to support national efforts and strategies towards the achievements of the development goals.
The Secretary General's report on trends and progress in international development cooperation (E/2023/48) highlights that despite some progress, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States have not benefited from levels of development assistance commensurate with their needs. Where ODA increased it often came at the expense of grant financing which potentially increases the risk of debt distress. Much of the multilateral ODA to these countries in 2022 was in the form of loans rather than grants. In consequence, ODA must respond to the needs and contexts of each developing country and must not exacerbate their heavy debt burdens.
The need for a strengthened and renewed global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development strategies should be a guiding principle of all UN activities including those at the country level. The entire UN system as well as the Bretton Woods Institutions and bilateral donors should align their cooperation programmes with the national development strategies and also harmonize their individual cooperation programmes with a view to making the optimum contribution to the realization of national development strategies.
As pointed out in the Secretary General's report, GNI per capita as a measure for development support, including concessional finance, fails to consider the impact of shocks on the economies and societies of many developing countries. Therefore, it is necessary 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.
It is also imperative 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.
In this regard, the Group reaffirms that the imposition of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries does not contribute to economic and social development, including dialogue, cooperation and understanding among countries.
We would like to reiterate the importance and the contribution of South-South cooperation in meeting important development challenges and objectives. The South-South cooperation is an expression of South-South solidarity that has proven its relevance by a rapid growth. It is also clear that South-South cooperation is not a substitute for North-South cooperation, but rather a complement to it.
The Group reiterates the call to the UN funds and programmes as well as the specialized agencies to continue taking concrete measures to mainstream support for South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation, to help developing countries to develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation.
The Group believes that the Development Cooperation Forum should not be diverted to specific agendas pursued outside the United Nations framework. The DCF should rather provide a platform to discuss ways to better coordinate and align the work of specialized agencies and international financial institutions with the international commitment of achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Madam President, honorable participants,
Finally, allow me to express the Group of 77 and China's strong commitment to work constructively in the discussions ahead.
I thank you.