STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. GERARDO PEñALVER PORTAL, FIRST DEPUTY MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO COMMEMORATE INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY (New York, 24 April 2023)
H. E. Mr. Csaba Korösi, President of the General Assembly,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Allow me to express our appreciation for convening this interactive dialogue on "Harmony with Nature".
However, the G77 and China express its concern on the format of this event that has been changed from all 11 previous versions of the meeting. The current format modifies the mandate of the GA Resolution 77/169 and impedes a meaningful discussion of the possibility of convening the Earth Assembly and its scope, as a high-level meeting that may contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and beyond.
The G77 and China recognizes that "Mother Earth" is a common expression in a number of countries and regions and notes that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development, and expressing the conviction that, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature. (Source: G77 and China MD para 115)
The environmental challenges that we have been facing for decades, have made serious impacts, especially for developing countries, contributed to undermining the functioning of our ecosystems and their capacity for regeneration, which could undermine hard-won development gains.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that the well-being of humanity depends on the health and integrity of nature. In this regard, the international community should consider the COVID-19 recovery as a unique opportunity to build back better towards more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies in harmony with nature.
Policies and measures to recover from the pandemic and its impacts should therefore include actions for eco-system restoration, in order for us all to build a more sustainable and resilient post-COVID-19 world.
Over the last decade, several developments in ecological economics and earth-centered law have emerged, linking planetary health with human well-being. (Verbatim from G77 and China statement 2022).
The Group stresses the importance of having new metrics that complement or go beyond gross domestic product as a measure of development progress that incorporate the vulnerabilities and structural challenges of developing countries into financial decision-making, including planning and policy and finance.
Since its inception, the G77 and China has been advocating for a new international economic order. Now it´s more evident than ever that these transformations cannot wait any longer. The UN Secretary General recently recognized that the global financial system is biased, morally bankrupt and skewed to benefit wealthy developed countries. This is not a plea anymore of developing countries.
We also stress that, due to their historical responsibilities, developed countries must take lead through ambitious actions and commitment to ensure a swift global recovery, progress, and prosperity, with no one leaving behind.
Support for developing countries in this regard must be enhanced through adequate cooperation, provision of financial and non-financial resources, strengthening of scientific knowledge, transfer of technology, capacity building, and through promotion of a universal, rule-based, open, and non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system.
We also urge the international community to strengthen its efforts to counter the trends of biodiversity loss, climate change, and protect the Earth's ecosystems, based on the "principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities"; and sustainable lifestyles in harmony with nature.
The Group understands these important topics and others should be integrated in the discussions during this Interactive Dialogue, with the participation of the United Nations system, independent experts and other relevant stakeholders, in particular indigenous peoples, so that the General Assembly considers the possibility of convening an Earth Assembly, in which an evolving non-anthropocentric or Earth-centred paradigm continues to reinforce multilateralism, so that alternative holistic approaches that are based on diverse worldviews may contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and beyond.