STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FRANK TéLLEZ ALONSO, THIRD SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 2 October 2023)
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your election. The world continues to suffer from the effects of a multidimensional crisis that poses particular challenges to developing countries.
After a year of long debates, preparation and intense negotiations on mayor and highly visible international events addressing a multiplicity of development challenges, both within and outside the UN, it is clear to the Group of 77 and China that what has been discussed on those multilateral settings is far from being reflected in concrete actions, for which we face, still, another crisis: an implementation crisis.
The commitments made and that we have set out in various intergovernmental documents in the area of economic, climate, trade and financial challenges have not yet been implemented.
We are aware of the factors that have contributed to this situation. The so called development fatigue of developed countries donors and the subsequent lack of political will to implement major international agreements that preceded the Covid-19 pandemic, the cumulative effects of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions and deepening of the climate crisis, among others, have strained the response capacity of developing countries and the United Nations development system itself.
High inflation, growing food insecurity, unsustainable debt burdens, supply chain disruptions, currency fluctuations, high borrowing costs, and unilateral coercive measures that are not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations are also examples of the growing number of problems facing developing countries today that make the implementation of commitments even more difficult.
Attempts to address these issues have remained on the surface of the challenges facing developing countries today. We underscore that the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions is a central imperative of the Agenda for Sustainable Development and emphasize the need to address this issue in order to truly leave no one behind, focusing in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
We, the developing nations, as the major stakeholders of the UN system, have proposed the solutions in different scenarios.
First, reform of the international financial architecture, including reform of the governance of the international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, in particular the IMF and the World Bank, to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries.
There is an urgent need to immediately expand concessional financing through MDBs and regional development banks for all developing countries, reduce the cost of borrowing for developing countries, and allocate new SDRs, either through general allocation or reallocation of existing unused SDRs.
It is also necessary a comprehensive review of the IMF surcharge policy due to its regressive and pro-cyclical character. The review should consider a suspension of surcharges to support countries with severe balance of payments constraints, a significant permanent reduction in surcharges or their elimination.
In this regard, we reiterate our welcoming of the the Secretary-General's proposal for an "SDG stimulus" and the ideas and proposals contained in his policy brief on reforming the international financial architecture.
We also welcome the Secretary-General's proposal to establish measures beyond GDP for access to concessional finance through a United Nations led intergovernmental process, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The revised criteria must complement existing measures and include social, economic and environmental dimensions in a balanced way.
Second, developed countries must renew their commitments to their ODA targets. In this sense, we recall developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries.
Third, the promotion of a universal, rules-based, non-discriminatory, open, inclusive, equitable and transparent multilateral trading system, including by resolving long-standing negotiating issues, such as agricultural trade and working towards the necessary reform of the WTO, strengthening special and differential treatment for developing countries as a multilateral principle, and ensuring technology transfer to achieve sustainable development.
Fourth, need to immediately eliminate all laws and regulations with extraterritorial effects and all other forms of unilateral coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries. We emphasize that such measures not only undermine the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, but also pose a serious threat to the freedom of trade and investment.
Fifth, scaling up investment in digital infrastructure, connectivity, education, skills training and capacity building to ensure that developing countries can better take advantage of the digital economy.
Sixth, developed countries must significantly increase the provision and mobilization of climate finance, in particular for adaptation and resilience as well as loss and damage, to go beyond previous efforts. In this regard, it is shameful that yet developed countries have not met their commitment to provide $100 billion per year up to 2020 in climate finance and at least double climate finance for adaptation. We will not forget this failure at a time when developing countries are being asked to make more sacrifices and when multi trillion dollars of public money is being diverted to fuel the military industrial complex in developed countries.
Similarly, we urge developed countries to comply with their new financial commitments in the biodiversity agenda. We call on them to provide and mobilize resources through the recently established Global Biodiversity Fund under GEF. Their contributions should be commensurate with the financial needs to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
Seventh, given the increasing financial needs to deliver on our climate and biodiversity commitments and recognizing that it is critical to liberate the fiscal space of developing countries to allow them to invest in sustainable development, we call for scaling-up the use of debt swaps for climate and nature with a multilateral approach, standardizing and facilitating the use of these mechanisms while taking measures to avoid downgrades from credit rating agencies.
Eighth, the current digital divide is bound to widen the development divide. Rather, digital technologies should help bridge the development gap. Developing countries should be given preferential access to modern and digital technologies and be involved in all decision-making processes. Moreover, digital cooperation remains essential for all developing countries. Technologies aligned with the SDGs should be transferred or made readily available to developing countries.
As it is known, the G77 and China met at the Summit level in Havana to discuss the current development challenges and in particular the role of science, technology and innovation, with a view to further expand South-South cooperation and devise on how to build together to address our common challenges. As a result of these discussions, a substantive political declaration was adopted, which recognize the important role of South-South cooperation as a complement to, but not a substitute for, North-South cooperation, particularly in the field of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development.
We believe that the work of the Second Committee during this session should focus on these proposed solutions. As Chair of the G77 and China, I assure you of our full support in facilitating and coordinating the discussion throughout the Committee's work.
Thank you very much.