STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT THE JOINT MEETING OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE AND ECOSOC ON THE THEME: "LEVERAGING COMMODITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" (New York, 10 October 2023)
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Group welcomes this joint meeting and its theme as it is related directly to economic growth in developing countries.
Commodity dependence continues to be a challenge for the Global South. As indicated in the UNCTAD's Report: The State of Commodity Dependence 2023, 94 per cent of commodity dependent countries are developing countries. This phenomenon which is prevalent in Africa, Oceania and South America, also affects a disproportionate share of countries with special needs: 81 per cent of LLDCs, 74 per cent of LDCs and 61 per cent of SIDS are commodity-dependent.
Developing countries are interested, therefore, to discuss and analyze how to move away from this high dependence on commodities that makes them vulnerable to negative shocks that affect the price of these products and use commodities, instead, to increase economic growth, distribution of income and achieve sustainable development.
To the Group of 77 and China, high price volatility undermines the development prospects of its members that are commodity dependent. Instability of commodity prices adds to increasing risks to trade and investment and to uncertainty in revenues prospects.
For most developing countries the longer-term solution is to transform their economies structurally, which have been impacted for decades by the unfair and unbalanced international economic order that has perpetuated poverty and underdevelopment.
Developing countries aspire to create more value-added products and thus, increase their income to lead sustainable economic growth. An increase in productivity resulting from technological change and the diversification of productive and export sectors could lead to prosperous economies, creating employment, promoting investments in infrastructure and accelerating structural change.
However, to diversify their economies and to establish high-tech sectors is not easy for most of developing countries. Adding value to the commodities they produce is limited due to the difficulties in access to finance, technology and adequate infrastructure, just to mention some few constraints.
Excellencies, Dear colleagues,
To implement diversification strategies successfully, developing countries require human and physical capital accumulation, including infrastructure; technology transfer on concessional and preferential terms and capacity building.
Developing countries also require technical assistance and capacity development aimed at improving competitiveness of producers. This may include providing technical assistance to ensure conformity with overseas market standards and setting up export promotion agencies.
Developing countries further need financial support and investment, including foreign direct investment in specific areas of the value chain, including non-traditional industries, which facilitate technology acquisition or innovation to address specific challenges.
Developing countries require support and assistance of the international community to enhance their technical expertise and address barriers in order to participate actively in the global supply chain.
To conclude, there can be no resilience without international cooperation. Developing countries look forward to creating and implementing initiatives and projects with development partners to diversify their economies, provide added value to their products and therefore, promote economic growth that translate into benefits for their populations and higher levels of development.