STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. CELIA KAFUREKA NABETA, MINISTER COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF UGANDA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON CHAPTER ONE OF THE PACT FOR THE FUTURE (New York, 6 February 2024)
Distinguished co-facilitators of the Summit of the Future Excellencies,
We have the honor of deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Excellencies, Whereas chapter one attempted to address as many issues as possible, we notice that several issues need to be further emphasized and strengthened.
The chapter does not reflect appropriately the three dimensions of sustainable development. While climate change challenges are well articulated, the fight against inequalities between and within countries is lacking and should be strengthened. More so, the chapter is almost exclusively focused on climate change, while leaving unaddressed many other socio-economic and environmental challenges facing developing countries. Accordingly, the Group will be proposing language to ensure that the Pact truly reflects a careful balance of the challenges of extreme poverty, hunger, and climate change to make it equitable and responsive to the needs of developing countries as well as to strengthening the role of the United Nations.
Such imbalance is not in line with any of the multilateral agreements on the subject and creates an undesired paradox in which the text repeatedly highlights the need to save "the planet", but keeps silent regarding saving "the people".
We stress the importance of adequate means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and call upon developed countries to agree to commit to a new phase of international cooperation through strengthened and scaled-up global partnership for development. Achieving the SDGs requires new, additional, quality, adequate, sustainable, and predictable financing as well as a bold approach to development finance.
We believe that there is scope for addressing this imbalance, especially considering the immense economic opportunities offered by climate action and a just and orderly and equitable energy transition. The UAE Consensus adopted at COP28 was a carefully drafted and well-balanced outcome which allowed for the support all member states. We believe it is imperative that we live up to the ambition level agreed at COP28, while at the same time keeping its balance.
We therefore wish to re-emphasize that Poverty, including extreme poverty, continues to be the greatest global challenge and its eradication is indispensable for sustainable development and that the elimination of hunger should also be a priority.
While the text highlights the environmental crises we are currently facing, it fails to point to the equally challenging social and economic crises which are affecting billions of people as we speak. Rising levels of poverty, increasing food insecurity and a surging global inflation are just a few examples of social and economic challenges that need to be tackled together with the environmental ones.
Additionally, negative shocks, such as higher inflation, more restrictive policies, or financial stress, could push the world economy into recession. Immediate measures are needed to mitigate the risks of global recession and debt overhang.
We also consider that the text doesn't have sufficient references to the importance of ensuring that developing countries have the necessary fiscal space for achieving the SDGs, including through commitments to implement the SDG Stimulus, fulfill ODA commitments, promote access to concessional finance by all developing countries, boost debt restructuring and relief, scale up FDI, in addition to re-channeling un-utilized SDRs and making new general allocations.
Chapter 1 needs to address challenges of all developing countries including those of countries in special situations and those facing specific challenges with regards to the three dimensions of sustainable development and the exacerbated negative impacts of climate change.
Once again, the G77 and China is grateful to the co-facilitators for their efforts and will participate constructively in the Summit of the Future and its deliberations.