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, AT THE BRIEFING BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON HIS PRIORITIES FOR 2024 (New York, 7 February 2024)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary General for indicating his priorities for 2024.
The group of 77 and China acknowledges that our planet is in a state of peril facing dangers caused by wars and conflicts, climate change, poverty and hunger, a global digital divide as well as pandemics.
The Group of 77 and China, agrees with the Secretary General's call for the rebuilding of trust and the restoring of hope. Multilateralism and international cooperation play an important role in this regard. Wars and conflicts are exacerbating humanitarian needs at a time of declining resources to respond to those needs. It is therefore urgent that the international community comes together to address the root causes of these conflicts and find lasting solutions for peace.
On climate change, 2023 has had a record of being the hottest year. It is now time to turn commitments into action. The Group of 77 and China urges the full implementation of the decisions adopted during the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, including the contribution of more than 700 million to the loss and damage fund to address the losses and damages associated to the effects of climate change in developing countries.
The G77 and China agree with the Secretary General that there is need for a global financial system that delivers for all. The international structures of finance, production, and trade, including agricultural trade, must be made fairer and equitable. There is an imperative need for debt restructuring and review of austerity programmes for debt repayment plans to support global efforts towards sustainable development, and debt long-term sustainability. The Group supports shifting away from relying on GDP alone as a criterion to determine access to concessional finance and looks forward to discussions on reform of the International Financial Architecture.
Hunger and starvation are becoming major crises in developing countries. Millions of people are over the edge into food insecurity, followed by malnutrition, mass hunger and famine. The Group echoes the Secretary General's words "If we do not feed people, we feed insecurity". Progress towards elimination of hunger, and poverty is only possible if we turn our words into concrete actions for developing countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
It is more apparent than ever that technology is moving fast and the G77 and China acknowledge that we must be part of the growth and ensure that no one is left behind. The group notes the Secretary General's call and I quote "the opportunities are tremendous: from transforming education and healthcare, to accelerating climate action and the achievement of all the sustainable development goals." The Group will take part in negotiations that will lead to the development of a global digital compact through an open, transparent, and inclusive intergovernmental process.
The Summit of the Future will be opportune time for the world to get back on track towards achieving the 2030 SDGs. The G77 and China pledge to actively engage in the ongoing negotiations of the pact of the future so that no one is left behind.
The Group is concerned about the financial situation facing the United Nations which is due to the failure by some member states to pay their contributions on time. We continue to encourage member states to pay their contributions on time, in full and without conditions. We encourage the Secretary-General to ensure that the cash conservation measures do not negatively impact important inter-governmental processes currently ongoing at the United Nations. We continue to empathize with Member States who are genuinely unable to meet their financial obligations for reasons beyond their control.
The year 2024 contains a number of crucial milestones and events for the sustainable development agenda. The Group is committed to engaging constructively and actively in all the upcoming processes such us the 4th SIDS Conference, the LLDCs and the summit of the future. In addition, the G77 and China will also participate in major events, including the Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up and the High-Level Political Forum. These events are critical in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Finally, the Group of 77 and China would like to reassure the Secretary General of our support and cooperation in reinforcing the role of the UN as it is mandated in the Charter.
I thank you for your attention.