INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA, AT THE FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT FORUM - INFORMAL MEETING ON FINANCING A SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY FROM COVID-19 - DIALOGUE 1: FINANCING AND POLICY SOLUTIONS TO RESPOND TO COVID 19 (New York, 2 June 2020)
Dialogue 1: Financing and Policy solutions to respond to COVID 19
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, I would like to thank the Presidency and Secretariat of ECOSOC for convening this informal dialogue to discuss issues relative to financing a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. The Group of 77 and China is deeply concerned that the already daunting challenge of financing development has been gravely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic fall-out is certain to go beyond 2020 for many developing countries and poses a consequential threat to development gains achieved over decades.
4. It is for this reason that the Group's intervention will focus on the fundamental actions required to ensure sustainable financing and policy solutions to respond to the pandemic.
5. First, on the issue of Macroeconomic Policy, the Group of 77 and China wishes to underscore the need to provide sufficient liquidity and fiscal space to all developing countries. The Group encourages the World Bank, the IMF, multilateral and regional development banks, bilateral creditors and other commercial and private creditors, to provide immediate and substantial debt relief to developing countries, including issuing additional Special Drawing Rights.
6. Further, the Group has long held the position that financing for development should focus on mobilizing resources for sustainable development. To this end, we underscore the importance of broadening the economic base through diversification and improving investment and financing into sectors that are critical to accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
7. In accordance with the foregoing, we affirm that it is imperative to strengthen international tax cooperation and the mobilization of domestic resources. The Group therefore appeals to States to combat illicit financial flows, which rob us of much needed resources for financing sustainable development.
8. Second, the Group of 77 and China underscores the importance of enhancing international liquidity to provide long-term and comprehensive solutions towards debt sustainability. In this vein, the Group highlights the urgent need to explore innovative financial instruments that will allow countries access to concessional financing and provide protection to vulnerable countries from predatory lending strategies, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the Group stresses the need to address the costs and risks of operating correspondent banking relationships as well as putting in place policies to lower the cost of remittances.
9. Furthermore, we stress the importance of digital technologies to increase access to healthcare, education and e-commerce during this pandemic and beyond. Technology transfer is one of the core priorities of developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda. And in this regard, we underscore the need to accelerate the transfer of technologies, including on concessional and preferential terms, that are essential for implementing a wide range of SDGs.
10. Third, on the matter of Official Development Assistance (ODA), the Group of 77 and China reaffirms that ODA is not only the main channel for international cooperation, it is also indispensable for achieving the SDGs. The Group urges donor countries to honor their ODA commitments and align ODA with the specific national priorities and strategies of developing countries to better meet their development needs.
11. As a Fourth point, we note the instrumental role of the private sector in realizing the 2030 Agenda. We call on Member States to strengthen cooperation to create an enabling environment for private resources to be adequately channeled towards long-term sustainable development objectives.
12. The Group echoes the sentiments of the United Nations Secretary-General that unity and cooperation must prevail, so that the international community can work together in solidarity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and its shattering socio-economic consequences.
13. As stated by the Secretary-General, the pandemic has demonstrated our fragility and a key aspect of solidarity is financial support. Unless we act now, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world: hunger and famine of historic proportions; sixty million more people pushed into extreme poverty; up to half the global workforce - 1.6 billion people- without livelihoods; a loss of $8.5 trillion in global output, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
14. It is for this reason we must place our world on a sustainable trajectory to recover stronger and more resilient, with our collective commitment to multilateralism and the role of the United Nations.
I thank you.