Developed Countries Must Deliver on Climate Change, Finance Commitments, Delegates Stress, as Second Committee Continues Its General Debate
As the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties approaches, developed countries must deliver on their commitments on climate change, speakers told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) as it continued its general debate today.
The representative of El Salvador, stressing the need to step up efforts during the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, also highlighted that developed countries must meet the financial pledge of providing $100 billion a year to developing States, as well as to establish a finance mechanism for losses and damages.
Echoing these demands, Bangladesh’s representative reiterated his call for translating shared commitment into concrete actions and deliverables. “We must overcome the vicious cycle where developed countries make commitments and break those in the subsequent period,” he emphasized. He called for an ambitious road map to ensure a sustainable and resilient energy transition, including through climate finance and technology transfer.
Tunisia’s delegate, characterizing the upcoming Conference of the Parties as an “implementation conference where we move from promises to implementations”, stressed the need to deal with the needs of his continent by providing financing for adaptation and enhancing their abilities to use digital technologies. Though Africa remains vulnerable to the effects of climate change, especially in relation to water, soil and the rise in sea levels, she added, the continent only received 3 per cent of green finance available in 2021.
Further on climate finance, the representative of Fiji stressed that its size, even at $100 billion, is “woefully inadequate”. Also pointing out that as the Paris Agreement target to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C now stands to slip away, “it will have catastrophic impacts for small island developing States of the Pacific — not in some distant future, but now and today”.
Similarly, India’s representative stressed that financial responsibility, transparency and viability must be at the forefront when looking at financing options, including financing of infrastructure projects, to avoid imposing further unsustainable debt burdens on already vulnerable communities. He further proposed that to vacate the carbon space in 2050 for developing countries to grow, the developed States should commit to “net-minus” rather than “net-zero.”
In relation to other key priorities, Kenya’s delegate underscored that the grave impact of severe drought in the Horn of Africa region has forced his country to shift its priorities towards drought and famine relief, insulating education from disruptions and improving social protection and health-care systems. Looking ahead to the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties, he called on Member States and all relevant stakeholders to demonstrate strong political will and “move the talk to action now” to ensure the Paris commitments are actualized.
On a similar note, Côte d’Ivoire’s representative emphasized that maintaining the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement would require the diversification of food and energy production systems and the promoted use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydro and wind power to close the energy access gap in developing countries. In this regard he shared that his country aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 per cent, and to increase its share of renewable energies to 42 per cent by 2030.
Responding to such demands from developing countries, the representative of the United Kingdom shared that his country has worked with Governments and the private sector to mobilize up to £8 billion annually, which will support economic growth, sustainable infrastructure and energy transition. Emphasizing that his country would “resist any attempt to roll back” from past agreements such as the Paris Agreement, he also expressed hope towards a new global biodiversity framework that aims to protect 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030.
The representative of the Republic of Korea shared that her Government has worked with Indonesia on the Karian Water Facility to provide clean water to 2 million people, and partnered with Mongolia and Viet Nam to reduce greenhouse gas from waste landfills. She added that Seoul’s nationally determined contribution has the highest annual greenhouse gas reduction rate among major economies, at 4.17 per cent per year, with a national budget process requiring a mandatory climate sensitiveness assessment, and major infrastructure projects subject to a climate impact assessment.
Building on her point, the delegate of the United States emphasized that economic growth and environmental well-being cannot come at the expense of human rights, also reaffirming support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She further noted that her country is the largest provider of official development assistance (ODA), contributing $42 billion in 2021 to sustain development progress amid the pandemic.
The representative of Lesotho commended recent efforts made by the United States as one of the world’s major carbon emitters in passing landmark legislation on clean energy and climate investments to address the climate crisis. Meanwhile, noting that there has been little or no indication of improving climatic conditions around the world, he called on Group of 20 members to take it upon themselves to reduce emissions.
On the national level, Kyrgyzstan’s representative highlighted that climate change has created problems for her country’s unique mountain nature, notably through the damage it has inflicted on its mountain glaciers and biodiversity. In this regard she proposed to declare the next five years as years of action for the development on mountain regions, which would build broad international cooperation and encourage each country to bring its own ideas.
The representative of Bhutan, highlighting that the Himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate due to climate change, emphasized that new and additional climate finance, including for loss and damage, must be urgently mobilized, and balance must be achieved between financing for mitigation and adaptation. Noting that the Sustainable Development Goals will fail if the environmental dimension and biodiversity related targets are not prioritized, he stressed that the international community must commit to the adoption of a bold, ambitious and transformational post-2020 framework on global biodiversity.
Also speaking were representatives of Thailand, Israel, Mexico, Sudan, Armenia, Uruguay, Indonesia, Syria, Portugal, Peru, Japan, Norway, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, United Republic of Tanzania, Panama, Ukraine, Yemen, Senegal, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Oman, Botswana, Albania, Georgia, San Marino, Iceland, Algeria, Iran, Malaysia, Federated States of Micronesia, Uzbekistan, Angola, Bahrain, Paraguay, Monaco, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Azerbaijan and Nicaragua.
The representatives of Japan, Armenia and Azerbaijan also spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 6 October, to take up macroeconomic policy questions as well as the outcomes of the International Conference on Financing for Development. The general debate will resume at 10 a.m. on Friday, 7 October.
EGRISELDA ARACELY GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ (El Salvador), aligning herself with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, as well as the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, stressed that the global financial infrastructure requires innovations and adjustments to respond to the needs of developing States, in particular with their access to resources and financing for development. “Solidarity and international cooperation must go beyond rhetoric,” she added. In this regard she reiterated the need to establish a financial system which considers diverse and differentiated needs of developing countries. Emphasizing that access to concessional resources and financing for development on favourable terms are still limited to the economic aspects and references to per capita income, she emphasized that the current situation forces the international community to reflect the realities and vulnerabilities of developing countries and to respond to problems with and between those States. While acknowledging the value of South-South and triangular cooperation as a means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, she underscored that this modality cannot replace other commitments for development. She expressed support for efforts in planning and implementing joint initiatives within the United Nations system for development, including a revitalized resident coordinator system which can provide more effective responses commensurate with national needs and priorities. Stressing the need to step up efforts during the Conference of the Parties to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change under the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities, she also highlighted that developed countries must meet the financial pledge of providing $100 billion a year to developing States, as well as to establish a finance mechanism for losses and damages.
SURIYA CHINDAWONGSE (Thailand), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that, although there is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, “we are still in the tunnel” — especially given that vaccines have not reached everyone, and there are long-term socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic. Gains in development achieved over the past decades have been eroded, resulting in more hunger, malnutrition and hardship, bringing the international community to a tipping point in the race to reverse losses in development gains and save the planet. Stressing the urgency of now and regaining momentum, he stressed the international community must reaffirm all three pillars of sustainable development. His country is guided by a biocircular green economy model, with its leaders reaffirming commitment to overcoming the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. He cited the importance of a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, adding that his delegation is ready to engage on all planet-centred processes. Every person should enjoy universal health coverage, and inclusive education for all. While developed countries must walk the talk in aiding developing countries, the latter should also do so, through South-South cooperation. The Committee has a big task ahead, as next year must take stock of progress on the Sendai Framework, Water Action Decade and all aspects of achieving a sustainable future for all.
EMIL BEN NAFTALY (Israel), stressing that micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises are essential for a strong economy, and are the overwhelming majority source of income in developing States, shared that his country will introduce the resolution on entrepreneurship for sustainable development along with many co‑sponsors. Entrepreneurs are ideally positioned to find solutions to local problems, he added, but are often overlooked by large companies. Recalling that Israel is committed to combating climate change and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, he shared that it will be showcasing “climate-tech” innovations that already bring real change to the world, in fields such as water management, agrotechnology, animal protein substitutes, renewable energy and sustainable transport. In addressing the two political resolutions brought up in this Committee with the purpose of attacking his country, he stated that his position remains unchanged and will call out major faults and deliberate inaccuracies in these documents, as well as show how some of the hard work of Israeli authorities to improve the lives of its neighbours.
ALICIA GUADALUPE BUENROSTRO MASSIEU (Mexico) said the world is far from achieving the 2030 Agenda, and there are new challenges that are impossible to overlook — including food and debt crises, leading to a point of no return. The Second Committee must adapt and renew its efforts, as the world is almost at the midway point of the 2030 Agenda. “It is time to be brave, bold and leave behind the comfort of inertia,” she stressed, as well as deliver robust outcomes. It will be important to build synergies with other intergovernmental and multilateral processes to advance global health, financing for development, food security, climate change and digital technology. She further cited the importance of investing in prevention and response, as well as improving access for additional sources of concessional and non-concessional financing. Stressing that millions of people go to bed hungry due to disruption of food supply chains, she urged the international community to discuss global hunger and the food crisis without politicization. Recommendations from the Committee will not be complete without discussion of the needs of the many marginalized groups including women, children, indigenous people, migrants, the elderly, the disabled and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities.
MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, and highlighting that decades of development gains in alleviating poverty and hunger are rapidly sliding back due to the ongoing crises, underscored that the international community needs to work together to recover the lost grounds and achieve the 2030 Agenda. Outlining his country’s recent measures to protect vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises, he pointed out that “what we need the most is our shared political willingness and strong commitment to multilateralism”. Just a month away from the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he reiterated his call for translating shared commitment to concrete actions and deliverables. “We must overcome the vicious cycle where developed countries make commitments and break those in the subsequent period,” he added. Pointing out that energy security should be at the centre of attention at the Conference, he called for an ambitious road map to ensure a sustainable and resilient energy transition, especially for developing countries, including through climate finance and technology transfer. Recovering losses and damages remains a compelling priority for the Conference, he stressed. Welcoming the Transforming Education Summit, which cast a spotlight on issues such as resource mobilization and harnessing digital technologies, he emphasized the need to leverage this moment to bring to fruition the efforts to achieve education for all. Further underscoring that the voices of the global South must be brought to the front of the international financial and economic architecture to tackle the current crises, he emphasized that it must prioritize long-term fiscal solutions and concessional finance.
HIBA JAFAAR ABUBAKR ABUHAJ (Sudan), associating herself with the Group of 77, African Group and the Group of Least Developed Countries, called on the United Nations and friendly States and international financial institutions to help her country achieve food security through agricultural technology transfer, capacity-building and earmarking special resources. Her Government has taken resolute efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and has created a mechanism for the follow-up and review of that process. Her delegation submitted its voluntary national review during the high-level political forum in July and looks forward to a successful and constructive session that addresses their concerns.
DAVIT KNYAZYAN (Armenia) stated that as a landlocked, middle-income country with mountainous terrain and fragile ecosystems, his State faces complex development challenges. In this regard he shared that his Government has implemented its reform agenda focused on promoting inclusive and quality education, a universal and affordable health system as well as a resilient social protection service. Attaching importance to efficient cooperation between landlocked and transit countries, he expressed support for the development of criteria to access concessional finance, which considers the specific vulnerabilities middle-income countries face in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Recalling the premeditated aggression by Azerbaijan targeting the eastern and south-eastern regions of his country in September, he emphasized that the invading forces have taken control of water resources, pastures and other agricultural lands, depriving the population of their essential means of subsistence. He therefore underscored the importance of support from the United Nations development system and other development partners to the population affected by the hostilities with a special focus on the most vulnerable, including women, children, elderly and people with disabilities.
MATÍAS ANDRÉS EUSTATHIOU DE LOS SANTOS (Uruguay), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, cited a long tradition of policies on sustainable development. Looking towards the future, he cited the importance of democratic institutions as the best way to support freedom. He further called for a multidimensional vulnerability index to measure development, as it is a process, otherwise pushing States into a simplistic measure of per capita income, without considering other vulnerabilities such as persistent poverty and regional inequality and structural gaps between social sectors. Developing countries which have already overcome the level of middle‑income status should receive adequate support — a dilemma of graduation which establishes rigorous conditions in accessing financing and markets in commercial terms. He expressed hope that the upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Egypt will be successful and achieve a concrete plan and address financing under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
PATRICIA CHAND (Fiji), associating herself with the Group of 77 and the Alliance of Small Island States, stressed that countries on the frontlines of climate change impact, including hers, should be systematically supported to ensure their development. Noting that the Paris Agreement target to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C now stands to slip away, she highlighted that “it will have catastrophic impacts for small island developing States of the Pacific — not in some distant future, but now and today”. Also emphasizing that the size of climate finance, even at $100 billion, is woefully inadequate, she shared that her country is proposing discussions for a post-2025 climate financing framework. The cost of financing for developing countries is high and is a constraint to their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, she underscored. The rules that govern the international financing system must be changed to support sustainable development, she added, calling for support towards the multidimensional vulnerability index currently under development. She further called for strengthening of the role of regional offices that support South-South and triangular cooperation in the global South to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
MOHAMMAD KURNIADI KOBA (Indonesia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, called for increased solidarity, noting that the gap between developed and developing countries has widened due to the recent crises. There is no room for a “zero‑sum‑game” mentality, or a “take‑it‑or‑leave‑it” approach, he stressed, calling for enhanced South-South and triangular cooperation with exchange of best practices and transfer of technology. Investing in building resilience to build back better and prepare for future crisis is a must, he said, drawing attention to the lurking fertilizer crisis. If the international community fails to ensure the availability of fertilizers in the global market, the food crisis will get worse and hundreds million people will plunge into hunger, he cautioned.
BASSAM SABBAGH (Syria), aligning himself with the Group of 77, and highlighting that, in his country, the pandemic coincided with a complex situation due to its war against terrorism, stated that the war created widespread destruction affecting services and infrastructure, therefore making it impossible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by the end of the Decade of Action. Despite the setbacks, he shared that his country would soon submit its voluntary national review. He yet asked the Committee: “How can you imagine a country that has been fighting terrorism to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and expect that the country suffering from unilateral coercive measures will not be left behind?” Stressing that the Israeli occupation of the Palestine occupied territories “steals the resources” from them, he emphasized the importance of the annual resolution adopted by this Committee on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the territories including East Jerusalem, as well as the Arab population in the Syrian Golan. Member States will not be able to keep their promise of “leaving no one behind” if the international community does not work together, while respecting solidary, pluralism, national sovereignty and international law, he added.
MADHU SUDAN RAVINDRAN (India), noting the impact of trade disruptions and fuel, food and fertilizer shortages on developing countries, called on Member States to work together for a sustainable recovery. Recalling how his country supplied COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 countries, he stressed that the sharing of technology represents a critical pathway towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Expressing commitment to fighting climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, on the basis of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, he said that, to vacate the carbon space in 2050 for developing countries to grow, the developed States should, in fact, do net‑minus rather than net‑zero. Further, financial responsibility, transparency and viability must be at the forefront when looking at financing options, including financing of infrastructure projects, to avoid imposing further unsustainable debt burdens on already vulnerable communities, he stressed.
NKOPANE RASEENG MONYANE (Lesotho), associating himself with the Group of 77, African Group, Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said the pandemic has exposed a digital divide that is leaving least developed States behind. Efforts should therefore be made to equip them in harnessing technological innovations. With little or no indication of improving climatic conditions around the world, he called on Group of 20 members to take it upon themselves to reduce emissions, but commended recent efforts made by the United States as one of the world’s carbon emitters in passing landmark legislation on clean energy and climate investments to address the climate crisis. He further called on developed countries to demonstrate their commitments by pledging $100 million to developing States suffering the repercussions of climate change. He noted the African continent has been one of most affected regions by the triple global crisis, with socioeconomic repercussions, with millions of people going hungry day by day. If Member States cannot take holistic action now to ensure that then world ends poverty and hunger everywhere, then the prospects of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals look very blurry. He reiterated the call to developed States to prioritize food security for vulnerable countries whose populations have been severely affected by rising food and energy prices.
ANA PAULA BAPTISTA GRADE ZACARIAS (Portugal), associating herself with the European Union, said that, with human development back at 2016 levels, the 2030 Agenda remains the road map for recovery. “When working to surpass the consequences of the pandemic and mitigating the effects of the war, we need to ensure that the world can seize the benefits of the digital and green transition, leaving no one behind.” She stressed the need to build new development partnerships, adding that rising food and energy insecurity requires immediate multilateral action. Turning to climate change and biodiversity, she said that ambitions must remain high, including by negotiating a legally binding agreement on plastics pollution.
DIEGO BELEVÁN (Peru) highlighted that as the pandemic forced a change in working methods, the Committee needs to modernize its methods, as well. To ensure that resolutions have a real impact, he added, the Committee needs to make them more consistent and “reduce extensions”. Stressing that the crisis in Ukraine caused an agricultural food crisis, he noted that farmers are facing vulnerabilities especially in middle- and low-income countries. “It is ironic that hundreds of millions of people who produce food live in poverty and hunger,” he underscored. Pointing out that cities pose a challenge to sustainable development as they face income gaps, as well as the worsening of pollution and the environment, he emphasized the importance of strengthening their resilience and adaptation capabilities against natural hazards and other effects of climate change. Underlining the necessity of ensuring that future generations can gain new skills as required by the “new economy”, he stressed the importance of providing connectivity and access to networks including to the most remote populations. He further noted that the Committee needs to adopt a comprehensive approach, which would allow it to objectively assess the situations concerning poverty, climate change and loss of biodiversity, as well as how financial assistance is granted.
GEORGE ORINA (Kenya), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that global financial institutions and the international community must take steps to secure better fiscal space for developing countries, enhance social investment, support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and address security needs. He also underscored the grave impact of severe drought in the Horn of Africa region, which has forced Kenya to shift its priorities towards drought and famine relief, insulating education from disruption and improving social protection and health-care systems. Looking ahead to the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties, he called on Member States and all relevant stakeholders to demonstrate strong political will and “move the talk to action now” to ensure the Paris commitments are actualized.
YAMANAKA OSAMU (Japan), stressing that the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities and inequalities in the health system throughout the world, reported that his State has provided approximately $5 billion to support low- and middle-income countries. Describing education as a key enabler to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals, he shared his Prime Minister’s assuming the role of “Education Champion” to further strengthen efforts in this sector. Placing emphasis on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, he expressed that the midterm review of the Framework will be an important opportunity to promote disaster preparedness. On financing for development, which he viewed as critical to achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, he expressed hope that there would be in-depth discussions on how to enhance debt transparency as well as to mobilize private resources to tackle ongoing and emerging global challenges. His country is keen to work closely with the United Nations Envoy on Technology, he added, in the consultations on the development of the Global Digital Compact. Noting that the limited resources of the Organization should be used effectively and efficiently in accordance with the priorities of Member States, he underscored that strict scrutiny of programme budget implications in all draft resolutions is indispensable.
MONA JUUL (Norway), noting that the 2030 Agenda “remains our global road map”, said sustainable funding for development is more crucial than ever. Countries in debt distress should seek and receive debt relief from both public and private creditors. More also needs to be done to combat corruption, tax evasion and illicit cross-border financial flows. She added that building a sustainable ocean economy is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. “The ocean is our common good and a healthy ocean offers a wealth of opportunities.” She went on to say that women’s and girl’s participation in society, and their right to decide over their own bodies, are preconditions for democratic and sustainable development. “Only then can we truly ensure that no one is left behind.”
KYAW MOE TUN (Myanmar) said that his country’s potential to graduate from the list of least developed countries was undermined by the illegal military coup that occurred on 1 February 2021. Twenty months on, the inhumane military has continued to commit atrocities daily, and as a result, Myanmar is facing multiple humanitarian crises in addition to economic hardship. Nothing is run according to the rule of law, there is no confidence in State institutions, gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen by 10 per cent, food prices have soared and there is a massive outflow of human capital from the country, he said. So long as Myanmar remains under an unloved military junta, it will be impossible to achieve peace and to achieve the 2030 Agenda, he said, appealing to the international community to support the people of his country “for the sake of peace”.
DANG HOANG GIANG (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said Member States must redouble efforts at national, regional and international levels to transform political commitments on concrete actions. The macroeconomic framework must be strengthened, as well as resilience to global shocks. At the global level, the 2030 Agenda must be put back on track, with an accent on restoring peace and security in every corner of the world. He called for the cessation of all conflicts, with peaceful dialogue in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Calling for greater long-term financing, he urged the international community to address gaps in debt architecture, transport and energy infrastructure, and information and communications technology (ICT). Calling for the immediate lifting of unilateral embargoes in contravention of international law, he welcomed efforts to reposition United Nations development system. International partnerships must be consolidated, he stated, including South-South and triangular cooperation, further noting that his country actively participates in international efforts to support regional development, and has submitted its candidacy for the Human Rights Council.
MONTSERRAT GONZALEZ CARRILLO (Chile), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, stressed the importance of updating how sustainable development is measured and moving towards a renewed international cooperation which considers the needs of middle-income countries when assigning resources. The international community needs to renew its approach towards development in transition, she added, which would replace the graduating process with a “grading process”, a gradual approach which allows for combining public and private financing instruments based on a country’s ability to mobilize domestic and external resources. Reiterating the urgent need to overcome obstacles faced by developing countries in gaining access to new technology, she emphasized that efforts are particularly necessary to close the “digital gender gap”. Underscoring that the climate crisis particularly affects Caribbean countries, though they are responsible for a minimal part of the global greenhouse‑gas emissions, she expressed hope that the upcoming Conference of the Parties would succeed in effectively tackling the effects of climate change. In this regard, she shared that her country has made commitments to close all its coal plants by 2040, electrify 100 per cent of urban public transportation systems by 2035 and promote the production and use of green hydrogen and its by‑products.
ABDULAZIZ M. ALWASIL (Saudi Arabia), associating himself with the Group of 77, noted geopolitical tensions require synergies to achieve peace and food security. His country supports sustainable development and has delivered an ambitious vision, enhancing the domestic quality of life and creating an enabling environment for socioeconomic growth to empower all sectors of society, especially youth. His Government is harnessing an integral system of programmes to improve education, housing, empowering women and youth, and developing administrative agencies that encompass institutions that improve the economy and services, reaching a growth rate of 11.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2022. Saudi Arabia faces environmental challenges and is honouring commitments under the Paris Agreement. Given the importance of that global issue, the country has adopted a circular economy, launching the Green Saudi Arabia and Green Middle East initiatives. He noted his Government has policies that support the stability of the energy market, as energy security is key to keeping inflation in check. The world is off track in eradicating poverty and hunger, requiring globally coordinated measures — and similarly, the food security crisis requires aid for vulnerable countries.
CHOLA MILAMBO (Zambia), associating himself with the Group of 77, African Group and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that equitable global recovery requires enhanced international support to overcome structural challenges. That should include investment in digital capacities and human development, as well as official development assistance (ODA). Noting that Zambia chairs the African group of negotiators on climate change, he said that international efforts should include substantial financial support for those countries which have limited resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation. He also called for an effective and fair financial system, as well as strengthening the international financial architecture in support of investments in sustainable development.
BADER AZIZ R. M. KH. ALDEHANI (Kuwait), aligning himself with the Group of 77, stressed that his country has prioritized the Sustainable Development Goals as they are linked to its five-year development plan for 2020-2025. Sharing that his country recently digitized a number of governmental services in line with Goal 8, he also highlighted its solidifying of food stocks to ensure safe and sustainable food choices in the principle of Goal 2. Health and education institutions have been enhanced in implementation of Goals 3 and 4. Its development fund, he continued, has financed infrastructure projects in more than 100 countries, including those dealing with renewable energy and recycling water. In response to the pandemic, he stressed that, through the national fund for small and medium-sized enterprises, his country has provided necessary support for a number of projects in areas such as food and ICT. For climate action, he highlighted that his Government aims to provide 50 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030.
REEM MOHAMED SALEH YESLAM ALAMERI (United Arab Emirates) outlined her delegation’s priorities for this Committee session, including women’s empowerment, education and further developing international cooperation to respond to hunger, poverty and other global threats. So far in 2022, the United Arab Emirates has delivered nearly 10,000 tons of medical and food aid to countries in need, reflecting its strong belief in the need to assist all States and nations without bias or discrimination. She went on to underscore her country’s efforts to combat climate change and achieve climate neutrality, including most recently the opening of the third unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi on 23 September.
MARÍA DEL CARMEN SQUEFF (Argentina), associating herself with the Group of 77, said the multidimensional crises, including the unsustainability of sovereign debt, move the international community further from the 2030 Agenda. Developing countries face major challenges without the means of resource to do so. Middle-income countries are highly indebted, which increases poverty and marginalization, as no country can pay its debt at the cost of its population. “We cannot begin from zero,” she stressed. Multidimensional measurements are required to determine levels of development and access to concessional financing. Financial flows do not reach everyone, and States require technology transfer, she stated. She noted the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that 670 million people will continue to suffer from hunger in 2030 — 8 per cent of the global population — which counters the dignity of being adequately fed. She further called for eliminating protectionist measures, and farming subsidies, representing 15 per cent of total value of agricultural production. On energy, the current situation has made the lack of supply and elevated prices evident.
SULEIMAN HAJI SULEIMAN (United Republic of Tanzania), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of African States, said that the key lesson learned from the coronavirus is that the world needs to be better prepared with its national and global health systems to handle future pandemics. To help rid the world of hunger and malnutrition, he stated that the food system must undergo a digital transformation, which goes hand in hand with investment in research. Governments must make an effort to boost agricultural production and invest in resilient food systems that also protect smallholder farmers, he added. Noting that the current global financial system — “which seems to be created by rich countries for their interests” — expands and entrenches inequalities, he went on to stress that multilateral development banks must increase concessional funding linked to investments in the Sustainable Development Goals along with an effective mechanism of debt relief for developing countries. Pointing out that having a fairer and more resilient multilateral trading system is important for stimulating economic growth and development, he commended the lifting of trade restrictions imposed on countries including Cuba and Zimbabwe.
MARILYN THOMPSON (Panama), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, reiterating her support for the efforts to eliminate poverty, stressed that interrelated crises including climate change, food insecurity, natural hazards and migration, are impeding progress to put an end to poverty. If the international community does not tackle such problems collectively, she added, the vicious cycle of poverty will continue and move countries away from achieving sustainable development. Noting that this year marks a midway point to implementing the 2030 Agenda, Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, she shared that her country has recently implemented its national climate action plan, which will help achieve decarbonization and enhance resilience in all sectors. Stressing the need for a greater leveraging of resources and financing for implementing the 2030 Agenda, she underscored that excluding countries from financing based on the per capita income threshold is a clear limitation to access international cooperation programmes.
VOLODYMYR LESCHENKO (Ukraine), noted that, while shelling and bombing by Russian Federation forces continue to destroy towns and cities in his country, the war has also devastated its economy. Highlighting the Recovery and Development Plan, a draft of which was introduced at the International Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland in July, he pointed out that the war has had severe and far-reaching global repercussions, including on global food security. The Russian Federation’s actions, such as the blockade of Ukraine’s food exports in Black Sea ports, setting fields on fire, shelling farms and grain storages, and stealing agricultural hardware have raised food prices and increased the threat of famine. Further, Moscow has turned energy resources into weapons, using countries’ dependence on Russian oil and gas to achieve its political and geopolitical goals, especially in the run-up to winter. The war against Ukraine had also caused countries to invest more money in their defence sector instead of directing it to the global problems of humanity, he pointed out, calling on the international community to consolidate its efforts to put an end to this brutal and unjustified war.
TALAL ALI RASHED ALJAMALI (Yemen), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said national and international measures are not enough to deal with the triple crisis, launching a call for a priority to be placed on countries in conflict situations. The unjust war imposed by the coup d’etat of the militia, which upset the country, along with the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, have had a catastrophic effect on development, leading to a 55 per cent decrease in GDP and food security. Yemen has backslid many years, with an interruption in salaries, as well as essential services. To attenuate the economic and military crises, Yemen is combating inflation and working to provide basic services and products in conjunction with friendly countries. He called on the international community to increase its support to ease the human suffering and build up resilience. He noted the Houthi militias continue to recruit and train, laying mines and refusing any initiatives for peace, imposing taxes on the population, extorting and using the black market.
KAOUTHAR CHELBI (Tunisia), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Group of African States, reaffirmed her country’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, recalling its development plan for 2023-2025. Pointing out that difficulties which the developing countries face today are the results of the international financial structure with limited chances of solving their debt issues, she emphasized the importance of strengthening financial support to developing States, particularly the least developed in Africa. She stated that developed countries should alleviate the burden of these countries and provide liquidity, as well as reschedule debts and transfer them into investment programmes. Highlighting the upcoming Conference of the Parties as a “implementation conference where we move from promises to implementations”, she stressed the need to deal with the needs of the African continent by providing financing for adaptation and enhancing their abilities to use digital technologies. While Africa is vulnerable to climate crises related to water, soil and the rise in sea levels, she added, the continent only received 3 per cent of green finance available in 2021.
AMINATA LY DIOP (Senegal), associating herself with the Group of 77, African Group and the Group of Least Developed Countries, asked what the international community has done to reform the global economic and financial system, and why climate finance is so slow to materialize. It is urgent to transform commitments into concrete actions so that common efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda, Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement are not reduced to nothing. Calling for appropriate solutions to the debt that is suffocating developing countries, he noted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had already warned that most States in sub-Saharan Africa will see their sovereign bonds come due in 2024. In this respect, reactivation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the rescheduling of the burden of repayments could save the international community from a debt crisis. Noting that the three major credit rating agencies — Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings — had excessive influence over lending decisions, sovereign debt terms and interest rates, he stressed that Africa is one of the main victims of these agencies. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, 18 of the 32 African countries rated by at least one of the major rating agencies saw their rating downgraded, 56 per cent against a global average of 31 per cent. In times of crisis, international solidarity must be in order, he stressed.
ANOUPARB VONGNORKEO (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), aligning himself with the Group of 77, ASEAN, Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, stressed that due to recent challenges, “the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals has never been so tarnished”. Expressing his view that strong multilateralism as well as enhanced regional and international cooperation are needed to support sustainable development, he underscored that the reforms of the Organization and other international organizations, including international financial institutions, should be carried out in an inclusive, open, transparent, predictable and democratic manner with a view to addressing rising inequalities within and among countries. In this regard he welcomed the repositioning of the United Nations development system and expressed hope that it could respond effectively to the needs and priorities of Member States, particularly those in special situations. Expressing concern over a continuing decline in contributions to core funding to United Nations agencies, he pointed out that this trend could affect the performance of the United Nations development agencies and development programmes on the ground. He called on countries that have not done so to fulfil their ODA commitment of at least 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
FAIZA MASOUD SAIF AL NABHANI (Oman) stressed that despite the challenges posed by the ongoing crises, including the pandemic, her State sees these challenges as a test for countries’ abilities, an opportunity to strengthen their capacity and a way to close existing gaps. Sharing that her country’s efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda, she pointed out that its basic economic, social and environmental aspects are integrated into its 2040 Vision plan. She further noted that Oman has been successful so far not only because it has pursued the Sustainable Development Goals, but also because it has risen to the country’s challenges and ambitions.
COLLEN VIXEN KELAPILE (Botswana), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of African States, shared that his Government has approved the manufacturing of the patent-free “Corbevax” COVID-19 vaccine and the construction of a vaccine manufacturing plant in collaboration with its partners. Expressing concern over the ability, especially of developing countries, to purse implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the current crises, he pointed out that for small economies like his, pre-existing challenges have worsened for their economic mainstays such as trade, tourism and the extractive industry. With the view that sustainable, adequate and predictable financing is necessary to achieve sustainable development, he emphasized that effective mobilization of domestic and international financial resources is imperative. As a landlocked middle-income country which relies heavily on partnerships and multilateralism for its survival, he highlighted that a strengthened multilateral system and international cooperation underpinned by the principles of unity and solidarity remain critical to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Reiterating the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation as a growing channel for development cooperation, he underscored that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation.
KOUADJO MICHEL KOUAKOU (Côte d’Ivoire), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said maintaining the 1.5°C objective in the Paris Agreement will require the diversification of food and energy production systems and the promoted use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydro and wind power to close the energy access gap in developing countries. Côte d’Ivoire is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 per cent, and to increase its share of renewable energies to 42 per cent by 2030. Calling for a rethinking of the international architecture, he invited developed countries to respect their commitment to grant 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to ODA. He welcomed the allocation of $650 billion in special drawing rights by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and urged developed countries to transfer at least $250 billion in drawing rights to developing countries that need them. He further reaffirmed Côte d’Ivoire’s full commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, accelerating implementation of major projects. Noting with concern that the challenges to be met to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, bearers of hope for a better future, remain significant, he invited all Member States and bilateral and multilateral partners as well as stakeholders to seize the opportunities offered to reaffirm their commitment to multilateralism.
ARB KAPISYZI (Albania), aligning himself with the European Union, stressed that despite the ongoing crises, the international community urgently needs to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Further highlighting the need for systemic reforms within and outside the United Nations system towards more effective and fair cooperation, he underscored that such cooperation should support national policies in achieving the Goals and recovering from the pandemic. He shared that his Parliament recently approved a resolution concerning the promotion, implementation and monitoring of its efforts towards the 2030 Agenda, adding that civil society, academia and the private sector are encouraged to take part in this process. Highlighting that his country has undertaken economic reforms to accelerate the pace of its equitable growth, he shared that it has implemented structural reforms to increase its competitiveness, create more jobs and encourage more domestic and foreign investment. Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to water management, he underscored that his Government aims to improve the performance of its water sector, which in turn contributes to realizing Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Stating that Governments alone cannot be successful in achieving the Goals, he stressed that it is crucial to find the right ways to cooperate with civil society, academia and the private sector.
SANDRO INASHVILI (Georgia), condemning the aggression and the attempt by the Russian Federation to illegally annex the territories of its sovereign neighbour, stressed that his country stands in full solidarity with Ukraine’s people. While his country has been hard-hit by the pandemic — which has aggravated financing difficulties and increased global economic distress worldwide — he pointed out that his Government’s support measures and efficient response to the shock created strong economic fundamentals for its post-COVID recovery. To reach the ambitious goals in its plan to transform education, he shared that the Government has committed to increasing public funding towards education up to 6 per cent of GDP. Recalling that the planet is “on the brink of a climate disaster and the window to avert it is closing speedily”, he expressed hope that the upcoming Conference of the Parties would bring the ambition and action needed to respond to climate change before it is too late. He further stressed that his Government is prevented from realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda “in the Russia-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia” and, as a result, people residing on the other side of the occupation line are being left behind.
DAMIANO BELEFFI (San Marino) said food insecurity affects millions and is mainly concentrated in conflict-affected regions. Armed conflict displaces farmers and can destroy agricultural assets and food stocks, disrupting markets and vital supplies for food systems. Citing the war in Ukraine, he noted in the first half of 2022, it caused further food price increases, with the number of people worldwide unable to afford a healthy diet rising from 112 million to 3.1 billion. The pandemic has further increased world hunger, he stressed, while also noting the effects of climate change. He called on the Second Committee to highlight the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, which will take place on 29 September 2023. The pandemic undermined years of progress fighting other diseases, especially in developing countries, with an additional 75 to 95 million people living in extreme poverty, while millions of children missed out on schooling and an additional 100 million fell below minimum reading proficiency levels. He noted the global economy is struggling to grow, with rising inflation and disrupted supply chains. He further noted that renewed demand for coal and oil will bring about an increase in emissions of almost 14 per cent over the decade.
JÖRUNDUR VALTÝSSON (Iceland), stressing that the war in Ukraine and its global ramifications, the dire impacts of climate change and the consequences of the pandemic are reversing the progress made these last few decades, underscored that an effective multilateral system is needed now more than ever. He shared that within the multilateral system, his country has focused on gender equality, renewable energy, oceans and land restoration, which are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda. Pointing out that investing in the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls has a direct impact on labour force participation and gender equality more broadly, he expressed that more attention needs to be directed towards addressing the disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work borne by women. On climate change and the environment, he shared that his Government has set the target of achieving carbon neutrality and full energy conversion by no later than 2040, “which would make us the first State to be independent of fossil fuels”. Highlighting that degraded land is the root cause of many pressing societal challenges today, he shared that his country will be co-chairing the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought along with Namibia.
MOHAMED-ESSEGHIR LATROUS (Algeria), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of African States, underscored that developing countries, particularly those on his continent, are harshly impacted by the ongoing crises which have exasperated existing poverty, inequalities and vulnerabilities within and between States. Pointing out that the international trading system faces weaknesses exacerbated by the current situation, he stressed the need to enhance its predictability, transparency and inclusivity especially at the time of considerable uncertainties. Though at least 68 per cent of the global population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, he reiterated the importance of coordinating development and equitable distribution of the vaccines along with therapeutics. Noting that illicit financial flows hinder growth of developing countries, he further stressed that they impact the ability of States to mobilize resources needed to finance their development initiatives. The international community should not only combat such illicit flows, he added, but also facilitate the return of assets to the countries of origin. Emphasizing that climate change undermines countries’ abilities, especially developing ones, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, he called on developed States to fulfil their $100 billion commitment towards such countries.
ALI HAJILARI (Iran), aligning himself with the Group of 77, expressed alarm over the unjust and unlawful unilateral approaches adopted by a few, which are undermining and threatening multilateralism when it is most needed. He added that taking these approaches while the world continues to grapple with devastating challenges, including the pandemic, conflicts and climate change is “a crime against humanity and a total failure of multilateralism”. Highlighting that the special circumstances of his country under illegitimate and unilateral sanctions have left no access to the means for climate action, he further reiterated that applying the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in all matters related to climate change is vital. Pointing out that the issue of sand and dust storms in his region has remained a blind spot for the international community, he stressed that the entire United Nations development system must assist countries in the region in mitigating their harmful effects. Noting that his country has — without discrimination — hosted millions of refugees, displaced persons, migrants and foreign aliens, he called on the international community, especially developed countries, to fulfil their international responsibility.
SYED MOHAMAD HASRIN AIDID (Malaysia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, noted that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 billion people in lower-income countries remain unvaccinated, and only 57 countries have vaccinated 70 per cent of their population and almost all of them are high-income. Further, it is estimated that the food-insecure population could surge to more than 300 million people. Greater collective efforts are therefore needed to ensure that global food supply chains remain stable. He noted the projection that world economic growth will slow down to 2.5 per cent in 2022 and drop to 2.2 per cent in 2023. Regrettably, the worst hit would be developing countries that are already in or near debt distress. However, experts believe that there is still time to avert a global economic slowdown. Given that in an interconnected world, domestic monetary decisions must consider the reality and interests of developing countries, he reiterated a call for a more cooperative international monetary mechanism that would ensure a more effective and just system. In limiting global warming to 1.5ºC, Malaysia is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent based on GDP by 2030, as well as to achieving its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and has set a target of achieving 31 per cent green energy use by 2025.
KENNETH WELLES (Federated States of Micronesia), associating himself with the Alliance of Small Island States and the Group of 77, denounced the unprovoked attacks on Ukraine by the Russian Federation, adding that the war has impacted every country, disrupting supply chains and threatening food security, especially for already vulnerable States including his. On climate change, he shared that his country has already begun to build homes further inland, send fishers further into dangerous waters for food and grow salt water resistant staple crops in preparation for sea-level rise. In this regard, he urged all countries to update their nationally determined contributions to align with the 1.5°C target as well as to commit to being net zero by 2050. Stressing that the ocean is an integral part of his country’s economy and its way of life, he expressed support for the initiative of protecting at least 30 per cent of the global oceans by 2030.
BAKHTIYOR IBRAGIMOV (Uzbekistan) stressed that given the urgency of putting the 2030 Agenda back on track, his country intends to table a new draft resolution on “Enhancing the role of Parliaments in accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, which would pay special attention to the capability of national Parliaments to increase accountability and inclusivity in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. On the national level, he shared that his country has adopted the Development Strategy for New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, which aims to halve poverty; increase the effectiveness of the social protection system; strengthen food security; and become an upper-middle-income country by 2030. On combating desertification and halting biodiversity loss, he highlighted that in 2021 his President launched an initiative called “Yashil Makon (Green Land)”, with the aim of planting 1 billion trees and shrubs across the country over the next five years. He further noted that his country plans to host the First Aral Sea International Forum in Nukus later in 2022.
AIDA KASYMALIEVA (Kyrgyzstan) highlighted that climate change has created problems for her country’s unique mountain nature, notably through the damage it has inflicted on its mountain glaciers and biodiversity. Pointing out that her country has presented several initiatives for cooperation towards the environment and sustainable mountain development, she outlined some United Nations resolutions such as the General Assembly resolution titled “Nature knows no borders”, which are aimed at sustainably developing the mountain regions, protecting their ecosystems and ensuring the livelihood for millions of people. On the national level, she highlighted that her country has implemented its “Green Heritage” initiative which plants 6 million trees annually. In this regard she proposed to declare the next five years as years of action for the development on mountain regions, which would build broad international cooperation and encourage each country to bring its own ideas. As one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, she added, Kyrgyzstan has committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, gradually moving from carbon to hydropower and environmentally friendly technologies.
OH HYUNJOO (Republic of Korea) noted her Government will scale up its 2023 ODA budget with a view towards ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth, and has pledged $300 million for the ACT-Accelerator and $30 million to the Financial Intermediary Fund of the World Bank. The Republic of Korea is pushing forward with its plan to transform its Government into a digital platform government and to upgrade public services to actively respond to people’s needs. It is also sharing e-government experience with other developing countries. On climate, Seoul’s nationally determined contribution has the highest annual greenhouse gas reduction rate among major economies, at 4.17 per cent per year, with a national budget process requiring a mandatory climate sensitiveness assessment, and major infrastructure projects subject to a climate impact assessment. She cited the newly established Climate Response Fund, which is sourced from the energy tax and carbon credits trade, aimed at investing in greenhouse gas reduction, boosting new green industries and ultimately ensuring just transitions. Her Government has worked with Indonesia on the Karian Water Facility to provide clean water to 2 million people, and partnered with the Mongolia and Vietnam to reduce greenhouse gas from waste landfills. She further noted the country is also working on a project with the Egypt to produce energy from waste.
JOÃO IAMBENO GIMOLIECA (Angola), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said sustainable development is based on the balance between economic growth, social equity and environmental protection. There can be no sustainable development without peace and vice-versa. His country has felt the effects of climate change, mainly in its southern provinces, plunging 152,000 families into food insecurity. That issue affects the development of human capital by increasing vulnerability to diseases and reducing educational outcomes. In response, the Government has been developing structural programmes to ensure that rural communities are more resilient, and engaging in a national dialogue on food and nutritional security. Sustainable human development has the potential to address or reverse many negative trends, he stressed, and to reduce poverty, his Government has adopted measures to strengthen social protection through a project partly funded by the World Bank.
NOORA YATEEM (Bahrain), stressing that her country has paid close attention to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, shared that its Vision 2030 plan aligns with the principles laid out in the Goals. Despite the setbacks posed by the pandemic, she reported that her country’s GDP grew 6.9 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2022. She further highlighted that its Ministry of Sustainable Development is dedicated to linking all Government plans and programmes with sustainable development. On climate change, she stressed that her country aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060 by tapping into renewable energy and decreasing carbon emissions.
JOSÉ EDUARDO PEREIRA SOSA (Paraguay) said that the multidimensional challenges and the current crises provide an opportunity to implement inclusive initiatives to ensure sustainable development for all. The pandemic is one of the most significant events in recent history, jeopardizing many of the Sustainable Development Goals, he noted, stressing the importance of the 2030 Agenda as a road map to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve living conditions. South-South and triangular cooperation play a strategic role in the implementation of the programme — however, countries in special situations and middle-income countries should be considered. He cited the ambitious project of a Bioceanic Corridor passing through Paraguay, which will make it possible to link the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, improving the links between important regions. As climate change is linked to the water crisis affecting South America and threatening sources of energy production, he stressed the importance of respecting the commitments of the Paris Agreement to support adaptation efforts.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), pointing out that his Government has spent 0.5 per cent of its gross national income on ODA, expressed his country’s commitment to returning to 0.7 per cent when the fiscal situation allows. Expressing concern over the tight fiscal situation and debt distress experienced by many developing countries, he noted that scaled-up and more effective financing and investment, which does not increase debt, are desperately needed. He shared that his country has worked with Governments and the private sector to mobilize up to £8 billion annually, which will support economic growth, sustainable infrastructure and energy transition. Stressing that the “international financing system is not working”, he highlighted that his country is committed to channelling $4 billion of special drawing rights through the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) resilience and sustainability trust. On climate change, he emphasized that the United Kingdom would resist any attempt to roll back from past agreements such as the Paris Agreement. He also expressed hope towards a new global biodiversity framework that aims to protect 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030. On the pandemic, he expressed that his country would focus this year on equitable access to vaccinations, therapeutics and diagnostics.
JIGME NORBU (Bhutan), aligning himself with the Group of 77, Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, pointed out that while the pandemic has posed many challenges, his country has used it as an opportunity to “reset” systems and bring about transformation and reform in the country. Accordingly, he shared that major reforms are underway to strengthen public service delivery and public policy, as well as in the education, health and tourism sectors. As the world confronts the multifaceted crises, he added, digital infrastructure that is accessible, affordable and reliable remains crucial towards attaining the 2030 Agenda. Highlighting that the Himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate due to climate change, he emphasized that new and additional climate finance, including for loss and damage, must be urgently mobilized, and balance must be achieved between financing for mitigation and adaptation. Noting that the Sustainable Development Goals will fail if the environmental dimension and biodiversity related targets are not prioritized, he stressed that the international community must commit to the adoption of a bold, ambitious and transformational post-2020 framework on global biodiversity.
BENJAMIN VALLI (Monaco) noted that the human development index fell again in 2022, as in 2021, returning to its 2016 level. He welcomed the Secretary-General’s creation of the Global Crisis Response Group to address the food, energy and financial crises. Only concerted efforts to stabilize global energy and food supply chains will slow the surge in inflation and stabilize market prices, he stated — noting that in the face of these challenges, the international community must renew its commitment to the 2030 Agenda and redouble efforts to close the gap in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Monaco intervenes directly with local actors to reduce inequalities in food and nutritional security, education and to support entrepreneurship — as entrepreneurship is an effective response to development challenges, leading Monaco to support the development of entrepreneurial schemes for women and young people. He stressed that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine should not result in losing sight of the great challenges facing humanity.
DIEGO PARY RODRÍGUEZ (Bolivia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, pointed out that in tackling the structural causes of inequality and poverty, there is now more consensus on rebuilding the global financing architecture. The international community must increase debt relief as well as concessional injection of liquidity for developing countries, he added. Welcoming the progress on the multidimensional consideration of development and its measurement, he stressed that going beyond the gross national product as a measure of well-being should be a priority for all States. Expressing concern over the increasing dilution or elimination of some of the principles laid out since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, he emphasized that the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities must prevail in every aspect of Sustainable Development, including in areas such as pollution, climate change and loss of biodiversity. In this regard he shared that he would facilitate two resolutions during the Committee — one on “new international economic order” and another on “harmony with nature”.
LISA A. CARTY (United States) said the Russian Federation’s violation of the Charter of the United Nations has thrown the world into chaos, put fragile development gains at risk and threatened the international order. Moscow’s decision to continue on that path will further jeopardize prospects for peace, and the global economy, especially for developing States. Considering that, the United Nations is more important than ever, she said. Reaffirming support for the 2030 Agenda, she stated that economic growth and environmental well-being cannot come at the expense of human rights. Inclusive economic growth is the catalyst for a future where every person can reach their full potential, including all marginalized groups. She noted the United States is the largest provider of ODA, contributing $42 billion in 2021 to sustain development progress amid the pandemic. However, ODA alone cannot achieve development goals, as domestic resource mobilization is critical as well, requiring incentivizing partnerships with the private sector to catalyse investments in energy, health, infrastructure and technology. She affirmed that her Government has further led the pandemic response, contributing $5.1 billion and 623 million doses of vaccines to 116 countries.
RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil), aligning himself with the Group of 77, noting that global food insecurity had reached worrying levels, welcomed the work of the Global Crisis Response Group, both in the negotiation of the Black Sean Grain Initiative and in providing sound policy recommendations. As a food provider for 10 per cent of the world’s population, he added, his country is getting through this period of hardship without adopting any export restrictions and will have a record harvest of grains in 2023. Citing an estimate of FAO, he stressed that 87 per cent of the $540 billion of support to agricultural producers, mainly paid for by developed countries, is either price-distorting or harmful to nature and health. On climate action, he highlighted the need to urgently fulfil the goal of developed countries to mobilize $100 billion per year, while also ensuring progress towards a new quantified goal on climate finance. Raising alarm over the situation where countries that once presented themselves as leaders of the low carbon economy are turning to dirty sources of energy, he shared that his country currently had the cleanest energy mix among the Group of 20 (G20) countries. Recalling that biofuels are a mature and well-established technology to tackle climate change, he expressed regret that such an option, while available for decades, had not been more widely adopted mainly because of economic protectionism.
MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries, stressed that tackling global inequality is key to fostering inclusion and participation of people in the future economy. Citing an estimate that it would take 132 years to close the current global gender gap, she stated that the risk of gender equality regressing has become even greater. Underscoring that transforming the relationship with nature through decarbonization as well as sustainable production and consumption are key to ensuring planetary health, she pressed the international community to show responsibility towards future generations at the upcoming conferences on biodiversity and climate change. Pointing out that a new measurement and assessment method of financing for development is crucial to better managing risks and sparking innovation, she underscored that going beyond per capita income as the only indicator to assess development is a systemic change that the international community must continue to foster. In this regard she stressed the need to ensure access to additional funds with concessional and extraordinary financing to guarantee that all countries would have the ability to make investments towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
BILLUR AHMADOVA (Azerbaijan), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, stated that it is among the few countries and the first in the region to have presented three voluntary national reviews at the high-level political forum on sustainable development. That indicates the importance with which her country places on achieving the international community’s common priority. Stressing the need to strengthen commitments to the clean energy transition, she underscored that during the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties, Azerbaijan announced a voluntary commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2050 and create a Net-Zero Emission Zone in the “liberated territories”. Noting that it is unfortunate that Armenia used the Committee to “attack one of the United Nations Member States through outrageous accusations and falsehoods”, she emphasized that Yerevan’s continued provocative attitude causes a major hindrance for building peace and investing in economic development and cooperation in the region. While Armenia mentioned it attaches importance to unblocking all regional transport communications, she added, her country does not see this intention in terms of implementation of the provisions coming from the trilateral statements of November 2020 and January 2021.
JASSER JIMÉNEZ (Nicaragua) noted that despite tremendous efforts by developing countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, world events are preventing their achievement. Recent climate phenomena are more extreme and intense, meaning that developed countries must take concrete measures to address the issue — as they are most responsible for the situation. He said these countries must also fund risk mitigation programmes to ensure climate justice. Citing the need for concrete results at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, he noted that the current economic model only increases poverty and inequalities, stressing the need to change that is more evident than ever. He also emphasized that bridging the digital and technological divide requires capacity-building. The aggressive policies of imperialism must stop, he further stressed, reaffirming Nicaragua’s commitment to equality and solidarity.
Right of Reply
The representative of Japan, taking the floor in exercise of the right of reply, noting that the statement by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had references to the discharging of the Advanced Liquid Processing System-treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, stressed that his country has engaged in discussions based on scientific evidence and in a transparent manner with experts including from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Before the commencement of the discharge, he added, his country would take measures as appropriate, considering the observation of the review conducted by IAEA and international experts. The usage of the term “contaminated water” is not based on scientific evidence, he underscored.
The representative of Armenia, responding to Azerbaijan’s delegate, rejected the “usual distortions” in their entirety. She reiterated that an unprovoked and unjustified military aggression targeting residential areas and civilian infrastructure in eastern and south-eastern Armenia caused destruction to almost 200 civilian buildings. Azerbaijan’s illegal actions represent a threat to the international community and regional peace and security. On the violation of the Trilateral Agreements of 2020 and 2021, she noted Armenia is a landlocked country, with eastern and western borders blockaded for three decades, and is interested in opening all regional communications.
The representative of Azerbaijan, responding to Armenia’s delegate, stated that she did not want to respond to repeated fabrications by that country. In response to Armenia’s traditional accusations, she reaffirmed the statements made by her delegation through relevant platforms. She asked Armenia to strictly follow the theme of the Committee and not to bring topics from other platforms.