President ECOSOC Ambassador Munir Akram speaking in a Virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of SDG Financing with H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General

New York, November 6, 2020

Ambassador Munir Akram in his capacity as President ECOSOC delivered his remarks in a virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of SDG Financing with the Secretary General Antonio Guterres today.

Ambassador, thanked for convening this meeting in a format of a conversation with the Secretary General for together with the Prime Ministers of Canada in Jamaica and called this meeting ' a unique exercise' for the United Nations, that has brought the United Nations into the center of this important discussion about a response to this worst crisis that the global community has faced in 75 years.

Ambassador shared the concern and frustration of Secretary-General his specific actions, which he has advocated, and which have been echoed by the Special Envoy, saying "it is worth recounting the vaccine; the access to the vaccine, creation of SDR; the extension of the DSSI suspension, and its expansion; access to new funds, concessional finance, the liquidity and sustainability facility".

Ambassador added 'investment' both from the public and the private sector, especially in infrastructure, as an action that would be an important part of the response.

"The role that has been played by our colleagues both Courtney and Bob from Canada is commendable and I hope that they will continue to play that leadership role and accelerate the work of the six clusters that have been identified" : said Ambassador while applauding the role of Group of Friends.

"I would hope that these clusters will, on the one hand, try to identify the emergency measures which the Secretary General and the Special Envoy have mentioned for action this, these emergency measures need to be translated into action" he added.

He insisted further that " we will need a coalition of leaders, coalition of the like-minded to reach out at a bilateral level two heads of state and heads of government to central banks to reach out to the G 20 summit when it takes place later this year to reach out in the IMF, IBRD meetings, as well as other United Nations summits that are scheduled to take place. We need to have a coalition of likeminded, which will reach out to the decision makers in order to get an agreement on emergency action" as "the only way' to get action.

Ambassador also expressed his commitment to lead the platform of ECOSOC for "conducting consultations" and hoped that "the six clusters will engage with the ECOSOC in order to see how to advance as our process into translating our advocacy into agreements at the FFD and the high level political forum, ultimately".

"I am most grateful to, to the Secretary General for his support, and I look forward to the support from the Secretariat on to the Economic and Social Council. Finally, I believe that the clusters can also be most useful in looking at some of the structural issues. These are issues which we will need to address in the future, but our focus, I believe, at this moment, must be on the emergency action, which the Secretary General and the Special Envoy have identified" he concluded.