G77 Chair, Ambassador Munir Akram, delivered a Group statement at Joint Briefing by the President of the ECOSOC and President of the General Assembly

New York, 20 January 2022

On behalf of the G77 and China, he welcomed this first briefing by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). He said that "we recognize the valuable contribution that these coordination initiatives represent to articulate efforts and promote synergies" and called for further actions related to this matter.

While mentioning the challenges confronted to the world community, Ambasador Munir Akram, the Chair of Group of 77 for the year 2022 said that "We are confronted with a triple challenge: recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic; achievement of the SDGs - during the remaining decade of action; and the existential threat of climate change".

"The Group of 77 and China believes that vaccine inequity is hampering recovery of the developing countries from Covid-19 Pandemic". He insisted further that "Unless vaccines are distributed on just and equitable basis, our chances to defeat the virus are minimal". He also stressed on addressing the barriers to development and distribution of medical equipment, including aspects related to intellectual property, technology transfer and scaling up of local and regional manufacturing capacities.

In this regard, he welcomed the initiative by the PGA to convene a high-level meeting on vaccine equity and hoped that both the General Assembly and ECOSOC will continue to play their respective roles in ensuring vaccine equity.

He also stressed on a need to generate the financial resources for the recovery of our economies from all possible sources. The rising and unsustainable debt burden is a major concern among many developing countries. The Group therefore supported the High-Level Thematic Debate on "Debt Sustainability for Better Recovery" to be convened jointly by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC.

He urged world leaders to ensure that the new general allocation of $650bn special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the IMF are utilized for the recovery. "The majority of these SDRs should go to the developing countries in need" he said. The Group, therefore, underlined the necessity to channel a sizable part of the unutilized SDRs to the developing countries, which need the liquidity.

Paying special attention to the social protection measures, he insisted that "Universalization of access to social protection should be a priority during 2022".

Ambassador Munir Akram, the Permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, delivered the statement on behalf of G77 and China today at the Joint Briefing by the President of the ECOSOC and President of the General Assembly.

On behalf of the Group, Ambassador Munir Akram insisted on the fact that "racism is antithesis to the spirit of humanity". "The pursuit of equality underpins the ideals enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the principle of leaving no one behind incorporated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" he said.

"Despite our efforts, inequalities in the economic, social, and political spheres, however, continue to permeate institutions, social structures, and everyday life" he expressed his concern.

In the pursuit of attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, he said that "Investment in quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure is critical for the COVID-19 recovery". "Many developing countries need support in project identification and development and mobilization of private and public investment" he said. "Private sector investment can and must be scaled up significantly, especially in areas such as energy, communications, transport, and technology" he suggested.

The chair recognized the important role of the United Nations development system, the World Bank, and other multilateral institutions in addressing the capacity and funding gaps in quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure investment, working through existing initiatives, especially in developing countries.

He ensured that the Group would continue to accord high priority to the challenges faced by LDCs, LLDCs, SIDs and Middle-Income Countries to achieve the sustainable development goals.

Looking at the year 2022's crucial milestones and events for the sustainable development agenda, including the adoption of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, 2nd High-Level Conference on the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development" (2018-2028), the 2nd Oceans Conference, the High-Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda, and 5th LDC Conference, he expressed his commitment to "engaging constructively and actively in all processes and calls for a decision on a new date for the postponed LDC conference at the earliest".

"The Group of 77 and China remains committed to engaging in the process of ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery guided by the 2030 Agenda and stands ready to work actively with the General Assembly and ECOSOC towards the achievement of this goal" he concluded.