Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi during the High-Level Meeting to discuss the gaps and challenges of middle-income countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (04 December 2018)

Let me begin by thanking you Madam President for convening this High-Level meeting. It is a manifestation of the importance that your office attaches to around seventy percent of world population, residing in over 100 middle-income countries.

We look forward to the report by the Secretary General on implementation of the Resolution, and hope that it will incorporate the key points made in our discussions.

Madam President,

Middle-Income countries contribute almost half of the global GDP. But they are also home to 73% of the world’s poor.

This large concentration of the poor population necessitates focused action on middle-income countries by the UN and all other stakeholders for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which accord the highest priority to the eradication of poverty.

Though middle-income countries face common challenges, they differ in the extent of poverty, natural resource endowment, development potential and economic and social performance.

There is therefore no “one-size-fits-all” approach to development. Development assistance by the United Nations development system should respond to the varying development needs of host countries.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) will continue to be an important means of implementation for the delivery of the 2030 Agenda. It is also essential to assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability and financial inclusion.

However, we are concerned that, as it currently stands, ODA’s scope and size, relative to the GDP of Middle-Income Countries, is limited, affording only limited capacity to expand their fiscal space.

Madam President,

Pakistan attaches great importance to South-South Cooperation.

We look forward to the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) to be held in Argentina in March 2019.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a shining example of South-South cooperation. Its benefits are not restricted to participating countries, but will include the region and beyond.

In addition to South-South cooperation, triangular cooperation, which allows traditional donors and other partners to join South-South initiatives are also important. It is an additional means of leveraging resources and building linkages through capacity-building initiatives.

Nonetheless, we believe South-South cooperation is a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation. We urge the United Nations development system to continue its ongoing efforts to mainstream support to South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation.

I thank you.