AFRICAN GROUP STATEMENT DURING HLPF2020


STATEMENT BY

BY H.E. M AMBASSADOR YEMDAOGO ERIC TIARE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BURKINA FASO TO THE UNITED NATIONS,

ON BEHALF OF THE AFRICAN GROUP

ON

THE HLPF MEETING ENTITLED: “MOBILIZING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY, ACCELERATING ACTION AND EMBARKING ON NEW PATHWAYS TO REALIZE THE 2030 AGENDA AND RESPOND TO

COVID-19:

AFRICAN COUNTRIES, LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES AND LANDLOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES”

Thursday, 9 July 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Madam President,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the African Group.

At the outset, allow me to express the Group's appreciation to you, Madam President, for convening this meeting, and to the ECOSOC Secretariat for the excellent preparations, despite the challenges of working and virtually meeting during this pandemic crisis.

Madam President,

The African Group welcome this meeting on Mobilizing international solidarity, accelerating action and embarking on new pathways to realize the 2030 Agenda and respond to COVID-19.

We recognize the important role of the international community in addressing the challenges and needs faced by all developing countries, especially African countries, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries. We also recognize the central role of the United Nations system in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and coordinating a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, based on unity, solidarity, multilateralism and international cooperation.

The Group note with thanks recent announcements from international partners to address the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, nevertheless large financing gaps remain and greater support is needed to ensure that African countries are able to respond effectively to the health crisis and address economic challenges.

The African Group wishes to underscore the need to provide sufficient liquidity and fiscal space to all developing countries. The Group is of the view, that the World Bank, the IMF, multilateral and regional development banks, bilateral creditors and other commercial and private creditors, have to continue to provide substantial debt relief and debt standstill to developing countries, including issuing additional Special Drawing Rights.

We underscore 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.

We stress that Official Development Assistance (ODA), is one of the main channels for international cooperation. It is critical and indispensable for achieving the SDGs. Within the framework of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Group urges donor countries to honor their ODA commitments and to align ODA with the specific national priorities and strategies of developing countries, to better meet their development needs.

We reaffirm that it is imperative to strengthen international tax cooperation and the mobilization of domestic resources. The Group therefore appeals to Member States to combat illicit financial flows, which rob us of much needed resources for financing sustainable development.

The Group expresses its unwavering support for the multilateral approach to addressing climate change, within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the lead, and to secure full implementation of the Paris Agreement. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the normative framework agreements that are in place must serve as a compass to ensure that recovery strategies are in line with medium and long-term development and climate objectives.

We remain concerned about fast spreading coronavirus outbreaks throughout the world. The Group therefore encourage continued COVID-19 integrated support to developing countries alongside adoption of best practices and solutions that could be taken to scale, and reiterate the need for accelerated, coordinated approaches that bolster supply chains, improve prevention, preparedness and resilience, and reinforce strong partnerships. We have to intensify international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat Covid-19. We call for emergency support for public health systems, and stronger and more inclusive social protection systems. The Group call to agreed solutions for considering COVID-19 vaccines as public goods and recommend their accessibility to all countries, regardless of their level of development.

We recognize science, technology and innovation as one of the most transformative means to achieve sustainable development. We also stress the importance of building infrastructure as a powerful driver of economic growth, social and environmental development and highlight its role in promoting policy synergies, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, financial cooperation and people-to-people exchange at the sub-regional, regional and global levels, which are key to achieving sustainable development.

Madam President,

To conclude, we would like to reaffirm that it is essential that a truly transformative recovery from COVID-19 is pursued; one that addresses existing challenges, reduces exposure to future crises and accelerates action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. To ensure that the world emerges stronger from this crisis, we must together stay the course and rebuild trust in the multilateral system, with the United Nations at the center. This pandemic can be envisioned as the catapult for a resilient and sustainable recovery, necessary for developing countries to successfully overcome the obstacles to long-term development.


I Thank You

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©2019 The Permanent Observer Mission of African Union to the United Nations.