G77 to prioritize challenges faced by developing states: Munir Akram

Political solutions must follow UN peacekeeping in conflict zones: Pakistan
Political solutions must follow UN peacekeeping in conflict zones: Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 21 (APP): The Developing Countries’ Group of 77 will continue to accord high priority to the challenges faced by its members — recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the existential threat of climate change — to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Ambassador Munir Akram told a high-level coordination meeting Thursday.

Ambassador Akram, who is the chairman of the 134-member group, was speaking at a joint briefing session held by the President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, and the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC,) Ambassador Collen Vixen Kelapil of Botswana.

Welcoming the briefing, the Pakistani envoy said, “We recognize the valuable contribution that these coordination initiatives represent to articulate efforts and promote synergies, and we call for further actions related to this matter.”

“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 changes.”

The Group of 77 and China, he said, believes that unless vaccines are distributed on just and equitable basis, the chances to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic are minimal.

“We should also address 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.”

Ambassador Akram also called for generating financial resources for the recovery of of economies from all possible sources as the rising debt burden is a major concern for developing countries

Social protection measures have proved instrumental in providing essential services and liquidity to the poor and needy during the pandemic, he said.

Investment in quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure is critical for the COVID-19 recovery and the achievement of sustainable development in its economic, social, and environmental dimensions, the Pakistani envoy added.

A follow-up of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact would be important to ensure reflection of Group’s priorities in the actions including those proposed in the Pact, he said.

The Group, he said, believes that racism is antithesis to the spirit of humanity as the pursuit of equality underpins UN ideals.

“Despite our efforts, inequalities in the economic, social, and political spheres, however, continue to permeate institutions, social structures, and everyday life.”