AMBASSADOR R. EVADNE COYE
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS & FOREIGN
TRADE OF JAMAICA
AT THE 35TH MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Allow me to begin by expressing my Government’s deep appreciation for the Government of Argentina’s excellent stewardship of the Group of 77 & China to date. Argentina has proven equal to the task of guiding the Group in a period during which we continue to be buffeted by a range of social, economic and environmental challenges which threaten our development prospects. I would also like to congratulate the Republic of Algeria on its election to Chair the Group in 2012 and to welcome Nauru, the newest member of the Group.
Despite welcome growth in several developing countries, the recent global economic upheavals have had particularly damaging effects on the majority of developing countries. The recovery has been fragile, and the prospects for further and more damaging instability in the global financial markets remain a pressing concern. We note, in this regard, the WTO’s most recent warning about the intensification of downside risks associated with a loss of economic confidence.
There is no doubt that we must continue to work together to ensure that development retains its central place on the UN’s agenda. This is particularly important given the noticeable decline in political will to live up to pre-existing commitments and to undertake new commitments in critical areas. The question of implementation has to be addressed with urgency and partners have to be held accountable. Without political will, the allocation of adequate financing and clear plans for the full and effective implementation of commitments, the frequently identified gaps in implementation of our development objectives will remain. Such a scenario is undesirable and we must therefore continue to be unified in our efforts to ensure that commitments are fulfilled through the provision of adequate means of implementation. It is in this context that South-South Cooperation takes on an even greater significance. Jamaica reaffirms its appreciation of the development support it has received from several Member States of the G77 & China.
We are now less than a year away from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next June. It is clear that we must work urgently to ensure that Rio+20 is an unqualified success. For this to be realized, we must visualize what success should look like; what key deliverables should emerge from the conference and what it will take for them to materialize.
Let us not forget that our main task as we approach Rio+20 is to examine the gaps in the implementation of prior sustainable development commitments and, in so doing, determine what it will take for the vision embodied in Agenda 21 to be fully realized. We must strike the balance between shoring up the foundation which exists in Agenda 21, and adopting a forward looking approach so that we can effectively address new and emerging issues. This is a difficult undertaking, which has been made even more so by the prevailing global and economic challenges. However, the global community can ill afford a disappointing outcome from Rio+20. We must ensure that our focus remains on effectively integrating the three pillars of sustainable development and continuing to press for the technology transfer, capacity building and financial support which are essential if we are truly to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication.
The G77 & China has long been attuned to the unique and particular vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Jamaica. Many of the most severe environmental and economic challenges faced by SIDS can be linked to the effects of Climate Change. For this reason, we look forward to working with our partners in the G77 & China to make the upcoming 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which South Africa will host in Durban, a success. The path to a successful agreement which encompasses strategies for adaptation and mitigation, as well as significant levels of financing, will not be easy. Nevertheless, we must remain ambitious and continue to challenge our partners to shoulder their responsibilities.
Our resolve was evident in the recent High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and I convey deepest appreciation for the support which the G77 & China gave to this CARICOM initiative. We have a consensus Declaration, but that is not the end of our efforts. Together we must continue to strive for the achievement of the goals embodied in the Declaration on NCDs.
Our unity, solidarity and clarity of purpose have made the G77 & China formidable and it is imperative that we continue to collaborate to secure our development objectives. Our interests, like our capabilities, are varied, but we are bound by our vision for improved lives for all our citizens.
You can rest assured of Jamaica’s continued support of your on-going efforts to advance the agenda of developing countries at the United Nations. We remain convinced that, through mutual support and continued collaboration, we will be successful in our efforts to effectively address the complex challenges facing developing countries.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman