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PH highlights key actions to address the specific challenges of Middle-Income Countries at the 2020 ECOSOC High Level Political Forum in the United Nations

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 09:30



Hon. Mr. Karl Kendrick Chua, Acting NEDA Secretary, in delivering the Statement of the Like-Minded Group of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries (MICs) at the 2020 ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), highlights MICs realities and interests in the United Nations, 07 July 2020

07 July 2020 - Hon. Mr. Karl Kendrick Chua, Acting NEDA Secretary, called for transformational, inclusive and forward-looking model of cooperation for global sustainable development that considers the complex realities of developing countries, in particular the middle-income countries, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Chua conveyed this key message in his statement on behalf of the Like-Minded Group (LMG) of Countries Supporters of Middle-Income Countries (MICs) delivered at the 2020 ECOSOC HLPF session on Launching the decade of action at a time of crisis: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19.  The session was held virtually on Tuesday, 07 July 2020. 

Secretary Chua illustrated how middle-income countries are poised to suffer the acute impacts of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global shock that has exacerbated existing challenges and created new vulnerabilities for middle-income countries, setting back progress and development gains made during the past years. Recent data generated by various UN entities and reflected in the SG Policy Briefs have highlighted that the substantial drop in remittances, loss of full-time employment, loss of employment in the informal sector, debt risks, pressure on health systems and food security due to the pandemic are specifically being felt in, and will acutely impact, middle-income countries,” he stated. 

As such, middle-income countries should not be left out of funds and programs to recover better from the pandemic.  

“UN agencies should continue to support MICs with greater resources to confront the humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis of COVID-19, including for countries hosting migrants and refugees,” he said. 

On a broader perspective, Secretary Chua underlined that the traditional metric of assessing development based on per capita income is outdated because sustainable development goes beyond income, and includes equality, inclusion, healthy ecosystems and access to services.  He called for an open and innovative dialogue on the multidimensional concept of development that considers the broad vision of the international community to create more appropriate, focused and efficient solutions to achieve sustainable development. 

He also requested the UN Secretary-General, on behalf of the MICs Group, for an analysis report on the impact of COVID19 on middle-income countries, with policy recommendations for the UN system.

The HLPF and ECOSOC high-level segment is taking place from 7 to 17 July 2020. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development, and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals at the global level. It provides an opportunity for countries, organizations of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, civil society and businesses to highlight their respective efforts to implement the SDGs and achieve the 2030 Agenda.

The LMG of MICs is composed of Armenia, Belarus, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and the Philippines. The Philippines assumed its Chairmanship of the LMG on 04 September 2019.

In light of the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on in-person meetings and international travel, and as per guidance of the UN Medical Director, the entirety of this year’s HLPF will be conducted in a virtual platform. END