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Statement by the President of the UNGA delivered by H.E. Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka - G20 Briefing, 5 February 2018

Monday, 05 February 2018
H.E. Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera
UN General Assembly

U N I T E D   N A T I O N S                                N A T I O N S   U N I E S


delivered by H.E. Mr. Amrith Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Vice President of the General Assembly on behalf of the President of the General Assembly 

G20 Briefing
5 February 2018


I am delivering this statement on behalf of the President of the General Assembly and I quote:

I look forward to hearing more about Argentina’s priorities and plans for its presidency of the G20. I can say already that our priorities are aligned. From issues of unemployment, to mobilizing private resources for infrastructure and ensuring a sustainable food future, we are all working to improve the lives of people. Indeed, the common thread that runs through all of my priorities is a focus on people.

As we work to implement our common plans, including the SDGs, it is good for us to meet and exchange notes. Thank you, Ambassador Villagra Delgado, the Sherpa for the G20, for briefing the General Assembly today.

And welcome to Ambassador Garcia Moritan, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN and Mr. Liu Zhenmin, USG of DESA and UN Sherpa for the G20.

First, this briefing is a prime opportunity for dialogue – and, importantly, to listen to the G20 priorities for the year. I have long been an advocate for dialogue. This is how we foster understanding and share knowledge.

We will leave here enriched with new information. Some of it may not even be new to us, but can serve as timely reminders.

Likewise, I welcome the practice of inviting the United Nations and other global bodies to G20 meetings.

In our interconnected world, we can no longer stick to the narrow confines of our national borders. We have to reach out and coordinate policies at the global level. G20 understands this very well and has been an advocate for strengthened global governance.

Dialogue is a precondition to our collective success in this multilateral environment.

And this G20 briefing to the General Assembly, the most representative body in the world - is multilateralism in action!

My second point is about G20’s role in development. The G20 countries represent a large majority in the world in terms of population size, trade, production and consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and renewable power capacity. This brings about both challenges and potential solutions that affect the whole world.

The SDGs are our shared and universal goals. As we implement them, we need to make sure we are on the same page.

With G20 countries accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population, we cannot achieve sustainable development without the G20 on board. Apart from population size, the economic and trade prowess of the G20 makes it a key development partner.

The good news is that the G20 takes sustainable development seriously. I commend you for establishing the G20 Action Plan to bring the countries closer to achieving the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

I will keep the momentum going as we implement our plans.

On June 11th I will convene an event on financing where I hope you will participate – your experiences in financing development initiatives will be invaluable. I will have a Youth Dialogue on May 30th where I encourage you to send your young representatives. One of the topics we will explore during this youth dialogue is youth unemployment and the future of work.

I look forward to continued collaboration with the G20 on our shared priorities. The General Assembly is like an orchestra. We each have a role to play and we must be coordinated. We must sing from the same song sheet.

Thank you.