12 November 2020
(Time – 3 minutes)
His Excellency Mr. Hugh Hilton Todd,
Hon’ble Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77, China
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalamu Alaikum, Peace be upon You,
Today, we have gathered here at a time when the whole world is besieged with the unprecedented socio-economic challenges, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is a stark reality and a reminder for us that the world is interconnected and no one is safe until everyone is safe.
I thank the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Chair of the Group of 77 for organizing this meeting to discuss how collectively to respond to the pandemic which has threatened the progress of the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The UN has estimated that the global economy is expected to lose nearly $8.5 trillion wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years. The wider social and economic costs – from poverty to mental illness are almost impossible to quantify. Unfortunately, the global scale of this disaster has not been met with a global response of the same magnitude. This global pandemic has exposed the chronic under investment in human health and well-being and the consequences of relentless exploitation of biodiversity and serious damage to the environment. With regard to ‘Leave no one behind’, the aspiration of SDGs, it can be said that the pandemic has disproportionately, and more detrimentally, affected members of most vulnerable social groups—including people living in poverty, migrants, elderly, persons with disabilities, youth, children and especially women. In addition to the Rohingya crisis, this pandemic heavily disrupted Bangladesh’s phenomenal success towards achieving the SDGs. The government of Bangladesh under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister adopted a comprehensive response plan to minimize the impact of the pandemic and announced stimulus packages of around US$ 14.14 billion (4.3% of GDP) highest in its recorded history to secure life and livelihood of the people.
In conclusion Ladies and Gentlemen,
The COVID-19 response and recovery process provides us with an opportunity to work together and response collectively for building a more sustainable and resilient world. We need to ensure equitable access to safe, effective and affordable Covid-19 vaccines and other preventive tools. Strengthening local capacities and meaningful global partnership in the form of innovation, finance and use of sources of data and technologies, continuation of support to the graduating LDCs are crucial for timely implementation of the Agenda 2030 and for reducing the risk of future disasters. I wish the Republic of Guinea a successful tenure as Chair of G-77 and China for the Year 2021.
I thank you.