NEW YORK: Kuwaiti Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations said the Group of 77 and China are making great efforts to find suitable solutions to the challenges in the quest for sustainable development while taking stock of the evolving changes worldwide. The ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China takes place at a critical time when the world is battling against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Bader Abdullah Al-Munayekh said in an address on behalf of Kuwait to the virtual meeting on Friday.
The battle against the pandemic added strains on the countries of the world, particularly the Group of 77 and China, in their efforts to curb the negative impacts of the climate change and other disasters, he pointed out. “These challenges made international cooperation and solidarity more significant than ever and highlight the need of finding innovative partnerships in the areas of development and financing to address the current and future shocks,” Munayekh stressed.
“The ongoing dialogue is a step in the right direction and expresses the extent of our realization and understanding of the new changes, and their causes and impacts, as well as how to address them effectively. These changes brought about both challenges and opportunities,” he noted. The Kuwaiti representative underscored the need to change the approach to achieving sustainable development and tackling climate change in a way that could address the shortcomings revealed recently amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He called on development partners to honor aid pledges and the commitments they made in binding treaties, notably those related to climate and biodiversity.
“Only a few states met their aid pledges,” he regretted, noting that this assistance is crucial for achieving equitable economic recovery and realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The State of Kuwait has always been one of the biggest supporters of the joint action against poverty that spearheaded the relief efforts aiming to alleviate debts and mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural and man-made disasters,” he said, citing Kuwait’s role in providing assistance to the conflict-hit countries. Realizing the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on poor communities, the State of Kuwait provided nearly $290 million to the efforts meant to tackle the various dimensions of the pandemic, Al-Munayekh went on.
The Kuwaiti funding went to various aid initiatives and mechanisms in countries hard-hit by the pandemic and UN agencies such as the World Health Organization, as well as the COVAX Facility effort to develop an anti-COVID-19 vaccine, he revealed. Commending the role played by the Group of 77 over the last 56 years in creating a joint negotiating capacity under the UN umbrella, Munayekh highlighted the significance of continuing this role and strengthening the south-south cooperation.
He called for greater collaboration with the advanced countries with a view to better utilizing the available chances in high-tech and scientific advancement and empowering the countries of the south to overcome the challenges on the way to SDGs through the perspective of collective responsibility. – KUNA