H.E Mr. José Antonio Zamora Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Water of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Chair of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G77 and China,
Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz, Permanent Representatives of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the UN and Chair of the G77 and China,
Foreign Ministers from the Member States of the G77 and China,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a tremendous honour for me to join you today at the 38th annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G77 and China.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, our Current Chair, for a remarkable job in preparing for this important meeting.
On the same line, I would like to thank our Chair and his Staff for organizing the different events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the G77 and China this year.
At the onset allow me to take this opportunity to commend Her Excellency, Mrs. Elizabeth Sandra Gutierrez, Minister of Justice of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, acting on behalf of the G77 and China for her presence and support at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, held in Samoa earlier this month.
Such support has gone a long way in helping the cause of the Small Island developing states and to strengthen the call made for the international community to take urgent action to address the multifaceted vulnerabilities of the island nations.
This is a noteworthy cause of advocacy for our group because proposals to establish mechanisms like the vulnerability resilience profiles and the debt-for-adaptation swap will not only benefit Small Island developing states but all developing countries.
As developing countries we all face inherent vulnerabilities that prevent us from mitigating and strengthening the resilience of our economy in order to sustainably improve the livelihoods of our people. A vulnerability resilience profile will be an important milestone to advance international policies, mechanisms and rules that are more responsive to our specific development needs.
Let us not forget that many members of our group are also Middle-income countries (MICs). The
diverse and complex needs of MICs is challenging the traditional notion of development by which countries evolve and eventually graduate to the “developed” category and is no longer in need of any form of international assistance and support. Indeed, the development of MICs shows that it is not linear and the United Nations system as well as the Bretton Woods institutions need the right support mechanisms in place to cater for these specificities.
This cause resonates well with the vocation of our group to build a more equitable world where the voices and concerns of big and small countries alike are heard and that we are all in a position to engage with all international partners to come up with practical solutions.
The blue economy is one of those practical solutions to meet the development aspirations of developing countries.
The blue economy concept recognizes the productivity of a healthy ocean ecosystem as a pathway for ocean-based economies, as well as ensuring that SIDS and other coastal countries benefit fully from their marine resources.
The blue economy provides a blank canvas to many developing countries to charter a completely new sustainable development pathway that is to their best interest. Many of us did not get that same opportunity in terms of our land resources.
The onus is therefore on us to put in place innovative south-south partnerships that will allow our countries to reap fully the benefits of our vast oceanic territories.
A key component of this south-south cooperation is research. A science-based approach is essential to the development of the blue economy. This will include technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity building that will allow us to tap fully into key sectors like fisheries, aquaculture, shipping and maritime transport, tourism, nonrenewable and renewable energy, marine genetic resources as well as blue carbon trading.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The recently organized Climate Change Summit has reminded us of the difficult choices that are knocking on our door.
We are on a collision course with nature, and we need to take bold decisions to change that path. We must identify ambitious but achievable goals, and then to achieve them in the most cost-effective manner. Our efforts have so far been a fraction of what is required.
There is only one way forward: governments need to put together the optimal policy mix to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. There has to be progress on every front.
We count on the usual support of G77 and China in pursuing the important work that it is doing in ensuring that at the COP21 meeting in Paris we manage to agree on an ambitious legally binding agreement that will allow us to effectively combat the daunting reality of climate change.
We should also remind developed countries of the need to fulfill their commitments to jointly mobilize US0 billion annually by 2020 for the full operationlaisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which should be capitalized as soon as possible.
The Group of G77 and China has the largest gathering of developing countries at the United Nations has provided the means for us countries of the South to articulate and promote our collective objectives.
In a world that is changing so fast and which brings with it so many challenges, it is important that we continue with one voice bring forward our concerns and seek solutions to our problems.
14 years ago, our global efforts were mobilized behind the Millennium Development Goals and now we have just a few more months to go to meet these ambitious targets. If we take stock of what we have attained for the MDGs, it is clear that we have been able to make commendable progress but it is also clear that much more still remains to be done in a number of critical areas.
My country takes pride in having achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals but we also need to work harder in fulfilling a number of unmet targets.
As individual member states, the onus is on us to unlock the untapped socio-economic potential of our people.
As an organization, the G77 has supported the effort led by the UN in encouraging member states to use the MDGs as a test and to do their maximum to reach the different goals. We also need to continue to act on the international factors that are also playing a big part in preventing developing nations from reaching their goals.
Let us recall that the 1st ever statement of the G77 in 1964 was to promote equality in the International economic and Social Order and promote the interests of the Developing World.
We need to ensure that the international community recognizes that an important link in this value chain is the need for a strengthened global partnership for development. An enhanced global partnership should include providing financial resources to developing countries, debt relief and debt restructuring, trade, technology transfer and greater participation of developing countries in global economic governance.
The Ebola crisis in West Africa has underscored the need for such global partnerships. I would like to express our solidarity with all partners who are working extensively in the prevention, treatment and control of the disease.
Let us work together on this. Let us hope that if there is a treatment for this then people in the developing world will also be able to have easy access to it.
Seychelles therefore is strongly advocating a progressive Post-2015 Development agenda that combats HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases, promotes poverty reduction, equitable distribution of resources, sustainable development with a focus on the Blue Economy, gender equality and the empowerment of our women and our youth.
Seychelles also believes that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should put greater emphasis on education and culture as the tool to achieving Sustainable development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As we approach another important celebration in 2015, that is the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, as a Group we should continue to be vocal in advocating for changes to this great institution.
The United Nations need to be reformed in order to strengthen its central role in promoting multilateralism and to be effective in tackling current and future global challenges.
As it is now, based on a model of a world that reflects the realities of the last century, this pillar of unity will never be able to effectively and constructively deal with emerging problems of today.
We need to urge developed countries to show real political will so that the UN can emerge as an Organization with the capacity and capability to fully implement its mandate.
We especially need a Security Council which is more representative and more accessible to a wider membership.
Conflicts in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in parts of Africa, in Syria and in Iraq remind us on a daily basis that peace remains extremely fragile in many parts of the world. Nontraditional threats to international peace and security are also on the rise.
Terrorism is one and it has become a threat that is becoming extremely complicated to be dealt with. Wherever it may occur and regardless of its origin should always deserve our unequivocal condemnation and our firm resolve to fight against it.
As a community of nations, the search for peace through continuous negotiations, dialogue and understanding should continue to guide every aspect of our advocacy.
A couple of years ago the first piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia shocked the global community.
Seychelles, as one of the seriously affected countries, however chose not to shy away from the responsibility of tackling such an enormous threat. With the support of many like-minded countries, we have mobilized the international community into recognizing that this is a global threat.
Recently we established Reflecs3 (Regional Fusion and Law enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at sea) to better target the financing of illicit transnational crimes.
In the longer term, Seychelles stands ready to continue to act as a coordinator and facilitator for efforts to improve maritime security in the region through the sharing of information, best practices and experiences.
On the same line, it has often been suggested in this forum and in other forums that the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean will not be completely eliminated if there are no concrete positive socio-economic development and political stability in Somalia itself.
The decision taken by the UNSC to increase the UN presence in Somalia as part of the efforts to strengthen the UN-AU partnership is helping to restore order, promote human rights and ensure rule of law in Somalia. This is often being done in extremely dangerous situations.
Seychelles believes that the International Community must continue to work in a coordinated and efficient manner in assisting Somalia. More emphasis should be placed on boosting trade and investment in this country.
Seychelles expresses its strong solidarity with the government and the people of Somalia and has already begun engaging with them through various capacity building initiatives. This is mainly through our expertise in fisheries sector which we are already sharing with them.
I would like to end my intervention by again expressing my support for the Group 77 and China and for the ideals that its stands for.