Fortieth Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives
23 September 2016
Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
Let me begin by extending, on behalf of my Government, our appreciation to the Kingdom of Thailand, and the very competent team in New York, led by Ambassador H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, for their excellent stewardship of the Group throughout the year. We would like to also express our full confidence in the incoming Chair, Ecuador, in promoting the interests of developing countries. We commit our full support and cooperation to the Chair, and the work of the Group.
In the path of development, we are continuously seeking to overcome and mitigate the challenges. We strive to enhance and strengthen our resilience, which in turn relies on the united efforts and the joint determination for the international community.
The Republic of Maldives, as a nation takes great pride in what we have accomplished so far in its development path over the past fifty-one years since our membership at the United Nations. When we became independent, we were one of the poorest countries in the world. Throughout our course, we have realized that one lone voice in a sea of noise might not make much of a difference. We had to make our concerns known, our priorities addressed: we needed support. And we have had to take on many of the "big" issues of our time.
Through it all, the developing world has been a steadfast friend. Together, we have stood in the trenches, raising our voice for the voiceless, the often marginalized, and left out. The Group of G77 and China remains one of the most important partners throughout our development trajectory. Also we remain extremely grateful to our parties who gave us numerous support and assistance in various forms for our development.
For small states such as the Maldives, the unity and solidarity that this Group offers so greatly is imperative. We have seen it first-hand last year, throughout the negotiations for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Agreement. And this cooperation and solidarity must continue.
Our work has only begun and reignited upon adoption of the outcomes during last year. We must remain watchful in ensuring that the commitments made in these documents are honored, and that the necessary means of implementation are delivered. Throughout this process, the Maldives in its capacity as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, has highlighted the importance of the means of implementation. Without this support, we cannot realize this ambitious agenda.
When we talk about implementation, the realization of financial support required for sustainable development, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to transform the global economy is essential. The financing required to achieve our target and to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and achieving sustainable development for all has a hefty price tag. Domestic resource mobilization alone will not be enough: especially for developing countries, and much more for small island developing countries such as Maldives, where our tax bases are small, and domestic private sector is under-developed.
We have been consistent in our call for more and urgent action on climate change; a clear threat to our human rights and our security. The Maldives was among the first countries that ratified the Paris Agreement. And it is our ardent belief that our collaborative effort will advance the Paris Agreement's entry in to force, which ultimately will be valuable to our Group collectively.
The Paris agreement is a gateway to demonstrate national climate plans and urges countries to implement their plans more effectively. Concurrently, it recognizes that further financing is required towards the climate fund, and welcomes the pledges committed by developed nations aiming to support in the financing for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The 2030 Agenda also recognizes the importance of all means of implementation including international public finance, capacity building, technology transfer and partnerships. Our economic investments need to be aligned with the core objectives of the Agenda from hereon: eradicating poverty and sustainable development. A truly revitalized Global Partnership is necessary.
Relatedly, it is important that we maintain coherence between all processes, so that all efforts are directed towards one goal, and we don't duplicate effort, and waste precious resources.
This is why we have been so vigilant in ensuring that the SAMOA Pathway, the blue print for the sustainable development of SIDS, is integrated and adequately reflected in all processes.
The Group of G77 and China is the largest inter-governmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations. It serves as a platform for developing countries to build up their economic cooperation and development. It also contributes to the progress of the South-South cooperation. While North-South cooperation has been reaffirmed as the core mode of international support, it doesn't preclude us from reinforcing and reinvigorating South-South cooperation. Genuine and durable partnerships between our countries, will undoubtedly play a crucial role in advancing our core interests, realizing sustainable development through harnessing the full potential of engagement at all levels of government, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders. Partnerships are instrumental to mobilize human and financial resources, expertise, technology and knowledge, and powerful drivers of change.
In the spirit of partnership, we remain as always with the Group: ready to cooperate, ready to assist where needed, and lend our voice in support.