Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
On behalf of the Government of the Maldives, it is my pleasure to extend our sincere appreciation to the Government of Cuba for the exemplary leadership as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.
Today, we gather with a shared commitment to deliberate on the reform of the international financial architecture. In a rapidly evolving global landscape, it is imperative that we forge a new and inclusive economic order that fosters prosperity for all nations, regardless of their level of development or geopolitical standing.
Accessing concessional finance is a major obstacle for many developing nations, including SIDS like the Maldives. The existing measures to assess development does not sufficiently account for the unique vulnerabilities of these countries. The Maldives supports the adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) to address these issues more effectively.
We must ensure that the developed world and IFIs live up to their promise for more reform and we must collectively push them to adopt the MVI as a measure of development. Many announcements were made during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in June. We welcome positive announcements including the World Bank inserting clauses allowing developing countries to pause on debt repayments if hit by a climate disaster.
Our efforts must not stop here. Reform of the international financial architecture must also include reforming the current architecture on climate finance. We see much room for improvement of current procedures in access to multilateral climate funds. Small island developing states are faced with immense hurdles to develop concepts into projects that are ready for implementation. As of today, the Maldives has only been able to mobilize finance for 2 out of the 22 projects in the pipeline through the Green Climate Fund! Ever too often, several years pass to fulfil all the pre-requisites, and by the time we have fulfilled them, the situation on the ground has changed. We believe that this is an area the Group can and should collectively raise our voices on.
We have seen the result of our Group speaking in one voice – when at COP27, it was our solidarity, unity and collective action that led to the establishment of a dedicated fund to address Loss and Damage. The Fund was a pivotal step in redressing a long-standing injustice endured by billions in the South, particularly those in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Going ahead, let us redouble our efforts to ensure its full operationalization in COP28.
We must urge developed countries through collaborative efforts, to support our development agenda and materialize our vision for sustainable progress. It is imperative that in this collective pursuit, we uphold our commitment to inclusivity, ensuring that none among us, particularly the most vulnerable, and marginalized, are excluded from the benefits of our shared journey.