Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid, today participated in the Flagship Event on the occasion of Guyana’s Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. The meeting was held virtually under the theme “Maintaining a Low Carbon Development Path towards the 2030 Agenda in the Era of COVID-19”. This event brought together Ministerial and expert level representatives from the membership of the G77 and China and produced a Presidential Communique that highlighted the main concerns and actions of the group.

In his statement, Minister Shahid thanked His Excellency Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana, for convening the event and commended him for his exemplary leadership of the Group of 77 and China in these challenging times. He noted that the Group has many important areas of focus such as climate change, poverty eradication, inequality, women and youth empowerment.

Minister Shahid addressed the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic by noting that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected SIDS such the Maldives, by exacerbating existing vulnerabilities including climate change, trade imbalances, enormous debt burdens and the digital divide. He explained that targets for mitigating the impacts of climate change and achieving the sustainable development goals now appear unattainable because the pandemic has slowed or reversed the progress made towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. 

Minister Shahid also said that climate change remains the most serious, and potentially irreversible, long-term threat to humanity. He stressed that failure is not an option when it comes to meeting the 1.5˚C goal of the Paris Agreement and welcomed G77’s call for more ambitious climate action to get us back on track and submit updated and more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. He reiterated Maldives' commitment to “building back better, greener and bluer” from today’s economic challenges and noted that the Maldives can only reach the ambitious and necessary goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway, with access to adequate, predictable and sustainable finance that comprehends the unique burdens and risks we face.

He further called for adequately  allocating the global financial resources and to recognize that the proper management of risk requires sufficient financing for sustainable and climate-friendly development. He urged the G77 to intensify efforts to make the financial institutions and development banks become more flexible in their approach to concessional financing - embracing their role in creating a pathway to sustainable and climate-friendly recovery.  In addition, he also called upon developed countries to fulfil their commitment to provide $100 billion per year in climate financing to developing countries.

In closing, Minsiter Shahid called upon the countries of the G77 to recommit to the collective ideals of the Group and work together to achieve the SDGs, fight climate change, and help the most vulnerable countries to recover and build back better.

The Group of 77 and China(G77) at the United Nations is a coalition of 134 developing countries, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.