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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of the India to the United Nations at the Ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China on the occasion of UNCTAD 15

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of the India to the United Nations at the Ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 and China on the occasion of UNCTAD 15

Friday 1 October 2021

3 to 6 pm (Central European Summer Time)

Madam Chair, Honourable Minister Sandra Husbands

Secretary General of UNCTAD

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

Good Afternoon to you all

Chair, I thank you for giving me the floor. I convey the greetings of my External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and Minister of Commerce & Industry, Dr. Piyush Goyal. I thank Afghanistan for the excellent leadership of the Geneva Chapter of the Group of 77.

The Ministerial Meeting of the G77 on the occasion of the 15th Ministerial Conference of UNCTAD is being held at a critical time, when the world is witnessing unprecedented challenges due to covid 19 pandemic. The Bridgetown Ministerial Declaration that G77 has adopted today reaffirms the important role of UNCTAD as the focal point in the United Nations for integrated treatment of trade, development and interrelated issues, including in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.

UNCTAD needs to realise its rightful place as a vital UN forum for consensus-building and decision-making on key trade, development and interrelated issues. Revitalization of UNCTAD, as a part of reforms in the broader multilateral system, is essential so that it can contribute in defining the future of the global development agenda.

In this context, we reaffirm our call for revitalizing and reforming multilateralism, strengthening the voice of developing countries, making global economic governance truly development-oriented and ensuring meaningful participation of developing countries in making decisions that affect their present and their future.

COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the inequalities and exposed the vulnerabilities of developing countries, which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic; it threatens to setback the decades of progress made by them. We all are aware of the fundamental developmental challenges that we face, including the effects of climate change, disruptions in global trade, transport and tourism, and strains on our financial resources etc.

We emphasize the importance of achieving sustainable economic growth and development and the need for providing developing countries with the means of implementation, including access to technology, finance and capacity-building. We underline the need for adherence to the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries in harnessing the developmental benefit of international trade.

India has called for global efforts to promote investments and enhance financing for development. We reiterate our urgent call to reform the international financial architecture to improve the efficiency of the global financial system, improve debt sustainability and foster sustainable development. We reiterate that technology development and transfer are the core priorities of the developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

We reaffirm the importance of leveraging trade and investment policies as potential tools to support realisation of the SDGs. As we work for the success of COP26, it is essential to secure balanced progress towards the full implementation of all three pillars of the Paris Agreement – mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation support for developing countries

Recognising increasingly important role that digitalization is playing in the world economy, we call for efforts to narrow the technological gap and closing the digital divide between developed and developing countries. Our Digital India Mission aims at digital transformation of India, using digital technologies for good governance, sustainable and inclusive development and social and political inclusion.

India has always seen humanity as one family. We have stressed the significance of South-South and North-South cooperation in post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development. Guided by the need to strengthen developmental cooperation and to support developing countries to achieve the SDGs, India has expanded its developmental partnership with developing countries, including LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Contributing to global action in combating covid 19 pandemic, India has supplied essential medicines and equipment as well as vaccines to over 150 countries, including as grants. We have been ramping up our capacity for production of vaccines. For this, the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open. After a brief hiatus, we have decided to resume supply of vaccine to others countries. In this regard, we reiterate our call for equity in access to vaccines and seek your support for our joint proposal in WTO with South Africa calling for temporary waiver of certain provision of the TRIPS Agreement.

In India’s development cooperation, we have been guided by our partners’ development priorities.  Our concessional Lines of Credit of over US$ 30 billion, our grants-in-aid projects, and our flagship training and capacity building project under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) have made a huge contribution to fellow developing countries. The US$ 150 million India-UN Development Partnership Fund continues to support transformational sustainable development projects with a focus on LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.  

Contributing to the global climate action and to deal with the changes due to global warming, India has taken initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance, where India has pledged US$ 1.7 billion for solar energy projects, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

I would like to conclude with reiteration of India’s steadfast commitment to work with our partners in the G-77 towards achieving our shared developmental goals. We also reiterate our commitment to UNCTAD and its agenda. We will work towards enabling UNCTAD to regain its place and reaffirm its core mandate to mainstream the priorities of developing countries in the global discourse and action on trade and development.