Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena reiterated the call of the Group of 77 for adequate funding for development initiatives enabling developing countries to overcome the multifaceted challenges hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the context of the exacerbated global situation due to the pandemic and its adverse effects on trade, tourism, investment and employment.
The Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 was held virtually on Thursday (12 November), chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. The interactive dialogue was held on the theme "Major priority issues and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the obstacles it poses to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs".
In a video statement, Minister Gunwardena highlighted the strong mandate given by the people of Sri Lanka to the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa both at the presidential election and the general election, for his Vision for Prosperity & Splendour that gives confidence to Sri Lanka to commit further to the goals of the G-77. He noted that Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieve the SDGs was reflected in the appointment of a Working Group to study the current status of Sri Lanka’s implementation & progress of the SDGs.
The Foreign Minister further underscored the platform provided by the Group to developing countries in articulating and promoting collective interests on all major international economic issues within the UN system and in promoting South-South cooperation for development. He also recalled the original contribution of Sri Lanka's Economists, led by Dr. Gamani Corea, former Secretary General of UNCTAD, in mobilizing support for South-South cooperation.
Minister Gunawardena congratulated the President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, of Guyana for his stewardship of the Group, who made the key note address. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly and António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations also addressed the Meeting.
13 November 2020