Guyana pushes SDGs, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

─ as it hands over Chairmanship of Group 77 and China

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Hugh Todd has called for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, as developing countries continue their battle against the pandemic.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Hugh Todd

Minister Todd made these statements during a virtual ceremony to officially hand over the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China to the Republic of Guinea.  Guyana’s chairmanship of the Group came to an end last month, having had a successful year.

“We must stay optimistic and do our part at the national, regional and international levels to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to ensure equitable access to vaccines leaving no Region or country behind. It is pertinent that we retain a common voice as a group to negotiate for urgent support in combatting COVID -19.”

Minister Todd urged the Group to continue working towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  He reminded the meeting to use the Decade of Action to mobilise financing and strengthen institutions to reach the Goals by the target date.

During Guyana’s tenure, the country sought to bring to the forefront, and to mobilise support, for developing countries battling the pandemic whilst trying to attain the SDGs.

Members of the G77 and China during the virtual meet.

Since taking office in August, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has been advocating for access to more funding for developing countries.  To this end, Guyana hosted the flagship G77 and China event themed: “Maintaining a Low Carbon Development Path towards the 2030 Agenda in the Era of COVID-19.”

Guyana led 134 developing countries in conversations on awareness, partnership building, knowledge sharing and lesson learning on climate action amid Covid, while recovering toward the 2030 Agenda.  Guyana was also able to maintain the Group’s solidarity and cooperation and together with negotiating partners, provided a framework to address challenges facing developing countries.

“Our Chairmanship reflects His Excellency’s vision for the continued success and longevity of the Group of 77 and China, carefully aligned with the core principles that aligned the group. Core principles of solidarity, unity and cooperation. Our role as Chair began with many objectives to be fulfilled, including the third South Summit and other UN events,” Minister Todd told members.

The Minister said while the pandemic tested Guyana’s ability as Chair, the country was able to adapt, successfully negotiating and agreeing on multilateral outcomes that will guide economic, social and environmental development for the next few years.

Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres commended Guyana for its “expert guidance of the Group during 2020, an unprecedented year for the world and the organisation.”

Guinea’s candidacy was endorsed during the 44th Ministerial meeting of the Group in November.

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