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Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (General Assembly President) on Financing Sustainable development in the context of COVID-19
23 Apr 2020 -  Remarks by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly on Financing Sustainable development in the context of COVID-19.

"Excellencies
Mobilising sufficient resources will be essential in order to effectively combat COVID-19. Moreover, it will be critical to restoring our societies and progressing along the path to 2030 and a sustainable world throughout this decade.
While no country will be spared from the economic impact of this crisis, developing countries will be hit the hardest, even if they do not experience an outbreak of COVID-19. The most vulnerable countries face financial constraints, lack the fiscal space and capacity to cope with the crisis. Moreover, developing countries will be most affected by the global economic repercussions of this crisis, due in part, to a slump in commodity prices and a reversal of financing flows. To build resilience for the poorest and most vulnerable people, we must ensure sufficient financing.
This is a global pandemic, and as such our response must be global, comprehensive and well-coordinated. Our efforts must be directed towards all seven action areas of the Addis Agenda. This will entail taking effective fiscal and social measures and preventing mass unemployment by shoring up and bolstering businesses. We need to promote fair trade and innovative financing and we must honour Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments. Importantly, we must act urgently to prevent a potentially devastating debt crisis.
Rising debt levels severely limit country’s ability to provide essential public services such as healthcare and social protection. We must move swiftly on debt and concessional finance to support the most vulnerable people we serve. We must also advance steps to provide debt relief for countries. These approaches must be comprehensive and go beyond traditional debt to include all sources of debt.
In order to minimise the real risks of rising debt levels, we need political will and steadfast international cooperation, and I call on all Member States to help ensure crucial liquidity in many developing countries suffering from a heavy debt burden. I welcome the early initiative shown by the G20, the World Bank and IMF, as well as the Global Initiative for Debt Relief, called for by Pakistan. We must leave no one behind, in this time of crisis".
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