I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. We thank the Secretary-General for his remarks and commend the Secretariat for preparation and presentation of The Least Developed Countries Report 2017.
The timely Report can serve as an important contribution to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018 which, inter alia, will review Sustainable Development Goal 7 – the topic of our discussion today. We encourage Member States and the Secretariat to make better use of the Report’s findings and recommendations for enriched discussion and meaningful outcome for this session and the HLPF 2018.
Transforming energy sector iscritically important goal towards long-term development of developing countries and LDCs and serves as enabler for attainment of other SDGs.Secure, efficient, reliable, clean and cost-effective energy system remains a challenge to most developing countries and more so for LDCs. However, this challenge can be turned into an opportunity with right policies tailored to national circumstances, appropriate resource allocation and commitment at national and international level.
While on average 10 per cent of people in other developing countries lack access to electricity, this remains the case for more than 60 per cent of the population for the Least Developed Countries. LDCs as a group have around just 8 per cent of the capacity of other developing economies to generate electricity per person, and barely 2 per cent that of developed countries. Expanding access to adequate, reliable and affordable sources of modern energy is thus particularly vital for the LDCs’ escape from the poverty trap and long-term development.
The Group of 77 and China takes note of the Report’s recommendation to focus on the productive use of energy particularly for commercial and industrial activities, which in turn contributes to overall economic development. LDCs require institutional reforms in designing, distributing and regulating an energy sector that can work for national development.
Mobilizing development finance to undertake investments in energy infrastructure and diversifying energy mix should also remain a priority. Developing countries including LDCs should take benefit of advances in technology which offer better, reliable and cheaper alternatives to traditional means of energy generation. The experience of other developing countries through south-south and trilateral cooperation, as well as cooperation with international organizations, also offers valuable lessons in deployment of new technologies and equitable sharing of energy resources.
Developing countries in general and LDCs in particular are heavily impacted by climate change without contributing much to it. It is therefore imperative that commitments made in the Paris Agreement for climate-related financing are fulfilled.
The function of technology in transformation of energy access cannot be overemphasized. Start-ups and SMEs can serve instrumental role in building an energy ecosystem linked with information highway delivering low-cost and localized energy solutions.
The Group of 77 and China concurs with the Report’s findings on the need for strengthening and widening the international mechanisms for transfer of technology to LDCs in the field of energy. Advanced countries need to support the transition of LDCs towards renewable energies, so as to be able to leverage the new technologies to face the challenge of ensuring electricity access even in the most remote and sparsely populated areas of the LDCs.
The Group of 77 and China welcomes the operationalization in September 2017 of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Counties. However, the Bank will need to have the required financing and institutional backing to effectively foster the building of technological capacities by LDCs.
We look forward to have further discussion on this hugely important topic.
I thank you Mr. President.