His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda.
Distinguished Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77 and China.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to convey best wishes from President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, the Government, and the people of Maldives to you, Mr President, the Government, and the friendly people of Uganda, and thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality.
Mr President, I congratulate you and Uganda on assuming the role as Chair of the South Summit and the Group of 77 and China for the coming year. We are confident that you will ably steer through some of the most immense challenges facing the developing countries.
I also commend Cuba for its exemplary leadership over the past year, as the outgoing Chair of the Group.
Sixty years ago, our founding members came together to deliver a united voice for the Global South…
… a Group which then, had little to no say in global affairs.
… a Group which was not in the global financial architecture.
… a Group with unique vulnerabilities.
Sixty years later, our solidarity and our strength in numbers has allowed us to advance our collective interests globally. Our common positions on issues have influenced negotiations and shaped outcomes. Our unity has helped create a fairer and more just international order - one that strives to leave no one behind.
Our shared resolve towards climate action was particularly evident at COP 28. Our unity was fundamental in operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund. We hope that this Fund will help those who need it the most. We hope our partners in the developed world will contribute generously to the Fund.
There is an urgent need to scale up climate finance, especially on adaptation. Our Group must continue to push for additional financing to spur greater climate action.
Small Island Developing States like the Maldives rely on this Group. We need your support in addressing climate change and other similar challenges that we face. Challenges that most often impact us differently, because of our unique circumstances.
In the Maldives, we are grappling with high debt burdens. Uncertainties in the global market and unfavourable market conditions remains a challenge to refinance our debt obligations. Access to finance remains an immense challenge. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer to overcome red tape.
Concessional finance needs to be made readily available. Access to funds must be simplified. And measures beyond GDP per capita must be considered.
In this, we ask the Group to join us in calling for the adoption and use of the Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index at the earliest.
While we talk about ‘leaving no one behind’, we cannot ignore the plight of the Palestinian people. The dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where tens of thousands of people have lost their lives. We strongly condemn the aggression by the Israeli forces. The Maldives will continue to advocate on this, until the global community finds a solution.
The Maldives welcomes the application by South Africa before the International Court of Justice requesting to declare that Israel is in breach of the Genocide Convention. We reiterate the call for an immediate ceasefire, and to establish a sovereign and independent State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Together, the Group has championed issues of mutual interest in multiple platforms and delivered results. Together, we must deepen cooperation to build a more equitable world. And together, we must build an international system that is more responsive to the needs of the developing countries.
We assure you of our support to realize this vision.
I thank you.