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UNGA’s Korosi: “Friend in Need is Friend Indeed”

Csaba Korosi, Hungarian diplomat, president of 77. Session of UN General Assembly (2022/23 Courtesy photo for education only)

Csaba Korosi, Hungarian diplomat, president of 77. Session of UN General Assembly (2022/23 Courtesy photo for education only)

WebPublicPress (New York / Doha) – “Governments do not have a monopoly on wisdom. We need your wisdom. We need your knowledge. We need your experience,” said Csaba Korosi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly on the High-level opening of the Civil Society Forum at the LDC5 (Least Developed Countries) Conference in Doha, Qatar.

Mr. Korosi added the LDC are crossroads on their paths toward sustainable development:

“From a tortuous post-COVID recovery to the war in Ukraine and its global consequences, through an inflation now in double digits across the world – epic challenges, compounded by the climate crisis, warn us that the worst is still to come.”

And, president of the UN General Assembly quoted  former UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, who said“saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty and advancing economic growth – these are one and the same fight.”

Between 2000 and 2019, the economies of LDCs grew at an average rate of 4.7% per year, a rate much higher than the global average. This growth played an important role in improving access to health and services and reducing poverty overall.

But, “sadly, the pandemic has reversed decades of development, and some LDCs are now experiencing the first economic contractions in three decades,” Mr. Korosi said..

Between 2011 and 2019, the combined debt of LDCs tripled from $10 billion to $33 billion USD per year. A debt projected to rise by another $50 billion due to the unaccounted effects of the pandemic. On a human scale, that means 32 million more people pushed into poverty across the world’s LDCs, with women and children bearing the heaviest brunt of misery.

Before Doha, UN GA president was in Geneva for the opening of the session of the Human Rights Council, and he also quoted the words of the High Commissioner, that: “No social phenomenon is quite as comprehensive in its assault on human rights as poverty.”

In Doha, Mr. Korosi said  that financial chasm separates LDCs from the ambition of the sustainable development goals; LDCs receive 80 billion USD in development assistance. And that is only  fraction of the sum they need – which totals up to 350 billion USD.

UNGA president said that redressing this gap is possible: “But we have to make a choice to invest in our sustainable development goals. A conscious choice. The smart choice. The ethical choice. This is not philanthropy. This is about doing the right thing.This is about creating a world where every single person can live his or her life to its fullest potential.”

To achieve this, Mr. Korosi reminded UN and International community must work together “across borders and across sectors.”

And he said we should always  have in mind the old Arabic proverb: (الصديق وقت الضيق ) Which translates in English as “friend in need, friend indeed”

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