Canciller Claudia Blum participó en la V Reunión Ministerial de Países de Renta Media
Honorable Chairman, distinguished Ministers and colleagues,
First, allow me to thank the Permanent Mission of The Philippines for convening this fifth Ministerial meeting and to all group members for having strengthened, year by year, this like-minded group of MiddleIncome Countries.
The Government of Colombia shares a message of solidarity with all nations that are struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are united against this unprecedented challenge.
We acknowledge that this crisis will have a direct impact on the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals. It has posed a big challenge, but also an opportunity to reinforce our collaborative work to accomplish our goal in 2030.
Dear members of the group,
Colombia has taken early and timely decisions to address the pandemic. Currently, we are implementing diverse measures that have made it possible to prevent an overload of the health system capacities and to gain time to generate an expansion of that sector and its protection plan.
The measures adopted so far are focused primarily on promoting social distancing, discipline, collaboration, generosity and civic culture. The government seeks to achieve a balance between safeguarding the health of the Colombian people and protecting the public health system, while stimulating a responsible, sustained, and progressive recovery of productive life.
On this regard, President Iván Duque has recently stated: “Without health there is no development, and without development there cannot be a sustainable health system.”
Talking into account the multilateral spirit of this group, it becomes necessary to underline that this crisis has deepened inequalities in many Middle-Income Countries. Bearing in mind that our group of countries is heterogeneous in terms of capacities and faces diverse challenges, it is clear that MICs do not have the same capabilities to face the difficult tasks ahead or recover from the impact of the pandemic on our social and economic systems.
According to recent reports from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, economic data predicts that, due to this pandemic, our region will have 30 million new people living in poverty.
It is also worrying that the forecast for the global economy for this year is a contraction of 3%. Middle-Income Countries will receive the worst part of the impact, as they account for 70% of the total of poor people in the world.
This is why Colombia insists that global issues require global solutions. It is only through multilateralism, international cooperation, consensus and global governance that we will be able to mitigate the manifold consequences of this pandemic.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Colombia is willing and pleased to share its best practices on the response to the pandemic with fellow Middle Income countries, as well as with the UN System on the matter.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we requested the United Nations Country Team to focus all support actions in two main areas: the humanitarian response to those in a greater situation of vulnerability and the economic reactivation of the country.
Allow me to highlight the swift response capacity of the UN system to adapt its actions to the specific needs of the Government and its Intersectoral Plan for the COVID-19 response, aligned with all actions undertaken by our Ministry of Health, and with the Response Plan for the migratory crisis from Venezuela.
Before ending this brief intervention, let me emphasize Colombia's unconditional support for this Like-Minded Group and underscore its potential as a strategic actor in the coordination and promotion of Middle-Income Countries’ interests and needs within the United Nations Development System, as well as our willingness to cooperate on a large scale response to this pandemic.
Thank you very much.