GENEVA, 11 February 2021 – Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Evan P. Garcia reaffirmed the Philippines’ support for the South Center, a Geneva-based intergovernmental policy research and analysis institute for developing countries, during the annual meeting of the Center’s Council of Representatives held virtually today.

Ambassador Garcia noted that the Center’s inputs on issues like the digital economy, universal health coverage, migration and remittances, and the empowerment of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women and the youth, “enrich the policy analysis of developing countries” and “inform [their] consensus-building efforts across the development sphere.”

Today’s meeting of the Council of Representatives provides an opportunity for the Center to brief Member States on the former’s activities, and for Member States to express their preferred priorities for the Center’s work.

In his intervention, Ambassador Garcia noted that the COVID-19 pandemic “has disrupted societies and economies” and derailed the full achievements of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding “a new dimension to contextualizing global efforts to build economic, social, and financial resilience.”

“The crisis has presented an opportunity for the international community to enhance the global economic architecture,” the envoy said. “Despite the distractions caused by the pandemic, the international community should reaffirm its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. We should redouble our efforts to achieve these goals by the end of the decade.”

The Philippine Ambassador also noted that “the interests of developing countries, including middle-income countries where 75% of the world population and 62% of the world’s poor live” must be upheld if the global economy is “to build back better.”

“Addressing the challenges of middle-income countries would create safe landing zones for graduating least developing countries, while at the same time prepare robust take-off zones that will enable developing countries to escape the middle-income trap,” Ambassador Garcia said.