Press Release

g7+ HELD MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MEETING TO IDENTIFY COLLECTIVE WAY FORWARD IN CHANGING ARENA

The g7+ held a virtual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 30 September 2020. Represented by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), members discussed the impact of covid‐19 on conflict-affected countries. Agenda of the meeting also included discussing how best to utilize the g7+ observer status at the UN.

The meeting was chaired by H.E. Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone. The meeting was attended by H.E. Francis Mustapha Kai-Kai, Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone and Chair of g7+ and H.E. Jose Ramos Horta, Special Envoy of g7+ and Nobel Peace Laureate, Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Central African Republic, Liberia, Sao Tome e Principe, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and the Secretary of State for International Cooperation of Guinea Bissau while Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Union of the Comoro, Yemen and Togo were was represented by the Ambassadors, Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Member states noted that though global in nature, the COVID-19 pandemic is presents daunting challenges for conflict affected countries who are already in fragile situation. Its direct and indirect impact has the potential reverse the gains made in peacebuilding and state building. It has presented manifold challenges for fragile countries such as those in the g7+. This includes weakening the already fragile economy and service delivery.
 
Members extends appreciation for the g7+ “Statement of Solidarity and Cooperation: A call for concerted support in our efforts to curb COVID19,” and gave overview of the implementation of the four points highlighted in the statement. They called upon donors, host countries and the UN agencies to scale up their efforts in realizing those priorities that include permanent ceasefire, economic resilience and debt relief.
 
Participants welcomed the UN Secretary General call for global ceasefire, the omnibus resolution and expressed appreciation to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, for his recent briefing to the UN Security Council that call the attention to the impact of COVID-19 in conflict-affected countries.

Representatives of the g7+ highlighted that the world is equipped with sufficient knowledge and resources to curb the pandemic and mitigate its associated direct and indirect impacts. However, there is a deficit of cooperation and solidarity at the global level that is required to materialize such knowledge in safeguarding humanity from the current pandemic. Therefore, they reiterated the need for solidarity and cooperation among the nations to defeat the common enemy – COVID-19.
 
The members of g7+ also welcomed the progress on the COVID-19 vaccine development. Reminding that no one is safe until everyone is safe, they emphasized that the vaccine be declared as public good accessible by all citizens of the world and free of charge.

Member states welcome the UN resolution granting the g7+ an observer and considered it an important avenue to promote the g7+ cause of pursuing peace and stability. The members noted that conflict-affected countries are often not heard and their interests are rarely reflected in major UN discourse. The members agreed to further enhance and strengthen coordination for the best use the observer seat to provide perspective of g7+ countries to amplify our common voice louder. The permanent missions will work with the g7+ secretariat to enhance visibility and timely representation.
 
In the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, members committed to the enhancement of peer learning and endorsed the plan to convene regularly at United Nation General Assembly to consolidate group position issues that are relevant to countries affected by conflict and fragility
 
The meeting concluded with members issued a joint outcome statement “Safeguarding Peace and Stability in a changing Global Arena” and thanked the g7+ secretariat for organizing the meeting. END.

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