Intervention by Ambassador Feda Abdelhady, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of the State of Palestina to the United Nations
1. I have the honor to deliver the following statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, the Group wishes to express its appreciation to the President of the General Assembly for convening this important High-level event on culture and sustainable development.
3. The Group reaffirms the crucial role of culture as an enabler and a driver of sustainable development. We stress that cultural diversity and cultural and creative industries make important contributions to the three dimensions of sustainable development, including to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and targets related to poverty eradication which is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development for developing countries, as well as in relation to quality education, gender equality, decent work, innovation and inclusive economic growth, reduction of inequalities, inclusive and sustainable cities and urban settlements, and sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
4. In this regard, the Group reaffirms the importance that all countries, intergovernmental bodies, organizations of the United Nations system, relevant non-governmental organizations and all other relevant stakeholders give due consideration to the contribution of culture to the achievement of sustainable development in the formulation of national, regional and international development policies and international cooperation instruments.
5. The interlinkages between culture and development are multi-faceted. While the full extent of these interlinkages is yet to be explored, there is a growing consensus that strategies to achieve development goals have to be embedded in the cultural traditions of each society. The approach should be based on Cultural Diversity, by recognizing diversity of cultural identities and expressions, by respect and equal right treatment for all persons and communities, without discrimination based on their cultural identities and intercultural exchange.
6. We recognize that cultural heritage, beyond its artistic and economic value, has a profound meaning relating back to the memory of peoples, their multiple identities, and to its potential for creative productivity, cultural diversity and dialogue. It is a matter of concern that a large number of countries were and are being deprived of their cultural heritage either through plunder or illicit trade in such artifacts. There is also a need for protecting the heritage that is under threat, which mostly emanates from environmental factors and armed conflict.
7. The Group notes that in order to achieve culture-related sustainable objectives, innovative mechanisms of financing can make a positive contribution in assisting developing countries in mobilizing additional resources for development on a stable, predictable and voluntary basis. The Group reiterates that such mechanisms should supplement and not be a substitute for traditional sources of financing, and should be disbursed in accordance with the priorities of developing countries.
8. In conclusion, The Group strongly believes that cultural diversity and dialogue can play a significant role in the realization of the SDGs. The Group will play its due role in promoting this dialogue, which we hope will build new bridges for achieving the long cherished goals of peace and prosperity.
I thank you.