Joint statement by Canadian and Jamaican Foreign Ministers, following their chairing of a historic meeting of the UN Group of Friends on SDG Financing.
OTTAWA, Canada – François-Philippe Champagne, minister of foreign affairs, and senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, today issued the following statement:
“On Friday, April 10, we convened an extraordinary video conference bringing together ambassadors from across the entire membership of the United Nations with high-level representatives from the UN, G20, IMF, World Bank Group and OECD to engage in the first truly global discussion on managing the socio-economic and financial impacts of COVID-19. We thank the more than 300 participants who attended.
“We were struck by the unity and common purpose of all to overcome the unprecedented challenge before us and the resolve to take the necessary actions required to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic, conscious that the depth of the economic contraction and the speed of recovery are not yet known.
“We welcomed the commitment by the UN, G20, IMF, World Bank Group, OECD and individual countries to coordinate their actions to ensure an effective response, with all participants recognizing that no one country or organization can tackle the challenge of COVID-19 on their own.
“We were also reminded of the particular vulnerabilities many countries suffer. Small island developing states and many other developing countries in Africa and parts of Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean are confronted with a multi-pronged challenge, including a reliance on imported food; logistics and transportation hubs whose operations have been curtailed; pre-existing high levels of indebtedness; a loss of primary revenue sources; and the need to use scarce foreign currency reserves to procure essential medical supplies.
“We discussed the need to take urgent action to ensure that global supply chains remain open and that the flows of remittances are able to continue with minimal disruption and at reduced costs. We also stressed the crucial importance of supporting our private sectors through these difficult times as they are the primary source of jobs and livelihoods. No economic recovery will be possible without it.
“Canada and Jamaica stand more committed than ever to ensure that countries are provided the support they need to overcome these complex challenges and will use every avenue available to us to advance this cause. Today’s meeting represents an important step toward this shared objective.
“As this pandemic affects everyone, everywhere, the world needs to come together to address and mitigate the human, social, and economic challenges posed by COVID-19.”