Statement at Financing for Development Forum General Debate
Financing for Development,
Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland
H.E. Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir
Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,
The ramifications of COVID-19, climate change, conflicts, and, most recently, Russia´s senseless war in Ukraine, are moving us in the wrong direction during what was meant to be the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
We must significantly step up our efforts to deliver on the important commitments we made seven years ago, to ensure that the impacts of these crises are not felt for generations to come.
As far as the pandemic is concerned, it seems that the most sensible strategy now is to allow societies to return to normal if possible. A high rate of vaccination, in particular among those most vulnerable, is essential and enabling vaccination for vulnerable groups across the globe should be a priority. Iceland has played its part with significant contributions to ACT-A, including its COVAX pillar and UNICEF.
It is also essential to lessen the impacts of higher food and energy costs, which have only increased because of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. It is a horrifying fact that the heaviest burden will yet again fall on the shoulders of populations that are least prepared to bear them.
Although I don't know, I suspect that when the dust of the pandemic has settled, and we become willing to look critically at our response—it will be hard not to critizise some of the responses among the rich nations of the west.
If nothing else - I hope that we will not fool ourselves about the effects that severe economic disruption in the West, and the loss of schooling for children will have on the populations that have the least opportunity to respond to external shocks.
In parallel, we must ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic. Promoting the key drivers of green and inclusive economic growth, enhancing developing countries´ access to finance and meeting aid commitments are all critically important. Iceland will continue to increase its ODA this year.
In these times of multiple crises, we must all do our part and work together for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable global recovery.
Iceland stands ready to meet the moment and deliver on our commitments.