/G20 Summit: Ramaphosa alert about illicit financial flows, environment and Covid -19 crisis

G20 Summit: Ramaphosa alert about illicit financial flows, environment and Covid -19 crisis

President Cyril Ramphosa has announced that SA is looking at 276  new infrastructure projects to revive the economy. Photo: GCIS

President Cyril Ramphosa has announced that SA is looking at 276 new infrastructure projects to revive the economy. Photo: GCIS

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa shared his views on Twitter during the G20 virtual summit.
  • The two-day event is being facilitated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Ramaphosa sees the Financing for Sustainable Development Framework as evidence of the G20’s commitment to the sustainable development agenda.

Appropriate, “at-scale” and additional finance must be ensured for developing countries, as well as technology transfer and capacity-building support, acccording to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He tweeted his views on Sunday as he is taking part in a virtual summit of G20 Leaders. The two-day event is being facilitated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The coronovirus pandemic is not only the greatest health crisis of our time, but also a severe social and economic crisis. The pandemic has set back global efforts to eradicate poverty and narrow inequality,” tweeted Ramaphosa.

“Our recovery from the crisis requires that we redouble our efforts to meet our global obligations as reflected in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – particularly our commitment to leave no-one behind and help those furthest behind first.”

He welcomes that the Saudi Presidency has prioritised the matter of G20 Support to Covid-19 Response and Recovery Plans in developing countries, especially Africa and small island developing states.

“We see the Financing for Sustainable Development Framework as evidence of the G20’s commitment to the sustainable development agenda. We are also pleased with the ongoing commitment to Africa’s development through the #G20 Africa Partnership, the Compact with Africa and the G20 Initiative on Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries,” tweeted the president.

In his view, all these initiatives go a long way towards supporting the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

One challenge Ramaphosa highlighted is the issue of illicit financial flows, which must be addressed urgently. He pointed out that a recent report by UNCTAD noted that curbing the annual capital flight of $88 billion from Africa could potentially half Africa’s SDG financing gap. 

“Tackling illicit financial flows is an important developmental issue,” tweeted Ramaphosa. “We must remain firm in our resolve to protect our societies and the planet from environmental degradation.” Another important issue for him is the environment. As part of the wider African Union recovery programme, for example, the African Green Stimulus Programme has been developed.

“We further remain committed as South Africa to meeting our international obligations to combat climate change,” tweeted Ramaphosa.

“As we look forward to COP26 in Glasgow next year, we need to prioritise the full and balanced operationalisation of all three of the global goals in the Paris Agreement, namely mitigation, but we should also not neglect adaptation and support.”

Sustainable energy transitions and access to energy will both be crucial to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, in his view.

“South Africa, therefore, welcomes Saudi Arabia’s introduction of the circular carbon economy approach to the G20. South Africa is developing the scientific knowledge base for a transition to a circular economy,” tweeted the president.

“We have had some success with industrial symbiosis initiatives, where one sector’s waste is precious input into another sector. We are developing ambitious producer responsibility schemes in industry to manage waste effectively.”

For Ramaphosa it is critical that appropriate forms of financial support are given to African countries to enable them to facilitate a green and sustainable recovery.

“In the difficult period that lies ahead, South Africa looks forward to greater collaboration within the G20 as we work to rebuild in a manner that is more sustainable and more inclusive and that advances opportunities for all,” he concluded.

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