On 22 December 2020, the g7+ Secretariat organized a virtual meeting for senior officials to review the progress the group has made in the year 2020, take note of the transition in member countries and to agree on strategic priorities for the year 2021. Chair and Deputy Chair of g7+, Eminent Person of g7+, Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning of Ministry of Finance and Development of Liberia and focal points from member countries, attended the meeting. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) was also invited to share how g7+ members can benefit from and share their experiences with the South-South Galaxy – a portal of rich knowledge and experiences.
The g7+ leadership reminded the gathering that the indirect social and economic impact outweighs the direct health effect of the pandemic in conflict-affected countries that have already been mired in challenges such as wars, institutional fragility and hence extreme poverty. The consequences of the pandemic are even more dire and long-lasting in these contexts. Therefore, the perspective of fragile and conflict-affected countries needs to be given due consideration as the world embarks on “building back better”. The g7+ should continue providing a platform to raise the voice of countries that are among the furthest left-behind. With the privilege of observer status at the UN, the g7+ has the opportunities to make an even stronger impact on the global discourse. The strategic priorities agreed upon during this meeting include operationalizing the observed status through more consolidation and timely coordination.
Taking note of the progress made in member countries in regards to peace processes and political transition, the g7+ leadership and members emphasized on the need for dialogue and inclusive settlements. Recognizing the importance of peer learning, the g7+ group committed to enhancing the sharing of experiences under the umbrella of fragile-to-fragile cooperation. The g7+ plan for 2021 includes facilitating the sharing of experiences among members and also with non-member countries in the global south whose trajectories can be inspiring.
UNOSSC’s Ms. Wang delivered a presentation on South-South Galaxy, a platform to connect members, and experts to facilitate the sharing of relevant experiences. Under the MoU between the g7+ and UNOSSC, the members of g7+ were invited to benefit from and share experiences of their countries on this digital platform. The g7+ Secretariat and the UNOSSC will further collaborate in the mapping of relevant knowledge that can be shared among countries.
The meeting concluded with the endorsement of the g7+ work plan for the year 2021.
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