Uganda’s bid to host the global business gathering of innovators and leaders of corporations was endorsed by the Group of 77 countries at the UN and China.

The G77 at the UN is a coalition of 134 developing countries, brought together by the common interest of promoting members’ collective economic interests and creating an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the (UN).

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister, appreciated the G77, China and the entire UN membership for supporting and accepting Uganda’s bid to host the summit in Kampala around April next year.

“We look forward to welcoming you all and working with you, to strengthen and further revitalise our co-operation within the context of a global partnership for sustainable development,”

Rugunda said in his address at the UN General Assembly on Saturday. The South Summit is an international open innovation platform that connects startups, investors and corporations, focused on business opportunities and disruptive trends. The gathering brings together companies, startups and investors around the world, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The 2018 summit took place in Madrid and was attended by over 16,000 participants, including more than 500 journalists, 6,800 companies, 5,000 entrepreneurs and investors. In a tweet, Uganda’s permanent representative at the UN, Adonia Ayebare, said: “Uganda officially endorsed by 134 developing countries and China to host the third South Summit. The largest gathering of states Uganda has ever hosted.

Congratulations to team Uganda at #UNGA74 led by @RuhakanaR.” The Chinese Embassy in Uganda (@ChineseEmb_Uga) also tweeted saying: “China strongly supports the Ugandan government in hosting the South Summit early next year, which will be held in Africa for the first time.”

Rugunda, who represented President Yoweri Museveni, told the UN General Assembly that Uganda has prioritized poverty eradication and provision of quality education in its national development plan. “Uganda is mainstreaming the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the main component of the agenda through partnerships and targeted resource mobilization, from both domestic and external sources,” he added.

The Government, he said, has made good progress to integrate SDGs into the national, sector and local government plans, and the implementation progress is tracked through (national) monitoring and evaluation system. However, the major challenge in implementing the SDGs agenda, Rugunda said, remains inadequate financing.

“In order to mobilize domestic resources for SDGs’ implementation, Uganda is implementing a policy of promoting our exports abroad; attracting tourists and foreign investors; mobilizing external development resources at concessional or favorable terms; and strengthening institutional capacity to enhance service delivery,” the Prime Minister said.

He reported that Uganda is committed to promoting integrated national financing mechanisms that shall lower the cost of borrowing and facilitate easy access to capital, for priority areas such as agriculture, agro-processing and value addition. Climate change, health “Setting our world on a sustainable course requires that we urgently address one of the defining challenges of our time — climate change.

Climate change affects each and every one of us. All over the world, we have witnessed environmental disasters, the recent ones in Bahamas and Mozambique, which led to considerable loss of life and property,” Rugunda said. These disasters showed the intensity and ferocity of the changes taking place in our environment, according to the premier.

He noted that Uganda, too, has experienced droughts, melting of ice caps at its highest mountain — Mt Ruwenzori — floods, erratic rainfall, and landslides. “Despite being one of the least emitters of polluting gases, Uganda has taken bold measures to move into implementation of some concrete adaptation and mitigation actions…,” Rugunda said.

However, he added that investments are required to significantly reduce emissions, to adapt to the adverse effects and to reduce the impact of the changing climate.

The Prime Minister urged developed countries to scale up financial support as previously committed, with a concrete roadmap to achieve the goal of jointly providing $100b annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation.

Uganda, Rugunda said, is also prioritizing universal health coverage to ensure that the population can access health services without risk of financial ruin or impoverishment.

To demonstrate its commitment, Rugunda said, the Government has developed a universal health coverage roadmap, which lays out the main policy actions for quick wins and setting the course for sustainable and faster progress.

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