(Geneva, 22 January 2024)

Opening Statement

President of the 87th Session of the Working Party,
Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Pedro Manuel Moreno
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

1. I have the honour to deliver this speech in the name of the Group of 77 and China.

2. We would like to start by congratulating you Mr. President, Mr. Peter Nalanda of Kenya and the bureau on your election to preside over this 87th Session of the Working Party on the Program Plan and Program Performance. We are confident that under your leadership we will have a productive session.

3. We would like to also express our appreciation to the Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Pedro Manuel Moreno, for his presence in this session and the introductory remarks updating the members about the implementation of previous commitments made.

4. We would also like to thanks Secretariat for the conceptual note presented in the 86th session of the Working Party and Programme Planning and the draft before us today.

5. The Working Party provides us with an opportunity to excise our role of oversight on the implementation of the mandates and committed work programmes. During this session, we will have an opportunity to discuss thoroughly and review the draft UNCTAD programme plan and performance information for the year 2025, part A of the proposed programme budget.

6. The Group of 77 and China is aware of the strict detailed processes and rules that govern the budgetary planning within the UN system. It also recognizes the constantly increasing budgetary constraints the UN system faces and in this regard calls Member States in the position to do so, to support the system, and particularly UNCTAD, on the merits of its contribution to development which is constantly recognized by the developing members of the system.

7. In addition, we also recognize the efforts made by the Secretary General and her good offices to count on the necessary support in New York to have the budget and programme plan approved every year and to invite developed partners and Members in the position to do so to financially support UNCTAD's work.

8. Moreover, we would also commend the Secretariat's efforts to also enhance synergies with other agencies in the UN Reform process. UNCTAD synergic work with other entities within the UN system and other international organizations is based on the expertise and knowledge created during the previous 60 years.

9. The group values the focus on sustainable industrialization, and would like to recall that for the same 60 years UNCTAD has existed, the G77 and China have been highlighting the importance of structural transformation for development, and the need for developing countries to escape from the commodity trap.

10. The Group of 77 and China notices the highlight regarding the importance of consensus building as one of the premises allowing the organization to continue working successfully. It would like to reiterate its commitment to find common agreements. Being a group of 135 members, the G77 and China deeply understand and contribute to the consensus-building process within the organization through the alignment of positions of developing Members across continents based on a mechanism that will turn 60 years old at the same time as UNCTAD.

11. The group of G77 and China reiterates the provisions of the Bridgetown covenant and requests UNCTAD secretariat to fully implement paragraph 127 (bb) of the Covenant. In this regard, the Group appreciates the important work and efforts exerted by the Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit and requests UNCTAD Secretary General to finalize the appointment of the three regular budget posts of APPU exceptionally from the UN hiring freeze, to strengthen the Unit by upgrading the regular budget P2 associate Economic Affairs Officer position to a Economic Affairs Officer (P3) post and to update Member States on the implementation progress in the next 75th executive session of the Trade and Development Board and the next 88th session of the Working Party on the Programme Plan and Programme Performance. The Group urges the President of the working party to include the above-mentioned requests in his summary report.

12. Lastly, Mr President, our specific interventions will be made during the discussion on the respective sub-programme or agenda. Nevertheless, with regards to the review of technical cooperation activities, we would like to express our gratitude to the development partners who have contributed funds to be used in the UNCTAD's technical cooperation projects. In the same manner, we would like to invite partners to consider enhancing their participation in the trust funds in the form of non-earmarked resources.

13. To conclude, the Group would like to reiterate our strong support to the Secretary-General and the entire team of UNCTAD in their efforts to effectively execute the mandates as provided by the membership in an effective and inclusive manner.

I thank you, Mr. President.