(Geneva, 7-9 September 2015)

Agenda Item 4 - Evaluation of UNCTAD Activities

Mr. President,
Director Guillermo Valles,
Members of the Evaluation Team

1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Evaluation Team for its thorough work as well as the efforts of Director Valles in preparing the Management's response. We also wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report on "Evaluation of UNCTAD Activities: Overview," which provided an evaluation of UNCTAD Subprogram 2 on Investment and Enterprise as well as an evaluation of Development Account Projects. The Group supports the findings in the report. The Group would also like to express its gratitude for the preparation of the document on "External evaluation of UNCTAD Subprogram 3: International Trade." The Group supports the findings of the report, particularly regarding prompt circulation of documents to the whole membership and those concerning membership guidance and inputs. Given the pending adoption of the Post 2015 Development Goals, Subprogram 3 must be able to meet the upcoming challenges given the importance of international trade and how it can support development.

2. The Group notes with appreciation the work done by the UNCTAD secretariat in the area of investment and enterprise for development and commends the comprehensive set of services and activities in support of investment for development. Specifically, the Group is pleased with UNCTAD's Investment Policy Reviews or (IPRs), which provide beneficiary countries with concrete and policy-oriented recommendations on how to attract and benefit from investment based on a comprehensive evaluation of their policy, regulatory, and institutional environment. The program is very relevant, in light of the decision to conduct policy reviews through the lens of the UNCTAD Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development or (IPFSD). The IPFSD adds fresh recommendations to the broad spectrum of policies aimed at maximizing the contribution of investment for meeting today's sustainable development challenges. The Group calls on all States to support the IPR program to enable the Secretariat to meet the growing demand. The Group notes that several new IPRs are at different stages of preparation. To date 34 countries of the Group have benefitted from the program and have seen tangible improvements in their business environment as confirmed by the marked improvement of their rankings in the World Bank Doing Business Report.

3. The Group recognizes the need to strengthen the sustainable development dimension in International Investment Agreements (IIAs). We recognize the unique advantage of UNCTAD in providing Member States a comprehensive range of tailor-made services in this area. We particularly appreciate the IIA reviews conducted by UNCTAD and the comments provided on countries' model IIAs. These tools are valuable and help States place inclusive growth and sustainable development at the core of their efforts to attract foreign investment. We encourage UNCTAD to maintain its cost-effective capacity-building workshops on the IPFSD and IIA-related issues.

4. The Group notes with concern that many developing countries still lack the technical capacity to compile FDI data, which are essential to making informed sound policy decisions in the area of investment and enterprise development. UNCTAD's FDI data and trends analyses have proven an indispensable source for policy makers and the Group acknowledges the value of this work undertaken by UNCTAD at all levels. In the area of investment promotion and facilitation, the Group is satisfied with the efforts made towards encouraging FDI flows to SDG sectors. We also appreciate UNCTAD's investment promotion training program.

5. The Group of 77 and China is of the view that agriculture is central to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, especially in developing countries. Responsible investment in agriculture can help alleviate poverty, generate exports and employment, and connect developing countries to markets through global value chains. We acknowledge the work of UNCTAD in developing the Principles on Responsible Agriculture Investment and are pleased with UNCTAD's initiative towards establishing policy guidance on the negotiation of contracts between investors and governments.

6. The Group notes with satisfaction the implementation of UNCTAD's eRegulations platforms in several developing countries and commends the organization for its online investment guides, which provide investors with up-to-date and relevant data on beneficiary countries. The Group would like to see the launch of iGuides for other developing countries to promote greater awareness about and visibility regarding investment opportunities, and therefore enhanced investment flows and economic growth.

7. The Group expresses its appreciation for UNCTAD's technical assistance in the area of intellectual property, including the delivery of training on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and on public health and the local production of pharmaceuticals. These activities have been highly relevant in efforts to facilitate better access to medicines, improve health security and foster pro-poor growth in beneficiary countries.

8. The Group commends UNCTAD for its work on enterprise development. Entrepreneurship can contribute to building local productive capacity, sustainable development and the achievement of social development goals, and it has the potential to address development challenges, in particular, poverty, exclusion, and environmental concerns. We appreciate UNCTAD's promotion of entrepreneurship through its active participation in global initiatives. We recognize the value of UNCTAD's capacity-building programs for enterprise development, in particular the Empretec program, and call upon development partners to continue supporting the installation of Empretec and business linkages schemes.

9. The Group of 77 and China acknowledge UNCTAD's active participation in promoting the implementation of international corporate reporting benchmarks. We note the participation of various members of our Group in the pilot testing of the Accounting Development Tool (ADT). The Group acknowledges the efficacy of UNCTAD's electronic platform for the ADT, which facilitates the exchange of experiences and best practice among member States. The Group looks forward to the deliberations of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, which will occur in November of this year.

10. On a general note, it is important to remember that UNCTAD is a place for innovative thinking, particularly when it comes to pro development approaches, which take fully into account developing countries' needs, objectives, and constraints. The Group of 77 and China welcome future efforts in the research, analysis, and consensus building work regarding policy space and a broader range of policy options for development.

I thank you Mr. President.