(Geneva, 28 November 2016)

Madam Chair, H.E. Ms. Tehmina JANJUA (Pakistan)
Mr. Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD
Distinguished delegates,

Madam Chair,

1. Allow me at the outset to congratulate you and the bureau on your election. This is an especially important session of the Working Party and it gives us great confidence to have you at the helm. Please rest assured of the full support of the Group of 77 and China in our collective work to reach a successful conclusion to our work.

2. This statement highlights some specific general points, and is not intended to comprehensively address the substance before us. The group will make specific comments and suggestions at the appropriate points in our deliberations over the next few days.

Madam Chair,

3. We recognize that have two principal critical tasks before us: the first is to comment on the adjustments to the existing biennium as reflected in document TB/B/WP (74)/CRP.4. We appreciate the secretariat's efforts in preparing its various proposals which are intended to reflect the realignment of priorities we agreed to in Nairobi. We fully sympathize with the secretariat in this endeavor as we have given them a very difficult task: to meet our increased ambitions and expectations while having a zero growth budget.

4. Allow me to underscore that for the current biennium we expect that the two new IGEs (Intergovernmental Groups of Experts) will be fully operationalized and organized as soon as possible. We expect that these IGEs will lead to specific policy recommendations for the consideration of the TDB and that they should be of a scope and nature that will enable them to be meaningful contributions to the broader work of the UN on development.

5. We also expect that the work adjustments will result in concrete policy recommendations being incorporated in UNCTAD's flagship publications and background documents for meetings. This will go a long way in promoting greater synergies among the three pillars while at the same time injecting much needed focus and substance to UNCTAD's intergovernmental pillar.

6. We expect that the secretariat will take a long-term view and that the substantive agreements we reach in the intergovernmental process will serve as inputs for the preparation of the outcome document for UNCTAD XV. In other words, we expect that we will approach our work as a cumulative effort in which our agreements build upon each other, rather than maintaining the ephemeral state of meeting outcomes.

7. With regard to the proposals for the next biennium, we underscore the need to send a strong and unambiguous message that a revitalized UNCTAD will require additional regular resources to meet our demands and expectations. The true measure of our commitment to any endeavor is the extent to which we make predictable and binding commitments. In programmatic terms, this means predictable resources as reflected in the regular budget.

8. Among others things, we hope for a successful effort to raise the needed funds for the technical cooperation pillar and, at the same time, we, once again, appeal for a balanced funding in all UNCTAD's pillars. UNCTAD has always been strongest when it delivers on its core work. Conversely, it has also been our experience that UNCTAD is weakest when it strays from its original path of addressing the big issues and problems of development.

9. The G77 and China recognize, in particular, the role of science, technology and innovation as key enablers to implement the recently agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This brings us to underlining the importance of fostering the diffusion and transfer of available technologies to developing countries, and adequate resources must be made available for this purpose.

Madam Chair,

10. We insist on calling for more for UNCTAD. During these times of economic uncertainty, and given the scope of ambition and coverage of the 2030 agenda, it is not conceivable that we would accept a real decline of resources for the development pillar.

11. We underscore that the slogan of "doing more with less" is a recipe for disappointment and disillusionment, which leads to disenchantment and to a sense of loss of confidence in the UN.

12. This session of the Working party therefore needs to send a clear message that the 2030 agenda deserves a chance to succeed. The Group cautioned in the run-up to the 2030 agenda that we had to avoid the palliative and reactive nature of the MDGs. The international community succeeded in forging an agenda that more so than any other in the past has a chance of success. We should not cripple its chances for success before we have even begun the implementation phase, by putting a resource stranglehold on key institutions such as UNCTAD.

Madam Chair,

13. Allow me to emphasize that we are not being overambitious. To the contrary, we are being realistic by stressing that unless we have an adequately resourced UNCTAD, moving from decisions to actions will remain, at best, a noble sentiment stripped of any tangible worth.

Thank you very much.