STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR KINGSLEY J.N. MAMABOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP OF 77, ON THE OCCASION OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (New York, 17 February 2015)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Group takes this opportunity to thank the Co-facilitators for the 'Elements Paper for declaration discussion' which was released earlier this month. We note that in the letter of the 05th of February the Co-facilitators invited Member States to "consider what our world should look like in 2030 and what challenges we must overcome to make this collective vision and reality…"
In responding to this call the Group wishes to state that the declaration must be contextualised around values and principles that continue to rally the international community, address the current fundamental challenges confronting humanity, in particular poverty with its multi-dimensionality to ensure equal opportunities for all. Moreover the declaration must also call for concrete steps to implement the post-2015 development agenda.
Principles and values.
It is the view of the Group that the declaration must draw from agreed outcomes of previous Summits and processes.
The Group envisages a declaration that will set a tone for an ambitious and transformative and action-oriented sustainable development agenda that is guided by the Rio principles - in particular the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. In our view there can be no re-negotiation of this seminal principle for international cooperation on sustainable development. In this regard the declaration must recognise the criticality of balancing the universality of the agenda with differentiation, to acknowledge the different responsibilities, capacities and circumstances among countries that continue to pose challenges for the realisation of development aspirations by the developing countries. Accordingly the declaration should accentuate the need of plugging the gap between developed and developing countries, and reflect a vision of sustainable development that seeks to prioritize the needs of developing countries and enhance cooperation, benefiting all in international relations and global partnerships. In addition the declaration should reaffirm the commitment set out in the Rio+20 outcome document towards a world that is just, equitable and inclusive and prosperous.
It is important to note that the post-2015 development agenda will be adopted in a year that marks that the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. The Group believes that through the declaration our leaders could use the occasion to reaffirm the commitment of the international community to all human rights and strengthen our commitment to the right to development, including the right to acceptable standard of living.
Furthermore the declaration should emphasize the importance of territorial integrity, sovereignty and policy space to allow member states to adapt the Sustainable Development Goals and targets to national development plans and strategies.
In our view the declaration should also recognise the importance of full realization of self-determination of peoples living under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development as well as their environment. In accordance with the Charter this recognition must however not be seen as authorizing or encouraging any action against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
We note that the year 2015 will also celebrate historical achievements of multilateral diplomacy. The General Assembly has been responsive to the mandates coming from the Rio+20 Conference. The General Assembly provided the international community with an opportunity to craft an agenda and strengthen institutions for global sustainable development beyond 2015. Member States not only elaborated the SDGs in an open, transparent and participative process, but also endorsed the report of the Open Working Groups as the main basis for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The General Assembly also established the High Level Political Forum, which has universal membership, and continues with the efforts to strengthen the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Challenges confronting international community.
In the view of the Group of 77 and China the declaration must recognize that remarkable progress was registered since the adoption of the MDGs in the year 2000. Indeed this framework has helped mobilise efforts by the international community to address poverty challenges in developing countries. However it is important to mention that realisation of the MDGs has been uneven across geographical regions, especially in least developed countries, in Africa and in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as serious development challenges continue to afflict humanity in the developing world. Accordingly, the declaration should reaffirm that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge and logically an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Moreover, poverty eradication must be recognised as central and an overarching objective of the post-2015 development agenda.
In accordance with the outcomes of the previous summits, the declaration should renew the commitment of the international community by placing emphasis on the importance of deepening the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development namely, economic development, social development and environmental protection, in a balanced fashion for the benefit of all.
The Group of 77 and China would like to stress that the declaration for the post- 2015 development agenda should underscore the special challenges facing the most vulnerable countries in achieving sustainable development. In this connection the declaration must dedicate a section for each category of countries for the international community to renew commitments articulated in the agreed outcomes of the international conferences related to sustainable development and to countries in special situations namely, LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and Africa. In addition the Group of 77 and China would like to stress that the declaration should also address the specific challenges faced by the middle income countries and also recognize the specific challenges and priorities of countries in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The declaration should recognise that climate change poses a significant challenge to the realisation of sustainable development and it threatens to reverse the development gains made in developing countries.
The Declaration should stress the importance of addressing the needs, the multiple or aggravated discriminations and to advance in meeting the sustainable development challenges of all people in vulnerable situations, such as indigenous people, migrants and Afro-descendants.
Delivering on the post-2015 development agenda.
As the Group stated previously, the post-2015 development agenda should seek to reinvigorate the political will to eradicate poverty afflicting humanity and set the international community on a new path. As we craft the post- 2015 development agenda we must make every effort to ensure that no one dies of hunger and curable disease and all people have access to education. The Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals is a useful framework that seeks to respond to all these challenges. In this connection effective international cooperation cannot be over-emphasized.
In the same vein, the Group reiterates the view that the success of the post-2015 development agenda will largely hinge on the Means of Implementation and continued development assistance to the developing countries. In this regard the declaration should clearly state the need for the United Nations and developed countries to support developing countries in implementing the post-2015 development agenda through the much-needed Means of Implementation, including through mobilization of additional resources, increasing market access, facilitating technology transfer on concessional and preferential terms and strengthening capacity-building. Technology facilitation and capacity building will be crucial for the achievement of the sustainable development goals. The declaration should also celebrate concrete measures in this regard, such as those recommended by the Structured Dialogues on the institutional arrangement for a Technology Facilitation Mechanism. The declaration should also call for the need to strengthen national institutions to ensure readiness at national levels for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
Delivery on the means of implementation will require broad and deep cooperation and therefore the declaration must call for the revitalization and strengthening of the global partnership for sustainable development. In our view global partnership must be predicated on MDG 8 and must aim to renew ODA commitments made by developed countries and examine best ways to augment previous commitments with clear timeframes. The Group reiterates the importance of additionality by way of increased and predictable financial resources, wide- scale technology transfer on concessional and preferential terms and provision of capacity building support to developing countries. In this regard the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development that will take place in Addis Ababa in July cannot be more relevant.The Group maintains that the declaration should emphasize the need for fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume, which are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. Our long standing view as the Group of 77 and China has been that all countries should take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries. Governments, relevant international organizations, the private sector and all major groups should play an active role in changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns to ensure sustainability and protection of the our planet.
As we consider the declaration for the post-2015 development agenda there is a need to recognize the link between sustainable development and the relevant on-going processes at the level of United Nations such as:
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);
- Convention on Desertification, land Degradation and Drought, particularly in Africa;
- Third International Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction;
- United Nations Forum on Forests.
This approach will ensure that these intergovernmental processes are not only mutually reinforcing but feed into the broader development agenda that we seek to adopt and implement in the post-2015 period.
The declaration must also stress the need for an effective and transparent process for following up and reviewing the implementation of the commitments made, including those pertaining to MoI. Therefore as mandated in Rio, the declaration should reinforce the leading role of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable development in the follow up and review process of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Group and its members will continue to engage in this session, through the guidance of the Co-facilitators, to ensure that the declaration we formulate responds to the needs of the international community, particularly developing countries. We hope that this will not be the only opportunity to reflect on this important aspect of the post-2015 development agenda. The Group trusts that the zero draft to be released later in this process will create an opportunity for face-to-face negotiations on all aspects relevant to the agenda.
I thank you.