STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THEMBELA NGCULU (MR), COUNSELLOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROCESS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPEMENT AGENDA (New York, 25 March 2015)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset let me thank the Co-facilitators for sharing their proposal that seeks to adjust and amend 19 targets in the proposed SDGs framework.
The 134-member Group of 77 and China wishes to put the following on record:
- Consistent with previous pronouncements on this issue the Group remains averse to the re-opening of the Report of the Open Working Group on SDGs. Accordingly the Group firmly rejects any attempts to re-open the agreed Report of the SDGs by undertaking the so-called "technical proofing" under the guise of the proposal received from the Co-facilitators. In this regard the Group would like to reiterate what was articulated on Monday at the beginning of this session that the said Report must not be reopened and must be entirely integrated into the post-2015 development agenda including the chapeau, SDGs and targets and reservations made by the Member States.
- Since the Report of the OWG-SDGs was adopted through a GA resolution in its entirety, any attempt to adjust its contents may necessitate another negotiation of a GA resolution to accommodate the proposed amendments. Unfortunately the Group would not like to go in that direction. The Group doesn't believe there will be time for this exercise in the inter-governmental process of negotiations and such an undertaking risks unraveling the entire Report. The Report of the OWG-SDGs represents a delicate political balance that resulted from an intergovernmental process that lasted for almost 18 months and any attempt to adjust or temper with its contents could not only dislodge the political balance but interfere with the agreed timeframe for negotiation and adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.
- The Group notes that the text was only presented to the Member States around midday on Monday, 23rd March, on which Member States views were sought. For purposes of predictability the Group appeals to the Co-facilitators to share any new documents well in advance in order to allow adequate time for consultations, coordination, appropriate response and value addition to the process of negotiations.
- As we engage in the process of negotiations it remains of uttermost importance to ensure adherence to agreed procedures and transparency. The Group would appreciate clarification on the origins of the text, how it was compiled and which stake-holders were involved in that exercise.
The Group avails itself of this opportunity to re-affirm its remains commitment to provide political parameters to the UN Statistical Commission and in this connection would appreciate it if clear channels of communication with Member States could be established to ensure further engagement and provision of inputs into the process of developing the much-needed global indicators.
I thank you.