CLOSING STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR KINGSLEY MAMABOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UN, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERERENCE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 July 2015)
The time has come for me to deliver the closing statement to the plenary, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
I would like to once again acknowledge with sincere thanks and appreciation the stewardship and the hospitality of your Government. We also note with gratitude the good will and kindness that has been extended to us by the people of Ethiopia.
Furthermore, we are most grateful to Ethiopia for hosting this Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3). I am certain that Members of our Group will find time to visit the places of interest in this beautiful country.
In January of this year, when South Africa assumed the Chair of the Group of the G77 and China, we looked forward to reaffirming the principles of the Group and to strengthen its unity, cohesion and vision of a fair and equitable multilateral system. We also looked forward to ensuring that we collectively enhance the development agenda of the South, especially as it relates to the outcomes of the major development-related UN Conferences on the calendar for this year.
In the process of the protracted negotiations that have taken place over the last six months or so, the Group's resolve has affirmed the core principles which we hold dear.
In approaching the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda Outcome Document today, the Group felt it important that, among other key issues, the enhanced global partnership for development, the need to further strengthen international commitments towards financing for development, and the full and timely implementation of existing commitments in this regard, remain at the very heart of the development agenda of the United Nations.
The Group sought to be constructive in its engagement, to ensure that a meaningful and ambitious Outcome for the Financing for Development Process could be reached, in order to adequately and predictably address the interests of all Member States of the United Nations, in the true spirit of an enduring global partnership for development.
In this regard, as the Group of 77 and China, we are appreciative of the fact that all of us, together with the Partners, have spent many months - and sleepless nights - in an attempt to address the critical obstacles to development and to work together towards the eradication of poverty in all its forms.
The G77 and China recognizes that progress has been achieved. Compromise outcomes have been achieved in a number of key areas, including, for example, the call for a global infrastructure forum, a more comprehensive treatment of the issue of debt sustainability in the context of the UN, provision for capacity building and a Technology Transfer Mechanism and dedicated mechanisms for follow-up and review with inter-governmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations.
However, there remain a number of issues of principle that are important to, and fully endorsed by, the Group that have not been adequately accommodated in the current text, including, but not limited to:
- The explicit reaffirmation of the key Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) in the context of the global partnership for development. This Principle remains relevant and valid and, indeed, is the basis for all international cooperation on sustainable development. An unequivocal affirmation of this Principle in the outcome document of the Post-2015 Development Agenda is a non-negotiable for the Group;
- The need to maintain the integrity of the FfD3 and post-2015 development agenda processes as separate negotiation tracks, while acknowledging the need for stronger synergies between them;
- The need for development partners to meet current commitments and to upscale ODA, with biding timetables, including the reaffirmation that ODA is still the main source of development assistance;
- The need to address the diverse and specific development needs of Middle-Income Countries in a coordinated manner through the establishment of a United Nations plan of action towards that end that considers, inter alia, the multidimensional nature of development and poverty;
- The need to fully upgrade the Tax Committee into an intergovernmental body;
- The need to make an explicit reference to countries and people living under foreign occupation;
- The need to explicitly address the issue of lifting and terminating coercive measures, including unilateral economic sanctions;
- References to fossil fuel subsidies and to carbon pricing that could prejudge the outcome of the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations; and
- The need to explicitly address the fact that climate financing is new and additional to and cannot be counted as ODA, nor can it be mixed with traditional development finance.
These principles are fundamental to the livelihoods of our people. There are many more issues that remain unresolved for individual members of the Group, in their national capacities.
We recognize that this Conference is part of an ongoing process. The Group is firmly resolved to continue to engage in a constructive manner on these important principles and issues in other relevant fora and on future occasions. Rest assured that the Group is not abandoning its principled positions. If anything, we are seized with the importance of ensuring that the global partnership for development is genuine and adequately resourced, for future generations.
I thank you.