INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SHEYAM ELGARF, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE UNDP EXECUTIVE BOARD BRIEFING ON THE UN OFFICE FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2018-2021 (New York, 16 March 2018)
1- I have the honor to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2- At the outset the Group of 77 and China would like to express it appreciation to the Office and, the Director Mr. George Chediek for all the efforts undertaken to support the South - South Cooperation and, the success of the last Framework 2014-2017.
3- The Group would like to reiterate its long-standing position that South-South Cooperation is a demonstration of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, as the 2030 Agenda. As laid out in the Nairobi Outcome document, South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South and should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership, and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
4- We would like to underline that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation, in line with the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.
5- On the UN - office for South - South Cooperation draft strategic framework 2018-2012. The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation on the time and efforts of the UNOSSC in developing the draft strategic framework as well as noting the important role of the UNOSCC in advancing the SSC across the UN system. We would like to make the following initial remarks:
- Poverty Eradication should be the overarching goal and objective of the efforts undertaken by the UN - office for South - South Cooperation. Eradication of Poverty is our top priority and should be referred as such in para (1).
- We would like to underline that the "Principles and Strategic objectives" of the UN - office for South - South Cooperation should follow the guidance of Member States, in close consultation with them, with the aim to formulate and identify the office's mandate according to their respective views and needs.
- On Para (10) we would like to highlight that the UN - office for South- South cooperation is an independent agency from the UNDP as its activities and plans should be align to Member States needs and priorities not with the UNDP Strategic Plan.
- We would like to mention that the reference to "one - stop shop" in para 14 is a newly introduced concept yet to be fully understood by the member States, as it is part of the ongoing discussions within the UNDS reform.
- In light of the upcoming second High-level United Nations Conference on South - South Cooperation to be held in Buenos Aires, in March 2019, the Group would be interested to learn how the office's Strategic Framework would align / adapt itself to the expected outcomes of above-mentioned conference in March 2019.
- With respect to the output 2.2 "create and share high - quality knowledge products" we would expect that the independent reports on data and analysis to be consulted to ensure that the report could assist the national government in implementing development programs in accordance with the national needs and priorities and, shared with the national Governments.
- On the "thematic areas" illustrated in the draft strategic framework we would like to emphasize that South - South cooperation is merely focused on development, and references to Peace building and preventive diplomacy overlaps with existing organs and activities. The Group stresses that the draft strategic framework of the UN - office for South - South Cooperation has to be consistent with the QCPR mandate stipulated in its operative para 24.
6- The Group of 77 and China would like to shed some light on the way forward on planned future engagement with Member States on the draft Strategic framework, as the Group would like to request organizing further meetings to allow us the opportunity to further discuss the draft strategic framework.
I thank you.