REMARKS 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 THIRD INFORMAL MEETING ON THE ECOSOC REVIEW PROCESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH RESOLUTION 68/1 ENTITLED "REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 61/16 ON STRENGTHENING OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL" (New York, 19 April 2018)
I have the honor to deliver the following remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Group of 77 at the outset would like to express its appreciation for the co-facilitators' efforts in guiding the ECOSOC Review process, and would like to state the following guiding points:
- The ECOSOCO review process should be focused on its strengthening and that of its mandate to help developing countries, including in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, let me be clear that the Group reiterates its support to the mandate of the ECOSOC as stipulated in 68/1.
- The discussions of the review of 68/1 should not interfere and avoid any overlap with existing processes or mandates, namely with the UNDS reform process, and the HLPF resolution. In this regard, the Group would like to seek the co-facilitator's clarification as for their approach in this matter.
- We request that a revised "Food for thought Paper" should be published to include the current views of the G77, and future additional proposals.
The G77 would like to provide its initial contributions and general thoughts on the proposed areas of action, as follows:
ECOSOC HLS and HLPF:
As we move forward to empower the ECOSOC to actually deliver on its mandate and find ways to raise its visibility, we should be careful:
a. not to dilute the High Level Segment into the HLPF. Again, this should not affect, in any way, the HLPF whose outcome should remain negotiated, and that has its own mandate.
b. be careful about ideas such as decoupling, in terms of timing, since it would not favor the participation of many developing countries.
c. In terms of themes, complementarity between HLPF and HLS may be sought, and the option of a distinct HLS outcome document has merits to be explored. The outcome of the HLS may then be more action-oriented and/or geared towards reflecting the deliberation of the various ECOSOC cycles throughout the year.
The Group would like to highlight the critical importance of the integration segment to maintain its role to ensure the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. The G77 would support efforts aiming at further improving the integration segment. While the Group is working to formulate its concrete proposals on this matter, we would like to emphasize that efforts to strengthen the integration segment should not lead to a duplication or displacing functions from existing fora.
System-wide coherence and coordination:
The Group of 77 supports all efforts aiming at strengthening the Operational Activities Segment (OAS) in giving clear guidance to the UN system in line with the QCPR. We are of the view that this could be achieved through maintaining the current frequency of meetings to a one focused session of the (OAS) per year. Since this issue is currently addressed within the UN Development System reform process, we believe it would be appropriate to postpone this item's consideration until the conclusion of the UNDS process.
Development-humanitarian- peace building nexus:
The Group of 77 underscores the importance to adhere to the mandate enshrined in 68/1 resolution on this subject matter. Resolution 68/1 addresses the link between the humanitarian assistance and sustainable development. Therefore, the Group will not be in position to accept ECOSOC discussing issues on the peacebuilding process.
Emerging and Frontier issues:
In principle, the Group of 77 supports ECOSOC to engage on emerging and frontier issues. We are of the view that ECOSOC could play an important role in supporting developing countries through capacity-building, and enhancing the share of new technologies and addressing emerging challenges with a view to support developing countries' efforts in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
In this regard, the G77 would like to seek clarifications on the proposed modalities, which would allow ECOSOC to carry out this role, and how the ECOSOC envisage taking up such issue.
The Group suggests in this respect that ECOSOC engages on "Emerging and frontier issues" by taking it to another level, an action-oriented one and to establish possible follow-up mechanisms on what was agreed on. This would avoid a simple overlapping with other fora.
We must ensure that the ECOSOC is well equipped with the required capacity to carry out this function, as well as ensure the wide participation of all countries in this discussion and deliberations.
The Group notes the modalities of participation of stakeholders as outlined in the 68/1 resolution. The Group notes with appreciation the platform offered by ECOSOC for civil society engagement. At the same time, we would like to underscore the intergovernmental nature of ECOSOC, as a member-states led organ.
Equally important is to work under established parameters of civil society participation, notably the non-objection basis, respect of their term of reference for their participation. We are also of the view that there is a need to streamline their participation in the Council. Efforts to strengthen stakeholder's participation should not divert or undermine relevant existing rules.
Coordination and management:
The Group reiterates the need to adhere to the mandate provided by resolution 68/1 on the function of Coordination and Management Meetings (CMM).
We believe the proposed options in the "food for thought Paper" in our views are quite prescriptive. The Group would request that CMM be utilized as a platform to provide meaningful discussions and thorough consideration to issues concerning countries in special situations.
ECOSOC subsidiary bodies and support:
ECOSOC should ensure that its subsidiary bodies comply with the QCPR mandates. There is a need to further strengthen those bodies to make their contributions and recommendations in a more effective and action oriented manner.
DESA, as one of the leading UN entities in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda needs to be strengthened. However, we would request to avoid discussions on DESA at this stage as it belongs to the ongoing consultations in the UNDS reform process.
Additional areas of action:
Partnership forum: the Group is of the view that we should enhance the forum and to effectively use the wide presence of its participants. Currently it lacks the necessary attention by being held, abruptly for one single day.
Tax matter: The Group would like to explore avenues to upgrade the level of cooperation through the Tax cooperation matters at the United Nations through the ECOSOC Special Meeting of the Council on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
On the process of carrying out Resolution 68/1, the Group is keen to learn about the co-facilitators' suggestions as for next steps of the process. The Group would like to point out the importance of the discussions on the UNDS reform, which should inform, once concluded, the ECOSOC review process. As the Group is still working on developing further its views and position, it would be premature to produce a draft resolution before the Group completes the formulation of its views.
It would also be useful to listen to the views of the co-facilitators' on the scope and the limits of this process, with the view and whether the draft resolution will be based on the previous one. Finally, once again the Group of 77 reiterates its commitment to continue to engage constructively in the ECOSOC review process in accordance with resolution 68/1.
I thank you.