REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE 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, 16 May 2018)
1- I have the honor to deliver the following remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2- The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation for the co-facilitators' efforts in organizing today's informal session, the briefing provided by the DSG on the repositioning of the United Nations development system, and the five (5) questions put forward for gathering further clarification and guidance form Member States. The Group would like to provide its initial response to the five questions, as follows:
3- With respect to question number one (1) on how the ECOSOC segment can improve its outcomes, and the outcome of its subsidiary bodies. The Group of 77 and China believes that the agenda and discussions of ECOSOC segments /meetings should focus more on the challenges of Member States especially developing countries in implementing 2030 Agenda, which have been identified in the previous Voluntary National Reviews at HLPF, especially eradication of poverty and ending hunger. ECOSOC outcomes should be more concrete, action and solution oriented for the benefit of the Member States. Efforts should be made to strengthen, and facilitate the participation of experts from respective capitals, in particular those from developing countries, by addressing all logistical obstacles and barriers facing their effective and comprehensive participation, namely the early issuance of visas, the timely circulation of invitation for Member States, and draft programs and agenda of its segments or meetings. In addition, diversification of panelists and guests should be pursued in order to allow the participation of representatives of developing countries. Allocation for more time to Member States to debate and engage interactively during the ECOSOC discussions in order to exchange views and share experiences, streamline the time allocated to multi-stakeholders and panelists. Avoid convening ECOSOC segments/meeting parallel with major events or conferences to enhance the level of participation. The Group believes that we should address, and tackle the actual root causes of the current situation, therefore, in our view proposals to biennalized or trinnenailzed subsidiary bodies outcomes does not solve the problem. The Group of 77 and China would like to stress that any exercise regarding ECOSOC review process should not lead to the elimination or frequency reduction of existing ECOSOC substantive segments and meetings of its subsidiary bodies.
4- On question number (2) with respect to the Integration segment. The Group would like to reiterate its position to maintain the integration segment. We would like to highlight the critical importance of the role of integration segment in ensuring the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. In our views, the integration segment needs to continue to carry out its unique and main character to bring together the key messages from the Council to develop action - oriented recommendations and follow up as stipulated in resolution 68/1. There is a need to ensure high-level participation from capitals. Integration segment could design its session in interactive discussions; bring case studies, provide practical cases to help Member States share knowledge and promote best practices to support their efforts to implement the SDGs. In this regard, emerging and frontiers issues can be important elements to be placed in the integration segment, its outcome should be strengthen by making the Chair's summary more resourceful for the Member States to gain knowledge, and to feed into the HLPF.
5- On question (3) on Emerging and frontier issues. The Group welcomes the ECOSOC to engage on emerging and frontier issues. The Group is of the view that important subject such as Emerging and frontier issues could be discussed in several fora such as the Integration segment, in the ad-hoc, and / or the special session as the space provided in Op 10 of resolution 68/1. The Group is also open to dedicate an annual segment for deliberation on Emerging and Frontier issue.
6- On question (4) on ECOSOC subsidiary bodies mandate and calendar. The Group would like to emphasize the need for the subsidiary bodies to align its work with ECOSOC. Both ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies have to ensure better coherence, and coordination among themselves, this is fundamental for strengthening the overall work of ECOSOC. Providing the time and space for Member States to reflect their views, and to share their feedback on subsidiary bodies' work will ensure subsidiary bodies delivering on its mandate and provide valuable contribution to the system. In addition, sharing information and dissemination of subsidiary bodies' calendar of work well in advance (3 or 4 month) will help Member States to better prepare for its sessions and work.
7- Finally, on question (5) the proposal to increase the ECOSOC Bureau's membership, and the term of its members. The Group believes that there are multiple and various ways to ensure the continuity and coherence of the work of the Bureau members; it could be done through enhancing the communication among the outgoing and incoming members, and communication with the regional groups. In fact increasing the number of Bureau members will negatively affect the decision making process, and adds unnecessary complications to the work of the Bureau. Similarly extending the term of its members will deprive others the opportunity to serve in the Bureau. Bearing in mind the current term of the ECOSOC members are 3 years, the Group is of the view that this issue is of administrative nature, and that any proposals for its solution need to be elaborated in details, and must enjoy the same appropriate arrangement.
8- The Group of 77 and China reiterates its commitment to continue to engage constructively in the ECOSOC review process in accordance with resolution 68/1.