EXPLANATION OF POSITION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 & CHINA BY MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY MOHAMED GAD, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE ADOPTION THE MINISTERIAL DECLARATION OF 2018 HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 18 July 2018)
Thank you Madame President,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Allow me at the outset to express our appreciation to H.E. Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, and H.E. Ambassador Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia for their efforts in co-facilitating the negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration for the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The Group has engaged constructively, and in good faith, throughout the process of the negotiations on the ministerial declaration with a view to reaching a balanced substantive outcome document encompassing all the relevant issues.
The Group has presented comprehensive and concrete proposals during the informal consultations. Many of those proposals focus on achieving the balance among the three pillars of sustainable development. We have also stressed that poverty eradication in all its forms and dimensions is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development and that ending hunger and achieving food security is fundamental for sustainable development. Moreover, we reaffirm that the scale and level of ambition of the 2030 Agenda requires strengthening the means of implementation, particularly for developing countries, as well as creating the enabling global environment for development.
The Group reaffirm the need to address the diverse needs and the challenges faced by countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation, as well as the specific challenges faced by MICs.
The Group regrets that some of its proposals have not been incorporated in the current version of the ministerial declaration. In this context, we reaffirm the principles of international law and of the UN Charter. We stress the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of states, and urge states to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.
However, the Group decided to accept the last version of the ministerial declaration, circulated for adoption today, in line with our constructive approach and the need to ensure consensus in support of the 2030 agenda. We are extremely disappointed that amendments were proposed at a very late stage and after the negotiations reached to a conclusion and the text has been circulated for adoption. Likewise, we are extremely disappointed that a vote was requested on certain paragraphs. This communicates negative political message regarding our collective endeavors with regards to the follow up and implementation of the 2030 agenda.
Three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, we are witnessing worrying signs about the commitment of the international community to the agenda and the sustainable development. A request for vote today on the entire HLPF ministerial declaration and a vote by two states against the declaration is a clear demonstration of those worrying negative signs. The G77 and China are extremely concerned and alarmed by this recent development.