STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION ON NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT: PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT (New York, 10 September 2018)
1- On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I have the honour to introduce to the General Assembly the draft's resolution entitled "New Partnership for Africa's Development: progress in implementation and international support", as contained in document A/72/L.57/Rev1.
2- The value of this resolution cannot be overstated because it highlights the progress made by African countries in the implementation of its various programmes and projects supported by development partners. The NEPAD resolution provides an insight into how far Africa has come since the last resolution was passed by the General Assembly and places the spotlight firmly on those areas which need support in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In many ways it is a record, year-on-year, of what Africa is achieving.
3- The draft resolution also reaffirms the importance of international support in development. Progress in development and support for development, are two vital aspects that ensure the implementation of the ambitious objectives of the 2030 Agenda. They are linked to the African Union's Agenda 2063 and, we believe, will ultimately empower our continent and its people to eradicate poverty. May I take this opportunity to recall that the Agenda 2063 sets out the blueprint for development in Africa until the year 2063, and that it is divided into 10 year Implementation Plans. The NEPAD, and this resolution speak directly to this development nexus.
4- This year, in the drafting process of the text, we have seen a greater openness to streamline the text and to render it more focused. However, we believe that there has been too much emphasis on shortening the text, possibly at the expense of ensuring that the substance is not completely addressed. The NEPAD is an important reflection of the responsibility accepted by African countries for their own economic and social development. A strengthened and positive balance between the actions by African governments and the response of the international community should be acknowledged and supported through reflection in the resolution. Herein lies a much-needed stability fundamental to addressing the special development needs of the continent.
5- Instead of support for this important balance, we have, unfortunately seen what can only be regarded as deliberate attempts to significantly weaken this resolution. The Group believes such an approach is contrary to the sentiments outlined in the Agenda 2030, which perfectly complements the African Union Agenda 2063. This draft resolution seeks to accentuate the coherence and coordinated implementation of both agendas. They must be seen within a single context.
6- This year's draft resolution underlines the importance of creating a domestic environment that is conducive to encouraging entrepreneurship and the formalization of the informal sector activities. It also calls for investment for the express purpose of promoting a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate. These aspects are among those required to grow good governance on the African continent, leading to what the draft resolution calls "proper contract enforcement and respect for property rights embedded in sound macroeconomic policies and institutions".
7- The fundamental importance of foreign direct investment, which is a major source of financing for development, and the need to broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international platforms are also well outlined in this resolution. We note that the draft speaks to official development assistance, calling or developed countries to meet their commitments of 0.7 percent of gross national income for ODA and 0.15 to 0.20 percent of GNI for least developed countries. Further, the draft speaks to international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and calls for coherence in trade policies toward African countries. Here we also see a call for capacity building and assistance in challenges caused by trade liberalisation.
8- I would like to add, however, that we would have liked to see more on the concerns related to official development assistance to Africa and particularly Africa's disproportionately low share of the international trade volume.
9- This draft resolution welcomes progress made by African countries in fulfilling the commitments in the implementation of the NEPAD and towards achieving the SDGs. One area of progress happily highlighted is that of Agriculture. The Group regrets, however, that more has not been said of progress made by African countries' progress in this regard.
10- Another area that has been highlighted are explicit examples of progress, in particular through collaborations among African countries to promote innovative public-private partnerships for financing of infrastructure projects. We hope that this aspect will not be watered down in future resolutions. The Group hopes to see a strengthening of such examples which prove that Africa as a whole is on the right path.
11- As a group, we are open and willing to work on a continued process to develop forward-thinking concepts and to polish the specificities of vital issues such as (i) supporting the creation of an inclusive industrial sector, (ii) enhancing capacities to strengthen national health systems, (iii) augmenting the level of resilience against challenges posed by climate change, drought, land degradation and desertification, and many other matters, which impede the achievement of our common goals.
12- In this regard, the Beijing Declaration and the FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021) adopted by the African countries and China at the recent held 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, health care and green development, give strong impetus to the implementation of the 2063 Agenda and 2030 Agenda.
13- The Group of 77 and China's fundamental objective with this resolution and others is to be able to reach consensus. The Group is gravely concerned, that a resolution aimed at enhancing Africa's sustainable development, and which demonstrates progress being made in Africa, is being subjected to a vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations. We call on all member states to vote in favour of this resolution.
14- Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the representatives of Algeria and Angola for their commendable roles as coordinators on behalf of the Group 77 and China. I would also like to thank the representative of South Africa for her role in facilitating the consultations on the draft resolution and her outstanding outreach to present a text that is well - balanced to be considered for adoption.
15- Before I conclude allow me to make an oral revision in Pp12 to change the word " Recalling" by "Welcoming". This oral revision has been communicated to all UN membership.
16- I wish also to express my thanks to all delegations for their constructive commitment and participation, as well as the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa for its support throughout the entire consultation process.