REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR RIYAD MANSOUR (STATE OF PALESTINE), CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE SECOND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE DRAFT OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE SECOND-HIGH LEVEL UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION - BAPA + 40 (New York, 17 January 2019)
I have the honor to deliver these general remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the co-facilitators for their efforts in producing the zero-draft outcome document of the Second-High Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, and for convening today's informal meeting. We would like to assure you that the Group will engage constructively in this important process on the basis of the well-established principles of South-South Cooperation.
In this connection, the Group would like to emphasize that the principles that have guided South-South Cooperation remain valid. South-South cooperation is the manifestation of solidarity among people and countries of the South, building on their needs, experience, capabilities, best practices, diversified culture and many other circumstances.
The Group would also like to underline the voluntary nature of South-South Cooperation, and stress that South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South. It 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. The Group reiterates that South-South cooperation is a compliment to and not a substitute for North-South cooperation, which remains the main channel for international development cooperation.
Moreover, the Group would like to reiterate that triangular cooperation should be guided by the principles of South-South Cooperation. Thus, we stress the need to further elaborate on what triangular cooperation represents in relation to South-South Cooperation.
On the procedure, the Group would like to seek some clarifications on the process of negotiations ahead; and in this regard, we wish to ask the following questions:
- What is the foreseen timetable for the informal consultations?
- What is the Co-facilitators' vision for the process?
- How do you plan to proceed in the informal meetings? what approach you would be taking, in particular do you plan to have the first reading on the basis of para by para or section by section?
- Following the completion of the first reading of the text, how do you plan to proceed? Will you have a compilation text or a new revised one?
- As for the titles of the sections, the Group would like to inquire whether those titles were included in the zero draft for the sake of facilitating the negotiations or they will be kept in the final document. Here, it must be noted that the Group is not in favor of having any titles in the final outcome document.
South-South Cooperation is a collective effort of the developing countries, and seeks to enable them to play a more active role in international policy and decision-making processes, in support of their efforts to achieve sustainable development and eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions; and must be pursued as an expression of South-South solidarity and as a mean to foster the economic autonomy and self-reliance of the South based on their common objectives.
Based on this, the Group strongly believes that this important process must be member states-driven, in fact a G-77 driven process, and should abide by the principle of openness and transparency through an intergovernmental negotiation process. We wish to stress on the importance of taking the para by para approach, and we would like to request the issuance of a compilation text for this important process.
These are the Group's initial general remarks, and we will provide more substantive views and concrete proposals upon starting the first para by para reading of the text.
We look forward to a successful and meaningful process, and once again, the Group reiterates its commitment to engage constructively in this process, with the goal of reaching a short, concise and action oriented negotiated outcome document that is guided by the Nairobi outcome document, major documents on South-South Cooperation and the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions.
I thank you.