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 THIRD INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE DRAFT OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE SECOND-HIGH LEVEL UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION - BAPA + 40 (New York, 31 January 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver these general remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group would like to express its appreciation to the co-facilitators and we commend them for taking many G77 proposals into consideration in this text. The Group has been working very constructively and will provide concrete proposals with the expectation that the Co-facilitators will reflect those proposals since South-South Cooperation affects mostly the countries of the South.
3. The Group emphasizes that the principles that have guided South-South Cooperation remain valid, and that the BAPA+40 Conference is not the place to dilute or modify our South-South Cooperation principles. We reiterate that 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.
4. The Group would also like to underline the voluntary nature of South-South Cooperation, and stress that South-South Cooperation and its agenda must be set and driven 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 complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South Cooperation, which remains the main channel for international development cooperation.
5. The Group reiterates the important contribution of Triangular Cooperation, aimed at facilitating, supporting and enhancing South-South initiatives. In this regard, we stress that Triangular Cooperation must always be aligned with the principles of South-South cooperation.
6. South-South Cooperation cannot be equaled with North-South Cooperation whether in its purposes and principles, modalities, actors, and therefore the traditional development cooperation effectiveness principles of international development cooperation cannot be applied to South-South Cooperation. In this regard, the principles, commitments and actions agreed in the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness are not reference or applicable to the South-South Cooperation.
7. The evolution of South-South cooperation over the years has pointed out the diversity of its forms and flows to be its biggest strength. Drawing any comparison of the emerging patterns of South-South cooperation with the traditional frameworks of North-South aid despite their vast differences, reasons for their success and ongoing trajectories, would be counterproductive. Most of the elements of cooperation are not quantifiable.
8. The approach of binding down uniform standards, if pursued obsessively, runs the risk of diluting the richness and diversity of development experience-sharing between developing countries which is the hallmark of South-South Cooperation.
9. While, we agree that the knowledge, experience and success stories should be shared among fellow developing countries, we strongly object attempts to measure, monitor or harmonize with the ODA frameworks, which will not add the resources for development but will jeopardize the existing diversity of flows.
10. As the salience of South-South Cooperation is increasing, the South needs greater understanding and support from the international community to continue to contribute and do more for the development agenda and achievement of the SDGs and not the demands of measurement, monitoring and reporting. We would not like to see attempts to define, redefine or negotiate the established principles of the South-South Cooperation. We do not need to fix what is working well.
11. The package proposed by our group is arrived at after intense consultations within the group and that constitutes groups final position on the issues of data, information, measurement, monitoring and reporting. We would like this to be respected.
12. The Group will continue to engage constructively in this process on the basis of the the Nairobi outcome document, major documents on South-South Cooperation and the relevant UN GA resolutions.
I thank you.