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 FOURTH INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE DRAFT OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE SECOND HIGH-LEVEL UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION - BAPA + 40 (New York, 19 February 2019)
1. At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the co-facilitators for all their efforts exerted on the second revised text of the outcome document of the Second-High Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, and for convening this round of informal consultations. Once again, we assure you of our constructive engagement in this very important process to the Group.
2. The Group of 77 and China reiterates its long-standing position that South-South Cooperation is a demonstration of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South as well as its voluntary, participative and demand driven nature, born out of shared experiences and based on their common objectives, that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, as the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, as per national priorities and plans.
3. As laid out in the Nairobi Outcome document, South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South and 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.
4. We also reiterate that South-South Cooperation is a complement, rather than a substitute for North-South cooperation, taking into account that North South Cooperation is still the main channel of international cooperation for development, and South-South Cooperation constitutes a partnership among equals based on solidarity, not to be equated to, nor measured or assessed as Official Development Assistance.
5. The Group strongly stresses that those principles have to be fully reflected, and reaffirmed throughout the text; those principles should not be modified, redrafted or deleted. The established principles of the South-South Cooperation are not negotiable by the Group.
6. The Group of 77 and China would like to recall the importance of Triangular Cooperation. During the past years, this kind of cooperation has become more relevant in the current architecture of the International Cooperation and has the opportunity to assume a prominent role into 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, we wish to emphasize that Triangular Cooperation has to be in accordance with and guided by the principles of South-South Cooperation, and this has to be reaffirmed throughout the text. Also, we must appreciate that this outcome document should be in line with the theme and mandate of the conference which is about the role of South-South Cooperation.
7. The Group also reiterates that South-South Cooperation cannot be equaled with North-South Cooperation whether in its purposes, principles, modalities or actors; therefore, the traditional development cooperation effectiveness principles of international development cooperation cannot be applied to South-South Cooperation, and since South-South Cooperation doesn't involve ODA, the group strongly believes that the reference to development effectiveness is not applicable to this outcome document.
8. Although we agree that the knowledge, experience and success stories should be shared among developing countries, we strongly oppose attempts to measure, monitor or harmonize with the ODA frameworks, which will not bring more resources for development; on the contrary, it will jeopardize the existing diversity of flows. We stress that the South needs the international community to continue and increase its contributions to the achievement of the 17 SDGs, rather than the demands of measurement, monitoring and reporting.
9. We wish to strongly reiterate that the package, precisely as drafted and submitted by the Group in the previous informal consultation, is of utmost sensitivity to the entire members of the group. It was arrived at after very intense consultations among the group, and that constitutes the final strong position of the group on the issues of data, information, measurement, monitoring and reporting. Therefore, this package is non-negotiable by the group.
10. The Group, recognizing the importance of multidimensional approaches to poverty eradication that go beyond the economic perspective, restates its suggestion to include a reference on the need of a "multidimensional perspective that transcends the use of per capita income as the sole indicator to measure development, in order to support all developing countries to achieve sustainable development", while referring to the serious and continuous, as well as new and emerging, challenges that developing countries face.
11. Also, recognizing that the increase in the unilateral measures, not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, will not only undermine the multilateral trading system, but also will lead to negative impact on access of the developing countries' exports to the global markets, and achieving the sustainable development through mutual cooperation, the group would like to include the reference to the unilateral measures in this text.
12. The Group wishes to reaffirm that all the 17 SDGs are of utmost importance, so we don't want to single out one goal - that is goal 16 - over the others. In this regards, the Group strongly believes that highlighting this goal in the text is cherry picking from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and will make the text unbalanced.
13. Multilateralism, including multilateral trading system and its rules, has been proved to be the most appropriate formula to address challenges facing humanity. In this regard, South-South Cooperation contributes to the strengthening of multilateralism and a more just and fair world order. The Group stresses that the decisions agreed in WTO in its consecutive ministerial meetings must be implemented.
14. We reiterate the significance of addressing the constraints on technology transfer to developing countries. We encourage the transfer of sound technologies to developing countries on favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms.
15. In closing, distinguished Co-facilitators, we would like to ask for more clarity on the process forward, following this round of negotiations; will there be other rounds of informal consultations? how do you plan to proceed after the issuance of the next revised text? In this connection, we would like to note that we understand that this is the third draft circulated since the beginning of the process, and at this advanced stage of consultations, we don't expect any new ideas or language to be presented, and we are looking forward to reaching a consensus outcome document by the end of this month.
16. The Group of 77 and China will continue to engage constructively in this process on the basis of the Nairobi outcome document, major documents on South-South Cooperation and the relevant UN GA resolutions.
I thank you.