STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR RIYAD MANSOUR (STATE OF PALESTINE), CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE 2019 HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE DRAFT OUTCOME OF THE 2019 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL FORUM ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT FOLLOW-UP (New York, 26 February 2019)
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, the Group wishes to congratulate you for your appointment as co-facilitators by the President of the General Assembly for the 2019 High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development and by the President of the Economic and Social Council for the 2019 FfD Forum.
On a preliminary base, the Group of 77 and China understands that the FfD Forum and the High-Level Dialogue, however correlated, are independent events and have each its own format.
Regarding the outcome of the FfD Forum, we look forward to the Inter-Agency Taskforce (IATF) report to be issued soon and we express our willingness to engage constructively in the negotiations aiming at reaching substantive and meaningful intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations. As such, we encourage the facilitators to present as soon as possible their proposed schedule of work and we urge them to allow enough time for coordination within groups of countries.
Previous editions of the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development included a modalities resolution based on a note prepared by the Secretary General on the organization of work. I refer you in that regard to resolutions 65/145 and 65/314, related to the fifth edition, and 67/199 and 67/300, related to the sixth and last edition. We acknowledge that this year's edition is a different one, being the first time it is held on a quadrennial basis, back-to-back with the high-level political forum under the auspices of the General Assembly. Its format should nonetheless be based on previous editions, to the extent possible.
We would like to bring to your attention resolution 73/223 negotiated last year during the current session of the Second Committee, in which the General Assembly decided some aspects regarding this High-Level Dialogue, we understand that a delicate agreement was reached and we would not favor reopening those elements within this modalities process. During these negotiations, last November, the Group of 77 and China proposed a request to the Secretary General to present a logistical note to be issued in order to inform the negotiations on the modalities. However, we understand that proposal did not make the final agreement, we would thus request the co-facilitators to present, when time comes, information on the organization of work of previous Dialogues in order for Member States to make informed decisions on the format of this year's edition. The Group is open to discussing the modalities of the next High-Level Dialogue after the negotiations of the FfD Forum, which are set to start after the issuance of the IATF report later this week.
We believe that the High-level dialogue on FFD should be a chance to take stock of the progress and identify the gaps on the implementation of Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We also encourage a coherent approach with the other high level meetings occurring during the high level week such as the Climate Summit, the HLPF and the Mid-term Review of the SAMOA Pathway. All the aspects of Addis, especially the international development cooperation, should be covered by the dialogue. The event should focus on implementation rather than being taken as a chance to rewrite the commitments in Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
As it is an intergovernmental event on the margins of the High-level week and the HLPF Summit, we should take the opportunity to encourage the wide and high-level participation from member states, especially representatives from the developing countries, who are the main recipients of official development assistance and also the key players in the international development cooperation. Given the time constraints for the Dialogue, we request that every effort be used to ensure participation of Member States, as well as to ensure that non state participants can be accommodated to the extent possible.
However, in the meantime, The Group favors that we concentrate our efforts on FfD Forum process. We look forward for the IATF report being issued later this week, the DESA briefings next week and all other preparatory events, which leave States with a very tight schedule for the intergovernmental negotiations.
The Group would also like to emphasize that while 2019 IATF's Report is an important reference in advising this intergovernmental process, the deliberations of this process should not only be limited to IATF's findings.
It is worthy to recall that Addis Ababa Action Agenda represents means of implementation for the wider sustainable development agenda. including the 2030 Agenda. In light of the integrated approach of that agenda especially as reflected in the 2030 Agenda, financing for development should reflect an integrated approach and should be aligned with national priorities and development strategies, having regard for country context.
The Group reaffirms that the Official development assistance (ODA) is key and indispensable for achieving sustainable development goals. It is the main channel for international cooperation and will continue to remain fundamental. In this regard, the Group calls upon developed countries to fulfill their commitments they have made as to ODA and to increase ODA allocations to the most vulnerable countries in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda while respecting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of those countries.
While the Group recognizes that international trade plays a vital role in enhancing cooperation in accordance with a rules-based multilateral trading system and is an important source to finance development and achieving inclusive economic growth as well as poverty eradication. We therefore remain very concerned with the increase in the unilateral and protectionist measures that 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.
We also look forward to more engagement of UNCTAD in the FfD process as the focal point within the United Nations system for the integrated treatment of trade and development and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, in accordance with para 88 of Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Moreover, the Group seeks involvement of organizations such as UNIDO and South Centre in FfD process taking into consideration their focus on various development issues relevant to the developing countries.
In closing, once again, the Group would like to reiterate its commitment to engage constructively throughout the upcoming process towards a consensus-based outcome document encompassing all action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
I thank you.