STATEMENT BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION OF THE BUENOS AIRES OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE SECOND HIGH-LEVEL UN CONFERENCE ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION (BAPA+40) (New York, 15 April 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to express to you our appreciation for your continued support and commitment to the development agenda, particularly South-South Cooperation. The Group would like also to commend the continued commitment of the United Nations in strengthening South-South Cooperation. 40 years ago, the United Nations convened the first Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries which led to the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. In 2009, it was followed by the first High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation convened in Nairobi, Kenya from 1 to 3 December 2009. Last month, the second High-level Conference was convened in Buenos Aires to mark the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of BAPA which adopted the Buenos Aires outcome document of the second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation. Our thanks also go to the two co-facilitators who coordinated this important undertaking on your behalf.
3. We are very grateful to the Government and people of Argentina for hosting this importance conference. We also acknowledge the important role of the United Nations development system led by the UN Secretary-General in further supporting and promoting South-South Cooperation, in line with the principles of South-South Cooperation.
4. Moreover, the Group believes that BAPA+40 gives us the opportunity to reaffirm our strong support to the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation and to the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). We stress that the Office is the articulator of South-South cooperation in the UN system. The Group appreciates the countries of the South who have stepped up their cooperation with UNOSSC which has also enhanced its role and impact by up-scaling it in terms of financial, human and budgetary resources for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
5. The Group engaged constructively, in good faith, throughout the negotiation process on this outcome document, with a view of reaching a balanced substantive outcome document encompassing all the relevant issues to South-South Cooperation.
6. In this connection, the Group reaffirms that South-South cooperation is a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda.
7. As laid out in the Nairobi Outcome document, and reaffirmed in this outcome document, South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by the countries of the South, and must 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.
8. The Group emphasizes 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.
9. South-South cooperation has evolved significantly over the decades, and the South-South roadmap has never been as important as it is today. The international community is also well aware of the scale and impact of South-South cooperation as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda both welcome the increased contribution of South-South cooperation to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
10. Furthermore, the Group would like to recall the importance of Triangular Cooperation. In recent years, this component of cooperation has become more relevant in the current architecture of international cooperation and requires to play an important role in the 2030 Agenda. However, we wish to emphasize that triangular cooperation must be undertaken at the request of developing countries, in line with the principles of South-South cooperation, and must be led by the countries of the South.
11. We acknowledge the voluntary, participative, and demand driven nature of South-South Cooperation, born out of shared experiences and sympathies, based on their common objectives and solidarity. We further recognize that South- South Cooperation leads to more diverse opportunities for development and, should not to be equated to, nor measured or assessed as Official Development Assistance. We also emphasize that the spread of South-South Cooperation shall not reduce the commitment of developed countries to reach 0.7% of their GNIs, as their official developing assistance to developing countries.
12. The Group understands that the 2030 Agenda represents a change of the development paradigm that prevailed in the last decades since it recognizes that development is much more than economic growth. In that sense, the Group recognizes the multidimensional nature of poverty and the social, economic and environmental dimensions of domestic output and structural gaps at all levels, and further recognizes the need for international development cooperation to include 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 acknowledging the serious and continuous, as well as the new and emerging challenges, that developing countries face.
13. The Group welcomes the Buenos Aires Outcome Document of the Second High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation as contained in document A/73/L.80, and looks forward to its effective implementation.
14. However, the Group regrets that the text to some extent fell below our expectations. Unfortunately, the text singled out one SDG over the other 16 SDGs that are of equal importance. In this connection, we restate the importance of the full and comprehensive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, we stress that this should not create a precedent for future intergovernmental negotiation processes.
15. We also stress our regret regarding the inclusion of certain references such as development effectiveness as it remains inapplicable to South-South cooperation, and more related to international development cooperation.
16. Although we agree that the knowledge, experience and success stories should be shared among developing countries, we are concerned and strongly oppose attempts to measure, monitor or harmonize with the ODA frameworks, which will not bring more resources for development; but, 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 with a focus on the achievement of the 17 SDGs, rather than the demands of measurement, monitoring and reporting.
17. On trade, the Group has presented comprehensive and concrete proposals during the informal consultations to strengthen the language, but regrettably they were not taken on board in the final version of the outcome document. In this connection, the Group recognizes the significant contribution of South-South cooperation in the area of trade and its ability to promote sustainable development among developing countries. In that sense, the relevant United Nations organizations, including UNCTAD, must continue to support developing countries in deepening and enlarging South-South trade integration, regional, sub-regional and interregional economic integration and cooperation arrangements.
18. The Group remains deeply 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.
19. In closing, Madame President, the Group agreed to accept the last version of the outcome document in line with our constructive approach and the need to ensure consensus in support of this important conference. We look forward to working with all partners in mutual trust and in good faith to implement the key deliverables of this outcome document to bolster support for national and regional efforts of developing countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to achieve the overarching goal of the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
I thank you.