STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. ABDALLAH ABUSHAWESH, COUNSELLOR AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES SEGMENT OF ECOSOC (New York, 22 May 2019)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The Group would like to thank the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and their team for the various reports, briefings and dialogues with Member States on the implementation of the repositioning of the UN Development System, and the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR). The Group would also like to express its gratitude to the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Rhonda King and the Vice-President of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Kira Danganan-Azucena for their excellent organisation and planning of the segment. While the G77 and China will speak to the specific details of the reports and the implementation across the different sessions of the segment, this statement will place on record the Group's longstanding positions with regards to the repositioning and the QCPR. I will make three brief points, since the Bureau has encouraged Groups and delegations to deliver highlights at this General Debate.
2. First, the Group emphasises the importance of ensuring the timely implementation of all outstanding mandates from General Assembly resolutions 71/243 and 72/279. The repositioning of the UN Development System must be conducted in the framework and spirit of the QCPR. The mandates and concepts contained therein should not be reopened nor renegotiated. The focus of this Operational Activities Segment should be on implementation, and on ensuring that in its critical first year, all reform mandates are progressing at a pace satisfactory to programme countries.
3. Second, the Group reiterates the central role of the General Assembly in discussing and deciding on matters pertaining to the QCPR and Operational Activities for Development. The General Assembly is the most universal intergovernmental mechanism for the formulation and appraisal of policy matters, and is therefore the main platform for developing key system-wide strategic policy orientations and operational modalities for the UN Development System. While the Group recognises the role of the ECOSOC as an accountability platform, any exercise to enhance this role should not undermine the General Assembly as the main body responsible for strategic guidance and oversight of the UNDS.
4. Third, the Group underscores the importance of national ownership and leadership in all matters pertaining to the ongoing implementation. This includes the effective and timely reporting from Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams back to host governments. It is also crucial that the new guidelines for the development of new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks be developed in full consultation with host governments, taking into account country needs and priorities.
5. To conclude, the Group reaffirms its continued support for the Secretary-General's efforts to deliver an effective and fit-for-purpose UN Development System that would help programme countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Group hopes to continue engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the UN Development System at this Operational Activities Segment. A fruitful exchange will promote a better understanding of not only the progress made, but more importantly, the key challenges and gaps that still remain. Ultimately, the objective of all reform mandates must be to address the interests and needs of programme countries.
I thank you.