STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR FEDA ABDELHADY-NASSER, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE SECOND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE POLITICAL DECLARATION FOR THE 2019 HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 22 May 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group would like to express its appreciation to the co-facilitators for convening today's meeting on the Political Declaration for the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
3. We would like to assure you that the group will engage actively and constructively in this important process, with a view of having a meaningful, powerful, and action oriented, consensus-based outcome document, to be adopted at the highest level.
4. The Group would like to thank you, distinguished co-facilitators, for your efforts in preparing the zero draft. We would like to express our general support for the draft, which provides a good basis to proceed forward in our deliberations.
5. Distinguished Co-facilitators, since the zero draft was only circulated a couple of days ago, we will limit our remarks to general and preliminary points, and we will provide concrete and substantive proposals in due course.
6. The Group reiterates that poverty eradication in all its forms and dimensions is the overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda, and remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
7. The Group reiterates that the principles recognized in the 2030 Agenda, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the need to take into account different national realities, capacities, and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities, should be reflected in the declaration.
8. The Group underlines the importance of inclusivity in this declaration, and in this connection, the Group reiterates that it is imperative to address the challenges and needs faced by developing countries, especially countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as specific challenges faced by many middle-income countries, and countries that are close to surpassing or have recently crossed the upper middle-income threshold but still have structural gaps and vulnerabilities, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation, which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development and their ability to achieve and implement the SDGs, and to ensure that no country and no one will be left behind.
9. The Group re-emphasizes that it is crucial to reaffirm, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of States.
10. The Group further reaffirms that the right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well-being of the people of the State concerned.
11. This declaration focuses on accelerating the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and it should therefore address the impediments to its implementation, and in this regard, we recall that the Agenda strongly urged States to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of the SDGs, particularly in developing countries.
12. The Group stresses that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden all developing countries and in particular the poorest and most vulnerable among them. The Group expresses its concern by the continued loss of biodiversity worldwide, and urges for urgent action at the highest level in support for the post 2020 global biodiversity framework that contribute to the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, and places the global community on the pathway towards realizing the 2050 vision for biodiversity.
13. The declaration should stress that we aim to achieve common prosperity and "win-win" cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world.
14. The Group recognizes that disaster risk reduction, adaptation and resilience measures are yielding positive results and offer opportunities for economic growth and inclusive sustainable development. In this regard, we reaffirm the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 as an integral component for the implementation of 2030 Agenda.
15. The co-facilitators highlighted the interlinkages with other Summits and Meetings taking place during the High-Level Segment. The draft also rightly recognized the need to implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. We believe the document should also reiterate our collective support for the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the programme of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, all of which are integral to the Agenda.
16. The Group stresses that as stipulated in the Agenda, our governments have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, and the high level political forum has the central role in that regard. This review should be through an inter-governmentally agreed outcome. We regret this will not be possible for the SDGs under review this year and highlight the need to reflect on how we should address this issue in the upcoming cycle.
17. Distinguished Co-facilitators, the Group reiterates its commitment to engage actively and constructively in this process.
I thank you.