STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. ABDULLAH ABUSHAWESH, COUNSELLOR AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE SECOND INFORMAL MEETING ON THE POLITICAL DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL MID-TERM REVIEW OF VPOA (New York, 21 June 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 congratulate you on your appointment as co-facilitators to lead the intergovernmental consultations on Political Declaration of the high-level Mid-Term Review of the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for Landlocked developing countries for the decade 2014- 2024. The Group wishes to express its appreciation to you for convening this meeting and for your efforts in producing the zero draft which we believe is a good basis to proceed forward in our deliberations.
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 focused, short, concise, powerful, looking forward and action oriented outcome document.
4. Distinguished Co-facilitators, given that we only received the text a few days ago, we will limit our remarks to general and preliminary points.
5. The Group takes the Political Declaration of the Mid-term Review not just as a review of gaps and challenges, but also as an occasion to identify obstacles and constraints encountered and actions and initiatives needed to overcome them, as well as new challenges and emerging issues; and more importantly launch concrete and specific global initiatives to further accelerate implementation of VPoA. We believe that this way we will be making it a political outcome.
6. The Group appreciates the inclusion of the reference to intergovernmental conferences and documents in the preamble section, and in this connection, we stress that the New Urban Agenda is also crucial to the effective implementation of the VPoA, and we would like to see it reflected.
7. As for the second section, "Review and assessment of progress, gaps and challenges", we note that it lists just three gaps and challenges generally but the intensity and scale of gaps and challenges facing LLDCs are much more. The brevity of the section should not mean gaps and challenges facing LLDCs are few. So, the section needs improvement so that all gaps and challenges are adequately reflected.
8. We would also like to stress on the importance of preserving the references to all the priorities of the VPoA in a balanced manner.
9. The language regarding e-commerce, air transport, support to graduating and graduated countries from LDC status, trade facilitation, digital economy, connectivity and economic diversification…etc. needs to be further strengthened in line with the annual resolutions on the follow-up to VPoA implementation.
10. Those are the Group's general and initial remarks and we will provide you with concrete and substantive proposals in due course.
11. On the procedure, the Group would like to seek some clarifications on the process of negotiations ahead and what format the upcoming meetings will take? and we stress that due consideration must be given to the need of member states to consult their capitals, and the need for internal coordination of the Group, in particular taking into consideration the limited time between the third and fourth informal (scheduled on Thursday, 27 June and Monday, 1 July, respectively).
12. In closing, we would like to inform you that the Group of 77 and China has appointed Mr. Tapiwa Roy Rupende, from the Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the United Nations, as coordinator for the Group of 77 and China on matters related to the VPoA Mid Term Review. Mr. Tapiwa Roy Rupende will speak on the Group's behalf during the negotiation process.
13. The Group reiterates its solidarity and support to LLDCs as well as its commitment to a successful conclusion of this important process, and looks forward to midterm review in December to have high level participation of all States Members of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies and observers in the General Assembly to show support and solidarity to LLDCs as we understand their geographical particularity, reiterates in this regards participation of relevant stakeholders, ncluding civil society and the private sector be finalized in full transparency and in accordance with the established practices of the General Assembly.
I thank you.