REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE THIRD INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATION ON THE ALIGNMENT PROCESS (New York, 3 July 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver these remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, the Group wishes to express its appreciation for all your tireless efforts as Co-facilitators to lead the consultation process aimed at enhancing synergies and coherence between the work of the General Assembly and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through convening several informal-informal consultations at the expert level in an open and transparent manner. In this connection, the Group would like to stress on the importance of maintaining and ensuring the transparency, openness and intergovernmental character throughout the whole process and in the future work.
3. The Group reiterates that the full and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is of utmost importance for developing countries. It is, therefore, crucial that this alignment process leads to the comprehensive implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and targets, with the developing countries at its center, in particular, by ensuring that its results strengthen the capacity, interests and presence of those countries on the agenda of the General Assembly, its Committees and other relevant United Nations bodies.
4. The Group acknowledges the draft note of the co-facilitators, which contains annexes I and II on the updated mapping assessment developed during this session, and the possible criteria for overlaps and/or duplication respectively. While the Group takes note of the updated mapping assessment as an evolving reference for the discussions at the 74th session of the GA, we emphasize the need for further elaboration and in depth analysis of the SDGs in relation to the agenda items and its sub items.
5. Moreover, we would like to re-stress that the alignment process cannot be understood only in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals but first and foremost to the 2030 Agenda as a whole, of which the SDGs are a part. Otherwise, relevant issues covered by the Agenda, which are not necessarily reflected in any of the SDGs or targets, would be left out of this process.
6. Additionally, we reiterate that there should be a more substantive and content-based analysis of whether the agenda items of the General Assembly, its Committees and resolutions are aligned or not with the Agenda 2030. The analysis cannot have as a main premise how the title of items and/or resolutions corresponds or does not correspond with certain SDG(s).
7. As for Annex II on the criteria for possible overlaps and/or duplication, the Group restates that it is still premature to discuss the criteria at this stage. As we reiterated several times, we strongly believe that before we consider the criteria for possible overlaps and/or duplication, we need to have a detailed, thorough and comprehensive analysis of the SDGs and the agenda items.
8. At the appropriate time, the set of criteria must be further elaborated until consensus is reached among member states on a basis on which to take any decision in this regard. Moreover, we consider that the process has been developed in an unbalanced manner, since so far all efforts have been made to identify criteria for identifying possible duplication and/or overlaps, but no criteria have been pursued to identify possible gaps in relation to the Agenda 2030.
9. The Group stresses that the process cannot prejudge the sovereign right of countries and groups to present issues and/or resolutions on the agenda of the General Assembly, its Commissions and other relevant organs of the United Nations, especially if it is in line with the purposes and principles set out in the UN Charter and in connection with the implementation of Agenda 2030.
10. In closing, the Group is not in favor of setting artificial deadlines for the conclusion of the process, which prejudge the real responsibility of effectively carrying out that mandate. Artificial limits can yield unbalanced and negative results for developing countries. While we recognize, and support the need to advance the mandate regarding alignment with Agenda 2030, we understand that this process must advance on solid foundations, based on evidence, after a broad and in-depth analysis.
11. The Group would also like to stress that it is important that this process always respects the mandates and competences of each of the bodies and committees involved.
12. Finally, the Group restates its support and commitment to engage constructively in this consultation process during the coming session with a view of building on the discussions that took place during this session and to continue working together in order to reach consensus among all States.
I thank you.