STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR FEDA ABDELHADI-NASSER, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE DRAFT POLITICAL DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES ACCELERATED MODALITIES OF ACTION (SAMOA) PATHWAY (New York, 11 September 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, I extend our Group's solidarity with the people and Government of The Bahamas. We remain concerned about those who have lost their families, their homes, and their livelihoods. We stand with them in these difficult days and in the ones ahead.
3. Small island developing States are among the most vulnerable countries globally. It is this vulnerability to persistent shocks beyond their control that endangers their development. It is also this vulnerability that forces them to be resilient, a self-surviving trait that we too often overlook.
4. We first acknowledged this vulnerability in 1994, twenty-five years ago. Since then we have reiterated time and time again, the special circumstances of SIDS and our collective aspiration to uplift this group. Within that quarter century the global community has adopted several far-reaching frameworks.
5. In just a couple weeks our leaders will gather here to reaffirm our global commitment to these processes and to a world where all of us are guaranteed a meaningful future. But, as we engaged in the informals for this process, there were often times that we were unsure that the global community understood the specific needs of SIDS or were still dedicated to them as a special group of countries. It seemed as if the system was unable to distinguish the SIDS circumstances from those of other developing countries. If that were to be true, then the twenty-five years of assurances to this group would have been for naught. Unless the most vulnerable among us can achieve their sustainable development then phrases like "leaving no one behind" bear little meaning beyond the 2015 pledge.
6. Four months ago, the Group of 77 and China offered its support and solidarity for a tangible and legitimate outcome based on the input of all of us and ultimately rooted in a SIDS-vision for their own development. That commitment was important for two reasons. First, SIDS do not stand alone. We stand with them. And second, even when we strive for consensual outcomes they must still reflect and be respectful of countries plans for their own development.
7. The Group of 77 and China remain steadfast in their support of SIDS and are committed to a successful conclusion of the Mid-term Review. However, elements of this intergovernmental process on this Declaration has been unprecedented, to say the least.
8. The hallmark of United Nations has always been the acknowledgment, respect and support for the diversity of its members. The same is also true of our Group, indeed of all groups within these halls. This diversity remains one of our greatest strengths. I would like to reiterate a point I made earlier in this process that our decisions must be flexible enough to garner widespread support but also encompass the humanity to benefit the most vulnerable among us. And, it is when we engender this humanity that we achieve the most laudable results.
9. In that vein, we now invite Belize in its capacity as G77 and China's Coordinator for this process to present the Group's proposed amendments to the latest of the Co-Facilitators text, in the true spirit of flexibility and compromise.
10. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I thank you all for your commitment to SIDS and to this process.