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 GENERAL DEBATE OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 7 October 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to extend our warm congratulations to you upon your election as Chair of the Second Committee, as well as to the other members of Bureau on their election. We look forward to working with you, and we are confident that through your leadership and guidance, the Committee will come to a successful conclusion. We assure you of our full support and cooperation.
3. The Group welcomes the convening of the SDGs summit held during the High-Level week of this session, marking the end of the first four-year cycle of the HLPF after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and providing an opportunity to review progress in implementing the Agenda and its 17 SDGs. In this connection, it is evident that while significant efforts were made by all, and progress was achieved across many fields, we are still lagging behind on some of the key goals that are essential in shaping a better future for all countries and all peoples, including on eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, the overarching objective of the Agenda.
4. In this regard, we stress the importance of the political declaration adopted at the Summit which reaffirmed the principles recognized by the 2030 Agenda, and determined future concrete actions which will accelerate progress towards the full and effective implementation of the Agenda and all SDGs. We must remind ourselves that we only have one decade left in order to translate our common visions into real actions.
5. The Group will spare no effort towards implementing the 2030 Agenda, in its integrity and integrality. We reiterate the importance of the work during this session to target the overarching objective of eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions and pursue sustainable development in all its three dimensions in a balanced, coordinated, and integrated manner, while underlining the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We stress that remaining faithful to our commitments requires strengthening the means of implementation, particularly for the developing countries, including across the 7 action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
6. The Group welcomes the convening of the first High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (FfD), held during the High-Level week of this session, since the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) that highlighted the importance of mobilizing and leveraging public and private finance, increasing efforts to fight illicit financial flows, and systematically addressing the SDG investment gap.
7. The Group calls on the United Nations system, in consultation with the international financial institutions, to develop transparent measurements of progress on sustainable development that go beyond per capita income, building on existing initiatives as appropriate. These should recognize the multidimensional nature of poverty and the social, economic and environmental dimensions of domestic output and structural gaps at all levels. In this regard, the Group underscores the importance of achieving concrete progress in this issue.
8. We need to remain true to our pledge to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first, by ensuring that the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda are met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society, including the poorest and most vulnerable. This requires addressing the diverse needs and the challenges faced by all developing countries, especially countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs, as well as specific challenges faced by middle-income countries, and 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 2030 Agenda.
9. The Group 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, and recalls that states are strongly urged 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 economic and social development, particularly in developing countries; and reaffirms, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of states.
10. The Group reiterates that international trade is an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty eradication as well as an important source to finance development and achieving sustainable development. We reaffirm the significance of a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization. We also note the importance of SDG-oriented investment and the role of the private sector in supporting effort towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and we hope that the Second Committee would objectively pronounce itself on this matter at this session.
11. The Group also notes 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. It undermines and impedes our ability to achieve sustainable development, in particular in disaster prone developing countries and all others that have lower level of resilience and preparedness. We welcome, in this regard, the Climate Action Summit convened by the UN Secretary-General on 23 September, and take note of the initiatives announced, that aim to accelerate the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement. We call for mobilizing further action and support, in line with the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement, for climate change adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, especially those particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
12. Similarly, the Group reiterates that urgent and significant actions are needed to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. We urge the international community to strengthen its efforts to halt biodiversity loss and protect the ecosystems, and adopt and ambitious and effective post 2020 global biodiversity framework in the next Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
13. The Group reaffirms the paramount importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in supporting the sustainable development needs of developing countries. We reaffirm that it will remain the main channel for international support.
14. In this connection, we reiterate our position that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation and North-South cooperation remains the main channel for development cooperation, and stresses that South-South Cooperation and its agenda must be set by countries of the South and should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
15. The Group welcomes the convening of the Second High-Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation as well as its outcome document, and we look forward to its effective implementation, building on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the Nairobi outcome document.
16. In closing, Mr. Chair, the Group would like to note that the Second Committee will deal with a wide range of important development issues. For the Group, the agenda items under consideration are crucial to the attainment of our development objectives. The Group is committed to work closely and constructively with you and with our partners to ensure achieving sustainable development for all, while affirming the importance of preserving the tradition of the work of the Second Committee in adopting its resolutions by consensus. We reaffirm the Group's willingness to engage in good faith with our partners with a view to achieve this end.
I thank you.