STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS DURING THE CONSIDERATION OF AGENDA ITEM 23: OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT (New York, 21 October 2019)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the onset, the Group thanks the Secretary-General for his reports under this agenda item. We also thank the [Deputy Secretary-General and the] other representatives of the Secretariat for their presentations today.
3. During this QCPR cycle, we have concluded thus far two major GA resolutions, 71/243 on the QCPR and 72/279 on the repositioning of the UNDS, which set out the direction, objectives and roadmap for the United Nations system to better deliver development in programme countries, and to ensure that no one is left behind. However, the Group is of the firm view that implementation is key for success.
4. In this regard, we wish to thank the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General and their Team for their efforts in the process to reposition the United Nations development system to suit country needs and facilitate their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. [And we view her presence here today as a reaffirmation to their continued commitment to carry forward this process with the guidelines of the UN Membership].
5. As this cycle nears its conclusion and we begin to prepare for the new QCPR cycle in 2020, we wish to reiterate the key principles that should continue to drive the United Nations System. First, the system should retain its strong development focus and ultimately the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions should remain its overarching objective. Second, the principles of national ownership and leadership should be respected, and RCs should ensure transparency and strong accountability to host governments. Third, we stress the importance of geographical balance in selecting the RCs. Fourth, the revitalized UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNDAFs) should be prepared and finalized in full consultation and agreement with national governments, through an open and inclusive dialogue, and in accordance with national development priorities and needs. Fifth, the RCs should work in close collaboration with national governments to effectively coordinate the implementation of the Cooperation Frameworks (UNDAFs). We stress the importance of ensuring effective, timely and regularly reporting mechanisms from RCs on the implementation of UNDAFs and the activities of UNCTs to host governments as agreed in resolution 72/279. Finally, the presence and the composition of the United Nations country teams should be determined in close consultations with concerned Member States, based on country development priorities and long-term needs.
6. Noting that the new cycle which starts next year will also align with the last decade for the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Group sees this period as a very critical time for us to be able to assess how the newly repositioned system is meeting its obligations and what are some of the key challenges and gaps. We, therefore, recommend that the Secretary-General appraise the membership through regular briefings in the early part of 2020, in order to guide decisions to be taken for the 2020 QCPR.
7. We acknowledge the efforts undertaken over the past year to address the funding of the UNDS and development activities as a whole. However, we continue to remain concerned about the sustainability, predictability and adequacy of financing for the system. This is essential for delivering a dedicated, independent, impartial, and empowered RC system. In this regard, we urge traditional donors to come forward with the required funds and request for an update on commitments made by Member States to date towards the voluntary trust fund, the operationalization of the levy, and the current gap in funding.
8. As we all know, G77 and China is comprised of a highly diversified group of countries with varied developmental needs. This is why we remain highly concerned about the state of play as regards to the "revamping of the regional level". We are yet to receive the mandated options, for our consideration and approval, for the reorganization of the regional level. We therefore reiterate our call to the Secretary-General, as a matter of urgency, to provide the options on a region by region basis, as this is crucially important for the implementation of the GA and ECOSOC resolutions and the full and effective functioning of the UN system as a whole.
9. In the same vein, Mr. Chair, we also wish to reiterate the call to the Secretary-General to conduct further inclusive consultations with all countries concerned on the multi-country office (MCO) review, in accordance with paragraph 4 of GA resolution 72/279, for its conclusion and to guide its implementation, taking note of the ongoing review by the Secretary-General of the configuration, capacity, resource needs, role and development services of multi-country offices, and related discussions at the 2019 operational activities for development segment. The MCO review should be able to sustainably and effectively service the countries of those offices.
10. The Group reiterates its commitment to work closely and constructively with the Secretary-General and his Team, other delegations, and all the Resident Coordinators and members of the UN Sustainable Development Group, to collectively implement and achieve the 2030 Agenda.
11. We welcome the Buenos Aires outcome document of the recently concluded second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) held in Argentina, and we take this opportunity to once again thank the Government and People of Argentina for hosting this very important and successful Conference.
12. As we increase the momentum begun at BAPA +40, we wish to reaffirm that South-South cooperation is a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation. It 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.
13. We also reaffirm the need to work towards an international development cooperation system that recognizes the multidimensional character of development.
14. We continue to look forward to the invaluable contributions south-south and triangular cooperation makes in the realization of development in its three dimensions, and so we reiterate our call to the United Nations development system to continue enhancing its support to South- South and triangular cooperation, at the request and with the ownership and leadership of the developing countries.
I Thank You.