STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR RUDOLPH MICHAEL TEN-POW, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE INFORMAL MEETING ON THE ALIGNMENT OF THE AGENDAS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ECOSOC AND ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES, IN LIGHT OF THE ADOPTION OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 17 February 2020)

Distinguished President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished co-facilitators,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Let me first express the Group's appreciation to you, co-facilitators, for accepting to co-facilitate the intergovernmental consultations on the alignment of the agendas of the General Assembly and ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies in the light of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I thank you for convening this informal meeting to hear the views of Member States. The Group of 77 and China commits to engaging fully and constructively in your work.

I would also like to thank you for your letter of 4 February last, in which you proposed specific questions to frame the substantive discussions at today's meeting. The Group takes this opportunity to react to some of those questions.

Distinguished co-facilitators,

The Group wishes to underscore the importance of aligning agendas with a view to enhancing synergies, linkages and coherence between the work of the General Assembly and ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies. In our view, this process presents a critical opportunity to examine the agendas that guide our work, with a view to making our deliberations more relevant and fit for purpose. Our common objective is to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in its entirety, in this Decade of Action and Delivery for Development.

The Group acknowledges that the defining feature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - that is, its universal nature - renders this process inextricably linked to other ongoing processes such as the ECOSOC and HLPF reviews and the revitalization of the work of the Second Committee. To this end, we wish to stress that the alignment process should be characterized by a comprehensive and holistic view of the agendas, across all the main bodies.

For this reason, we are of the view that the alignment process should not exclusively revolve around the Sustainable Development Goals, since due regard and attention should be given to the 2030 Agenda as a whole, of which the SDGs are but a part. This will ensure that relevant issues covered by the Agenda, which are not necessarily reflected in any of the SDGs or targets, would not be left out of the alignment process.

Distinguished co-facilitators,

The Group wishes to stress the importance of building on the work done in the past to advance the mandate and to review our collective efforts aimed at aligning the agendas. Permit me, therefore, to highlight some specific points that should help to frame our discussion going forward.

Firstly, the Group of 77 and China believe that this process should facilitate a detailed, thorough and comprehensive analysis of the SDGs and the agenda items of the relevant General Assembly Committees to take account of the gaps, possible duplications, and overlaps where these are found to exist. We must carefully consider avenues for creating necessary and productive synergies, particularly between the Second and Third Committees and ECOSOC, that would address these gaps and ultimately contribute to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with greater efficiency.

Secondly, with regard to the possible criteria proposed by the co-facilitators for identifying overlaps and duplication, the Group continues to believe that it is premature to discuss such criteria at this stage. Before doing so, we need to have a detailed, thorough and comprehensive analysis of the SDGs and of the various agenda items. As stated above, the criteria for determining overlap or duplication must be further elaborated with the aim of reaching consensus and taking decisions in this regard. We reiterate that examining possible overlaps and duplication should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, we believe that the process has been developed in an unbalanced manner, with a focus mainly on identifying overlaps. More effort should now be dedicated to determining the criteria for identifying prevailing gaps in the treatment of the SDGs.

Thirdly, the Group of 77 and China take note of the mapping assessment of the SDGs that was done last year. While we see this as a useful reference, we also see it as incomplete and would urge a fuller and more comprehensive mapping and review to guide our discussions. We are ready to work across regional and group lines to determine the remaining elements to be included.

Regarding the process, while we are eager to realize progress, we would like to caution that artificial deadlines may prove to be counterproductive. We believe also that any attempt to cherry-pick issues or aspects in this alignment process will not serve our best interests.

Distinguished co-facilitators,

The Group underscores the ownership and leadership of Member States of this exercise. The process cannot prejudge the sovereign right of countries and groups to present new issues and/or resolutions on the agenda of the General Assembly, its Committees or the various functional commissions and other relevant organs of the United Nations.

We in the Group of 77 and China are cognizant of the relevance of the agenda alignment process and we wish to reaffirm our commitment to engage constructively and to participate effectively in the process with a view to achieving a successful outcome.

I thank you.