STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO FROM THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS IN EXPLANATION OF POSITION ON THE DRAFT INTERGOVERNMENTALLY AGREED CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL FORUM ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT FOLLOW-UP (New York, 15 April 2021)
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 thank the President and Secretariat of the ECOSOC for the preparation of this year's Forum on Financing for Development. Also, the Group would like to express its deep and sincere appreciation to the Permanent Representatives of Fiji and the Netherlands, and their respective teams, for their recognizable and tireless efforts in preparing the text of the outcome document as well as facilitating the consultation process. Their experience and leadership have contributed to reaching the intergovernmental agreement on the draft, particularly within extremely short period of time.
3. In the last month and half, the Group has engaged constructively throughout the negotiations over the draft text of agreed conclusions and recommendations with a view to reaching a consensus-based outcome document encompassing all action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Likewise, the Group would like to commend everyone in the process for the constructive engagement.
4. The Group of 77 and China has joined the consensus on the agreed conclusions and recommendations of the Economic and Social Council forum on financing for development follow-up, firm in its conviction that the United Nations must remain strong and united in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Solidarity and a multilateral approach by the United Nations are critical to our collective effort.
5. The Group of 77 and China, however, wishes to make the following statement in explanation of its position on several elements of the agreed conclusions and recommendations.
6. The Group of 77 and China had formulated a paragraph that focused on the significant challenges faced by middle-income countries, which called for the UNDS and the international community to develop their support towards these countries, such proposal was based in language coming from both the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the latest QCPR. We are extremely disappointed to see that this paragraph was not included in the outcome, given that the proposal of the G-77 was neither contested, nor opposed, by any delegation during the informal consultations. In line with what was expressed by the President of ECOSOC and the UN Secretary General, we would have also liked to see further mentions to the priorities, needs and difficulties of MICs in other relevant paragraphs of the outcome document.
7. The Group of 77 and China reiterates the importance of ensuring global and equitable access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines at affordable prices, as well as recognize that they should be made global public goods to help overcome the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide and recover the momentum for sustainable development. The funding gap of over $20 billion for 2021 for the ACT Accelerator should be addressed.
8. Regarding paragraph 20, the Group would like to stress that the issue of social protection is of high importance. However, it is equally important that any extension of social protection is undertaken in accordance with national policies, legislation and circumstances, as expressed by the G-77 during the process of informal consultations. This is also in line with agreed language in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
9. On paragraph 21, throughout the consultations, the Group maintained the position that the matters around carbon pricing and fossil fuels subsidies should be addressed under the basis of caution. Countries should be free to choose which instruments to use in reducing their emissions, and a one size fits all approach may not be the most appropriate towards this end. This document should take fully into account the specific needs, conditions, circumstances and priorities of countries, seek to minimize adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and vulnerable communities and does not hinder the efforts to achieve the SDGs, to implement the 2030 Agenda in its entirety and build back better in the decade of action and delivery. The G-77 has decided to accompany the compromise reached on this paragraph in order to reach a consensual agreement.
10. Additionally, on paragraph 25, the Group strongly disagrees to the inclusion of reference to the Financial Action Task Force, given it is not an initiative by the United Nations. Many developing countries are not part of the discussions and its work and products are biased against some developing countries.
11. Regarding para 32, the Group is concerned about the retention of the reference to the need to develop of a common framework of definitions and criteria for sustainable economic activities. The Group believes this is vague and that extensive discussion is needed to reach consensus on a specific arrangement and mandate for such a framework.
12. The Group recognizes the final compromise reached on paragraph 55, towards having a reference to the year of 2020, in connection to the commitments made to mobilize US $100 billion of climate finance per year. However, we are of the view that more accurate language could have been used to stress the concern of the unmet commitments in this regard, as proposed by the G-77 during the informal consultations as follows:
"We are concerned that the commitment by developed countries to jointly mobilize US$ 100 billion per year by 2020 has not been met and therefore call on developed countries to honor their commitment and jointly mobilize financial resources of at least USD 100 billion per year to assist developing countries in their climate change actions with respect to both mitigation and adaptation, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries".
13. The Group of 77 and China reiterates its commitment to engaging constructively and in good faith with all partners on these and other agreed conclusions and recommendations in the global effort to implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and respond to the global crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, while laying the foundations for long-term development and resilience in the developing countries.
14. The Group of 77 and China requests that this Explanation of Position be made part of the official record of the proceedings.