STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR AHMED TIDIANE SAKHO OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE MODALITIES FOR THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO COMMEMORATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADOPTION OF THE DURBAN DECLARATION AND PLATFORM OF ACTION (New York, 3 May 2021)
The G77 and China would like to congratulate Her Excellency Ambassador Ms. Mathu Joyini, Permanent Representative of South Africa, and His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Francisco Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative of Portugal, for their appointment as co-facilitators leading the consultations on the Political Declaration and the modalities of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
At the outset, The Group would like to reiterate its unwavering commitment to the accelerated implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. In this regard, we express our firm opposition to all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all parts of the world and expresse our deep concerns on their resurgence through contemporary forms and the aggravated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the scourge of racism, racial discrimination xenophobia and related intolerance.
Driven by its commitment to the effective implementation of the Durban declaration, the G77 and China is the proud proponent of the resolution 75/237, requesting the organization of "a one-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, at the level of Heads of State and Government", and to "adopt a political declaration" in this regard, during that meeting.
It is, therefore, the Group's honor to see this process moving forward and you can rest assured of the full support and commitment of the G77 and China to your mandate, throughout the process of the consultations, to ensure a successful commemoration.
Regarding the subject we are discussing today, related to the scope, modalities, format, and organization of this high-level meeting, the G77 and China would like to share the following general comments:
- We would like to thank you for your efforts in drafting and presenting this zero draft, which constitutes a good basis for negotiation and future improvements.
- The Group stresses the importance of inclusivity and is of the view that this commemorative event should be open to all delegations, offering them the opportunity to express their positions and their views on this important commemoration. We believe that the possibility of holding a plenary session with the adequate time allocation, to allow all Heads of States and Governments to address the general Assembly on this occasion, should be considered.
- the Group would also like to seek clarity on the reasoning behind the suggestion in OP 4 (c) and the limitation to 25 Member States to participate in the suggested Round Table. We would like to ask about the selection process and the criteria to be applied to identify these suggested 25 Member States.
- The Group is also of the view that this commemorative event deserves to be given a broad visibility and would like to ensure that all delegations and the United Nations entities are invited to support various high-visibility initiatives, aimed at effectively increasing awareness at all levels, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, as requested in the Resolution 75/237.
These are few general comments that G77 and China would like share with you at this stage, considering that the Group will discuss this draft in a more substantial manner and send its written comments in due course.
Regarding your request to present elements on the future political declaration and while we look forward to receiving the zero draft of the declaration from the Co-facilitators, the Group would like to recall the terms of the resolution 75/237 and call for the adoption of "a short and concise political declaration aimed at mobilizing political will at the national, regional and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its follow-up processes". In this regard, in line with the 2020 Ministerial declaration of the G77 and China, the group believes that the declaration should ensure the momentum of the commitments made in the Durban Declaration and Program of Action and call for a renewed engagement for its implementation. The political declaration should also provide for a call to reject all forms of racism, discrimination and xenophobia through all political and legal means and comdemn all forms of racism, and discrimination spread through the new communications technology, including the Internet.
the Group would also like to highlight the importance of the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent and the request for the adoption and implementation of policies and programmes to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent. these elements should also be eflected in the politac declaration.
These are the preliminary comments of the group in this regard and we would like to reserve our right to send our written contribution in due course, once we will have clarity on the timetable for the consultations from the facilitators.
I would like to conclude by reiterating the importance of this high level commemorative event for the G77 and China and we call on all delegations to support this process so that this event and the political declaration to be adopted will send a strong message from the international community to fight against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
I thank you.