STATEMENT BY THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UN, AT THE FIRST REGULAR SESSION 2022 OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF UNDP, UNFPA, AND UNOPS - UNDP SEGMENT, ON THE THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION (UNOSSC STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2022-2025) AND UNITED NATIONS CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (UNCDF STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2022-25) (New York, 1 February 2022)

Madam President,
Distinguished Members of the Board,

1) I thank the UNDP Associate Administrator, as well as the Director, a.i. of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, for their introduction of the Framework and their strong leadership in support to South-South cooperation.

2) Please allow me to recall the Declaration by the Foreign Ministers of the G-77 and China adopted on 30 November 2021, in which they "reiterated their strong support to the mandate of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and stressed that the Office is the articulator of South-South cooperation in the United Nations system."

3) The Group expresses its appreciation for UNOSSC for effectively carrying out its High-Level Committee's secretariat functions, for being a responsive partner with the Group, and for its achievements during its previous Framework (2018-2021).

4) In this regard, the G-77 and China looks forward to the UNOSSC Strategic Framework 2022-2025, which built upon past successes with a clear vision and strategy to: (a) advance of South-South and triangular cooperation policymaking and implementation; (b) strengthen United Nations capacity to provide South-South and triangular cooperation support; and (c) promote South-South and triangular cooperation knowledge exchange, capacity development, and technology development and transfer to enable developing countries to pursue more resilient and sustainable development.

5) The G-77 and China believes that the UNOSSC Strategic Framework 2022-2025 should respond to the needs and priorities of member states. It is encouraging to note that the programme incorporates the principles and objectives set by Member States in the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, the Nairobi outcome document, the BAPA+40 Outcome Document, as well as relevant GA resolutions.

6) The Group is pleased that the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, in its strategic framework (2022-2025), will continue to support the efforts of the countries of the Global South in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the decade of action and will continue to contribute to the United Nations system efforts to support those countries in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in building resilience for the future, upon request and under the leadership of developing countries.

7) The Group is also pleased to note that, in the Strategic Framework, UNOSSC has led the development of a United Nations system-wide strategy on South-South and triangular cooperation to galvanize a coordinated, coherent approach to United Nations policy and programmatic work on South-South and triangular cooperation, and that this strategy and its action plan will be rolled out during the Strategic Framework period.

8) The G-77 and China, however, proposes that the UNOSSC use agreed terminologies in its framework. Phrases such as "fragile states" and "green" technologies have not been agreed by Member States and should be replaced by "vulnerable countries" and "sustainable technologies" respectively. The Group would also like to stress that middle-income countries are increasing its role on SSC cooperation especially during period of COVID-19 pandemic, thus contributing towards a more inclusive, effective, and horizontal global development agenda. In this regard, the Group calls on the UNOSSC to continue to leverage its partnerships with MICs and that the Strategic Framework will be inclusive and takes into consideration all groups of countries, including the middle-income countries.

9) The Group also suggests that UNOSSC should support the identification of synergies between South-South development cooperation, trade, and investment among developing countries, in coordination with relevant entities of the United Nations development system.
 
10) With these suggestions, the Group supports the approval by this Board of the UNOSSC Strategic Framework 2022-2025 and thank the UNDP for providing UNOSSC with institutional and financial and operational support which have enabled the Office to carry out its responsibilities as mandated by the General Assembly.

11) The Group takes this opportunity to reiterate that sufficient and sustainable funding of the UNOSSC is extremely critical for the successful implementation of its Strategic Framework 2022-2025.

12) The Group encourages member states to contribute more generously to the work of the UNOSSC through the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation and the Pe?rez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation, in accordance with various General Assembly resolutions on this subject.

Madam President,

13) The Group of 77 also supports the action of UNCDF in the Least Developed Countries.

14) UNCDF has proven its important role in the development efforts of the LDCs, notably through the financing of projects at digital, MSMEs and municipal levels. At the same time, UNCDFs efforts in unlocking untapped resources to work for the most vulnerable communities deserve our support. It is for these and other reasons that the Group call for adequate resources for the fund to continue remaining fit-for-purpose especially at this challenging time where countries are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and bio-diversity loss, food insecurity among others.

15) With its unique hybrid mandate within the United Nations, the UNCDF has a unique asset and delivery capacity for Member States and should be recognized as an important strength of the UN. It is the GroupĀ“s conviction that the agency deserves the full support from our Board.

16) The Group believes that the synergies between Strategic Framework and the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Development Countries for the Decade 2022-2031 is critical in ensuring that the LDCs successfully obtain sustainable development. In this regard, the Group supports the endorsement of the Strategic Framework to enable UNCDF to carry on its work in line with the UNDS reform.

I thank you.