STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. ALEENA MAJEED, THIRD SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 3(A): DATA AND INDICATORS FOR THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AT THE 53RD SESSION OF THE UN STATISTICAL COMMISSION (New York, 28 February 2022)

The Chair of the Statistical Commission,
Excellencies and Colleagues,

I have the honour to deliver these remarks on behalf of G77 and China.

The Group attaches great significance to the work of the UN Statistical Commission and the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators as well as the Working Group on the Measurement of Development Support to develop an indicator for SDG target 17.3, "Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources."

The Group is pleased to note the progress made, so far, on the development of the indicator 17.3.1 comprising foreign direct investment (FDI), official development assistance (ODA) and South-South cooperation as a proportion of gross national income.

The Group is also satisfied that in line with the principles and unique characteristics of South-South cooperation, now for the first time there is a global, voluntary Conceptual Framework to measure South-South cooperation for SDG target 17.3.

In this regard, the Group urges for clear description of the mandates of the co-custodians (UNCTAD and OECD) to avoid overlaps in the future work towards effectuating the indicator, as well as the establishment of capacity development activities allowing to strengthen future reporting.

The Group also supports that UNCTAD becomes responsible for future global reporting of South-South Cooperation.

Mr. Chair,

The Group also expresses its concerns over the decision by the United Nations Statistical Division to remove the distinction of developed and developing regions from the M49 classification.

The Group understands that being part of either developed or developing region is through sovereign decision of a state such as the recent decision by the Republic of Korea to become part of developed region (List 'B' of UNCTAD).

The Group also highlights that such classification is necessary for the realization of many SDG related targets as around 50 SDG indicators continue to be defined with direct reference to the developing countries.

Such classification has assumed added significance in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic when existing inequalities between developed and developing countries have been exacerbated making this distinction clearer than ever before.

Moreover, this change risks setting a precedent that could negatively affect many ongoing processes under the three Rio Conventions (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, and Convention to Combat Desertification), other multilateral agreements, and the UN System as a whole.

We, therefore, urge the UN Statistical Division to revert to the historic M49 classification based on UNCTAD's lists (list A, B, C, and D) as mentioned in the UNCTAD's first Handbook of Statistics.

I thank you.