STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. MUHAMMAD IMRAN KHAN, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE ZERO DRAFT OF ECOSOC FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT (FFD) OUTCOME DOCUMENT (New York, 29 March 2022)
1) I have the honor to deliver these remarks on the behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2) At the outset, let me thank the co-facilitators for their efforts in the preparation of the zero draft.
3) The Group believes that the current zero draft needs to be strengthened to reflect the current economic and financial challenge faced by the developing countries.
4) The Group has structured its comments around each chapter outlined in the zero draft.
5) In the preambular paragraph, the Group believes that it is important to highlight that the Covid-19 Pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities within and between countries, with the most vulnerable countries and people at risk of being left further behind in the health and socioeconomic recovery efforts.
6) It will be important to undertake efforts to reduce exclusion and inequalities by addressing system issues in our global financial architecture.
7) With regard to the cross-cutting issues, the Group emphasizes that strong social protection systems are necessary to overcome the pandemic and achieve the SDGs in this Decade of Action.
8) We take note with appreciation of the "Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions" that aims to provide financial and technical support.
9) While the Group reserve its position on para 8, we believe that the current formulation in para 9 does not accurately capture the concerns of the G77 members particularly on climate finance.
10) The Group, therefore, would like to see a reference to the commitment by developed countries to provide US$ 100 billion per year by 2020, which is already overdue and has not been met.
11) With regard to para 10, the Group has submitted an alternate language emphasizing beefing up private sector investments and UN system-wide support to the developing countries to provide blended and concessional finance at scale to leverage all infrastructure-financing sources to catalyze investments in quality and resilient infrastructures.
12) In domestic public resource section, the Group has several amendments to the zero draft with additional proposal as well as alternative paragraphs.
13) The Group believes that significant additional domestic public resources, supplemented by international assistance will be critical to realizing sustainable development and achieving the sustainable development goals.
14) The Group also takes note with appreciation of the report of the FACTI panel and its recommendations, for further consideration, as appropriate.
15) The Group is concerned that there is still no single global inclusive forum for tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level. Therefore, we reiterate the call for the full upgrade of the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to a UN intergovernmental body.
16) On domestic and international private business and finance, we propose the following additional elements:
i. Recognize the importance of corporate sustainability, including reporting on environmental, social and governance impacts
ii. Recommit to taking concrete actions to reduce the average transaction cost of migrant remittances by 2030 to less than 3 per cent of the amount transferred.
iii. Take into account the crucial role of MSMEs in contributing to SDG implementation through job creation and improve livelihoods for the poorest and most vulnerable and promote support measures to engage MSMEs in recovery efforts.
iv. Call upon developed economies to take into consideration the impact of their fiscal and monetary policies, on the global economy and on developing countries in particular.
17) The Group believes that the section on International Development Cooperation provides a good basis for negotiation. In order to make it more accurate to the needs and requirement of the developing countries, we propose to add paragraph 23bis, stating the fact, that middle income countries are exposed to a greater risk of being eliminated as recipient countries of development cooperation and financial flows.
18) We would like to stress that improving development effectiveness goes hand in hand with enhancing institutional capacities for transitioning to sustainable development systems thus our proposal on paragraph 24.
19) The Group would like also to propose the inclusion of the agreed language of paragraph 55 of FFD 2021, on direct aid to host countries, refugee populations, and countries of origin of refugees. We believe that this is a crucial component and has added value for this specific section.
20) The Group would like to suggest an alternate to paragraph 25, bringing a holistic vision to the use of the multidimensional vulnerability that goes beyond GDP to have a more inclusive approach to international cooperation and access to concessional and non-concessional finance that reflects all kinds of vulnerabilities.
21) The Group would like to add a new paragraph on the specific challenges face by MICs calling upon the United Nations Development System and the international community to continue to develop their support to middle-income countries.
22) With regard to chapter on science, technology, and innovation, the Group is of the view that this chapter does not give enough emphasis to the issue of digital divide and inequalities, which is an important issue for developing countries.
23) The Group has submitted alternative language on the challenges that may remain if science, technology and innovation are not carefully managed, and the opportunities and challenges of financial innovation. This is para 45 and 46 of our inputs, which has already been submitted to you.
24) Under this chapter, the Group would also like to include four additional paragraphs.
25) First, the Group would like to propose a new paragraph that would stress that technology transfer and capacity building are core priorities of developing countries, and there is a need for technology transfer on favorable terms, including concessional and preferential terms.
26) Second, the Group would like to propose including a paragraph on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the LDC Technology Bank, and the need to provide these mechanisms with adequate and sufficient financing.
27) Third, the Group is of the view that we should include a paragraph on international cooperation in STI, including financing investment in ICT infrastructure. Our proposal is based on agreed language from paragraph 79 of the 2021 FFD Outcome Document.
28) Fourth, the Group proposes to include a paragraph on capacity-building, digital literacy, digital infrastructure, and digital connectivity. Our proposal is based on agreed language from paragraph 40 of the 2021 HLPF Ministerial Declaration.
29) The Group reaffirms the need to assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring.
30) The Group also emphasizes that debt financing enables countries to respond to emergencies and to fund long-term investments to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions.
31) We call upon the member states with strong external positions to implement, in a timely manner, the voluntary channeling of at least $250bn special drawing rights to the developing countries.
32) Moreover, since inaccurate ratings impact the cost of borrowing and the stability of the international financial system, the Group believes that it would be important to proactively engage for the establishment of a publicly controlled credit rating agency.
33) Our detailed comments, along with the copy of this statement, will be submitted to you.
34) I thank you.