STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. UMER YOUNIS, THIRD SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE DRAFT POLITICAL DECLARATION FOR THE 2022 UNITED NATIONS OCEAN CONFERENCE (New York, 19 April 2022)
(Para 1 to 11)
1) I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2) At the outset, let me thank the co-facilitators for the revised draft political declaration that was circulated on 6th April 2022.
3) The Group notes that several of the important proposals which were earlier shared with the co-facilitators were not incorporated, and some key elements still remain missing despite no opposition in the room.
4) Keeping in view the time limit, I will try to summarize our proposals. To facilitate the work of co-facilitators, we have already shared our written inputs with you.
5) After Para 3, the Group suggests adding a factual and concise paragraph on the "Rio Conventions" to demonstrate an interlinkage between climate change and biodiversity loss at land and ocean. Our proposed language in this regard has been submitted to you.
6) Regarding Para 4, the Group strongly support the inclusion of targets 14.2, 14.4, and 14.5 in this paragraph and the importance and urgency to address them effectively.
7) We believe that this political declaration once adopted will be read and understood outside of the confines of the United Nations system. Therefore, clarity on such important issues cannot be taken for granted while drafting the text.
8) Regarding Para 5 on climate change, the Group believes that we should clearly mention the "principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances", which is of fundamental importance for the Group. Therefore, the Group would strongly emphasize to see a reference to this principle in the paragraph.
9) In addition, the Group suggests that this paragraph may be divided up into two separate paragraphs. The first part of the paragraph should note the concerns and challenges, as it is, but only up to line 7 ending at "The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate". The second part, starting from "We emphasize…" to the end, could form a new paragraph that speaks of the actions that need to be taken.
10) In the proposed second part of the paragraph, the Group would suggest including the language from Para 15 of Glasgow Pact that starts from "limit the temperature increase" and ends on "impacts of climate change".
11) As the means of implementation are key enabler to address the adverse effect of climate change including on the ocean especially for the climate vulnerable developing countries, the Group proposes a dedicated language on the means of implementation and loss and damage from Para 39 of the Glasgow Pact to be included in the draft.
12) Regarding Para 8, the Group would like to propose the inclusion of "single-use plastics" in this paragraph, which has exacerbated the problem of marine plastic litter and microplastics in the ocean.
13) In the same paragraph, the Group would like to reiterate that terminology "greener and bluer" is not a multilaterally agreed upon language and various delegations inside our Group do not have the same understanding of these terms. Therefore, we would, once again, suggest using the language "a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery" instead.
14) With regard to Para 10, the Group reiterates the support to advancing the important process of BBNJ forward with the view of adopting this instrument as soon as possible in line with the IGC's mandate in UNGA resolution 72/249.
15) In addition to this, the Group believes that we can have a reference in this paragraph to the BBNJ outcome potential contributions to supporting the delivery of SDG 14, which is currently not mentioned in the paragraph.
16) With regards to the remaining paragraphs of the draft political declaration, the Group will provide its views when discussions on those Paras is initiated later in the consultations.
(Para 12 to 16)
1) I will now briefly share the views of G77 and China on the remaining paragraphs. Our detailed comments have already been shared with you.
2) Regarding Para 12, the Group believes that the previous formulation preserving SDG 14 at the center would have been a better one, where we welcome the outcomes of COP26 and COP15 of their respective conventions without mentioning only one aspect of the outcomes.
3) The Group, therefore, encourages the co-facilitators to re-formulate the chapeau based on language of Para 11 of Kunming Declaration, which we have shared in our separate submission.
4) In the same paragraph, the Group proposes to delete "ecosystem-based" from the third line because it is negatively affecting the definition of "precautionary approach".
5) Regarding Para 12 sub-point (e), the Group proposes the deletion of the word "ultimately" in the first line. We are of view that this word weakens the overall message of the paragraph and does not properly reflect the recent most agreements on this matter as specified in resolution UNEP/EA.5/Res.14 which reads and I quote "…to work towards the prevention, reduction, and elimination of plastic pollution".
6) In Para 12 sub-point (g), the Group suggests including a reference to clean energy technologies in this paragraph. The rationale behind this proposal is that clean energy technologies mean zero GHG emissions without determining whether the resource is renewable or not, unlike renewable energy technologies.
7) In the same paragraph, some members of the Group prefer the deletion of the reference to the temperature goal, as it's already outline in a different section of the draft.
8) Moreover, a new proposal on "Maritime Disaster Recovery and Restoration" has also been proposed through our written inputs along with some edits to Para 12 sub-point (b). The Group, therefore, would like to see its inclusion in the draft.
9) Regarding Para 13 sub-point (a), the Group would propose to further enhance this para by highlighting that strengthening will be needed mostly by the developing countries. We, therefore, propose the inclusion of "especially in developing countries" after the words socio-economic date in this paragraph.
10) The Group also believes that the responsibility of developed countries to support the capacity building to developing countries must be enhanced and are worth mentioning in this paragraph. We, therefore, propose to add in the beginning of Para 13 sub-point (d) language based on Para 20 and 22 of HLPF Ministerial Declaration 2021 and Para 27 of Glasgow Pact. Our proposal in this regard has been shared with you through our written inputs.
11) In Para 13 sub-point (e), the Group suggests adding before "nature-based solutions" the reference to "ecosystem-based approaches". Another possibility in this regard would be to use both but with addition of word "or" between them. It will then read as "ecosystem-based approaches or nature-based solutions", as recently agreed in the approved CSW conclusions.
12) With regard to Para 13 sub-point (i), the Group would like to propose the following edits to the paragraph:
a. First, to delete "as soon as possible".
b. Second, to replace "objectives of the Paris Agreement" with the "IMO Initial Strategy for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships".
c. And third, to delete "while setting clear interim goals" from the paragraph.
13) In addition to this, the Group believes that the inclusion of following elements would further strengthen the overall text of this paragraph.
a. First, a reference to enhancing provision of adequate, predictable, and sustained means of implementation to developing countries to assist them in their national efforts to deal with ocean action based on science and innovation and on Goal 14.
b. Second, a reference to continue improving sustainable maritime transportation with a view to reducing GHG emissions and all forms of pollution in the ocean.
c. And third, a reference to reaffirming our commitment to adopting effective measures against maritime narco-trafficking, piracy, armed robbery, and all other forms of illegal activities in the oceans and seas, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
14) Finally, on Para 16, the Group again proposes a reference to "harmony with nature" which is as important in the ocean as it is on land.
15) The Group also proposes to delete the addition of words "as soon as possible without undue delay" from the paragraph and replace it "with taking into account national circumstances, needs and priorities" in the end.
16) I thank you.