STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. UMER SIDDIQUE, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE ANNUAL SESSION 2022 OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF UNDP, UNFPA AND UNOPS: UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS OF THE REPOSITIONING OF THE UN DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM (New York, 10 June 2022)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of G77 and China.
While we were already off-track in achieving the SDGs, there is no doubt that the Covid-19 Pandemic and geopolitical tensions have adversely impacted and undermined many development gains. Extreme poverty and hunger are again on the rise.
It is also evident that the developing counties have been disproportionately impacted by the current crisis and that they do not have the necessary fiscal space to achieve all SDGs in the backdrop of unsustainable debt burden, rising commodity prices, global inflation, among other ongoing challenges.
These financial difficulties have pushed many developing countries on the brink of making hard choices: either to save lives of their people or repay their debt.
During the time of extreme economic hardshipand when the developing countries are grappling with the multiple crises, the Development Pillar of the UN Development System must be fully strengthened.
The Group re-emphasizes that the mandates set by the General Assembly in the QCPR must be fully implemented by the UN Development System.The Executive Boards need to play their oversight and guidance role to ensure full compliance of the agreed mandates.
The decisions by the Executive Board must re-emphasize these mandates and do not renegotiate the delicate balance already achieved at the General Assembly and the ECOSOC. decisions not in line with these mandates, may not be considered as precedent for the future discussions and decisions.
For the Group, basic principles such as national ownership and leadership are of critical importance for the delivery of effective results. There should be no one-size-fits-all approach and each country programme must be reflective of the realities and needs of the programme country
It is evident that delicate balance in the QCPR is already being jeopardized by emphasizing on institutional matters of the agencies, even in the context of their country operations and the bilateral relationship with programme countries.
The QCPR is clear: 'eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, as set out in the 2030 Agenda'.
It is therefore regrettable that there still seems to be resistance in recognizing that poverty eradication remains the overarching goal of the United Nations development system.
The Group recognizes the importance of getting UNOPS back on its track and emphasizes the vital contributions of UNOPS to developing countries and to the UN development system itself. The reported irregularities related to S3i investments are of course the object of serious concern among Member States.
The focus on internal controls review needs, however, to be overcome as a matter of urgency, as we need to bring the focus back to development.
In addition, there seems to push a vision of operational activities towards exclusively focusing on efficiencies and institutional matters, without proper regard or reference to the concerning status of global development and the path towards the SDGs -including, as stated by G-77, the funding gap for the UN development pillar, the unfulfilled funding commitments by the developed countries, and the need to invest more intergovernmental energy, political will and resources in integrated solutions rather than in bureaucratic discussions.
I thank you.