STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE ADOPTION OF THE MINISTERIAL DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 15 July 2022)
1. I have the honour to deliver this Statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to thank the President and Secretariat of the Economic and Social Council for the preparation of this year's High-Level Political Forum.
3. I would also express appreciation to the Permanent Representatives of Italy and Nauru, and their respective teams, for their efforts in facilitating the consultation process on the Ministerial Declaration. I would also express the Groups appreciation to our coordinators, the experts from Philippines, Indonesia, and Iraq who negotiated on behalf of Group.
4. More than 2 years since the onset of the pandemic, the High-Level Political Forum holds extreme importance to send a strong signal of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals in this decade of action.
5. Accordingly, the Group has engaged constructively and in good faith throughout the negotiations with a view to reaching a balanced, substantive and consensus-based outcome document.
6. However, the Group would take this opportunity to register that the process followed this year could have been better by allowing sufficient time for in-depth inter-governmental negotiations on important issues as well as for internal consultations within our Group and other groups.
7. We believe that in future, the negotiating process must be conducted in a manner to allow for complete, full and transparent inter-governmental negotiations, which should avoid scheduling conflicts with other ongoing processes. The timelines set for the process must be realistic.
8. The Group of 77 and China has joined consensus on the Ministerial Declaration, recognizing the importance to
adopt a meaningful Ministerial Declaration at a time when developing countries continue to suffer disproportionately from the impact of various global crises.
9. Notwithstanding this, the Group wishes to make the following statement in explanation of its position on several elements of the HLPF Ministerial Declaration:
10. First, the Group attaches the utmost importance to addressing the challenges and needs faced by all developing countries, especially countries in special situations and those facing specific challenges.
11. Hence, while we appreciate the reference in Paragraph 10, the Group is deeply disappointed that the list of countries does not include a reference to "countries and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation". At this juncture, when we are witnessing a grave existential threat against Palestine, one of our Members of the Group, it is critical for us to reaffirm our commitment to leave no one behind.
12. Second, the Group reaffirms our firm rejection of unilateral economic, financial or trade measures and reiterates the urgent need to eliminate them immediately. In this regard, we are deeply disappointed that our proposal for a standalone paragraph on this, taken verbatim from paragraph 30 of the 2030 Agenda, was not included.
13. Third, the Group regrets that our proposal for a standalone paragraph on the Right to Development as an inalienable human right was not included in the final draft.
14. Fourth, the Group also regrets that our proposal for the inclusion of a reference to 'Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the light of different national circumstance' in Paragraph 61 was not accommodated. In view of the historically different contributions to global environmental degradation, developed countries must acknowledge the responsibility they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development.
15. Fifth, the Group is disappointed that our proposals for inclusion of references to ensuring "no country is left behind" were not accommodated.
16. Lastly, in Paragraph 127, the Group does not support the term "vulnerable middle-income countries". Such a classification of middle-income countries is not multilaterally agreed and is not reflective of the challenges faced by the middle-income countries. Furthermore, it is restrictive in suggesting specific middle-income countries to be provided relief through Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is contrary to our pledge of "leaving no one behind".
17. In closing, the Group decided to accept the version of the ministerial declaration, tabled before us today, in the interest of ensuring its adoption by consensus towards supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. However, we are extremely disappointed that a vote was requested on certain paragraphs. This communicates a negative political message regarding our collective endeavors with regards to the follow up and implementation of the 2030 agenda.