STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR PEDRO L. PEDROSO CUESTA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE BRIEFING BY THE CO-FACILITATORS ON ROADMAP AND SHARING OF EXPECTATIONS BY MEMBER STATES ON THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE 2023 ECOSOC FFD FORUM (New York, 6 February 2023)
Dear Co-facilitators, Excellencies and colleagues,
It is my honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
At the outset allow me to congratulate you, Excellencies, for your appointment as co-facilitators to conduct the intergovernmental consultations on the outcome document of the 2023 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development.
This year the Forum will take place in an extremely critical context. Most developing countries are still struggling with the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and trying to recover from that unprecedented challenge. While making enormous efforts to increase investments in their economic and social recovery, developing countries are disproportionately hit by multiple and simultaneous crises compounding their long-standing development challenges. Countries of the Group are currently faced with an international economic order characterized by increasing inequalities, growing financing gap, exorbitant burden of the foreign debt that significantly restrains fiscal and economic policy space for investment in their own development, food insecurity, arbitrary and unjustified trade restrictive measures and the ever growing consequences of climate change.
It is critical to focus our attention on making meaningful and impactful policy recommendations to help our countries to overcome the current crisis. To this aim, the Group highlights the following points on procedural matters:
First, we appreciate having received the roadmap, which will help us to organize our internal consultations. However, we note that there is not enough time between the release of the zero draft (scheduled for Thursday, 16 March) and the deadline to submit written inputs (scheduled for Tuesday, 21 of March) and the same happens with the following versions of the text that should be circulated after the consultations.
This doesn't provide proper time to coordinate positions in groups like the G77 and China, composed of 134 countries. Therefore, from this very early stage of the process, the Group insists that sufficient time should be provided to achieve a productive and inclusive outcome.
Second, the Group stresses that only an actual intergovernmental negotiation can offer the platform to renew the political commitment needed for an impactful outcome. There is no substitute to face-to-face textual negotiations where States can react to each other´s proposals in the room. Hence, the facilitators should provide an opportunity for all delegations to present inputs before the release of the zero draft in order to receive all background and rationale behind each proposal. The Group would then like to suggest that the co-facilitators organize also a meeting before the release of the zero draft to allow delegations and groups to present their priorities for this process.
Third, the IATF's report will be released at the end of February or first day of March. This document tends to be quite extensive and it takes time to analyze it as individual delegations and within groups. For that reason, it would be useful to receive key points of the report in advance. Further, the content of the outcome document must not be limited to what is in the Report, even as the document of the IATF is an important reference informing this intergovernmental process.
The Group expects to have an ambitious outcome this year and will engage constructively in this process with that objective. We call for direct actions to contribute to bridge the gap in the seven action areas of the AAAA and accelerate the pace of implementation needed to fulfil our commitments in the Agenda 2030. We need to go further and make serious progress in addressing the financing gap to achieve the SDGs. We need to seize the momentum towards the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development.
We have to address critical topics such as the urgent need to reform the international financial architecture in order to bridge financing gaps, provide an adequate access to concessional finance to developing countries and strengthen their voice in the international economic decision making process.
It is crucial to ensure the provision and mobilization of larger concessional assistance to developing countries, especially those most lacking the fiscal space and liquidity to save lives and livelihoods and stabilize their economies as well as early action to ease unsustainable debt burdens.
We will continue to insist on the need for an early and sizeable recapitalization of the Multilateral Development Banks to meet the significant financing needs of developing countries, the fulfillment of ODA commitments, the voluntary rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to developing countries and a new allocation of SDRs, the establishment of the set of measures of progress on sustainable development that complement or go beyond gross domestic product to inform access to concessional finance and technical cooperation by developing countries as well as the necessity to address the constraints on technology transfer along with enhancing capacity building, just to highlight some elements that are essential prerequisites to achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.
In addition, the Group looks forward to continuing the discussion on the convening of a Fourth Conference on Financing for Development.
On a final note, the G77 and China wishes a successful Forum and reiterates its commitment to engage constructively throughout the upcoming process towards a consensus-based outcome document encompassing all action areas of the AAAA.
I thank you.