STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO CUESTA, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE INFORMAL BRIEFING ON THE SECRETARY GENERAL'S REPORT "OUR COMMON AGENDA" (New York, 13 February 2023)
Mr. Secretary General,
President of the General Assembly,
Under-Secretary General Ryder,
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. I would like to express the Group's appreciation to the Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly and their respective teams for the efforts with regards to the follow-up to the report entitled "Our Common Agenda" and the proposals contained therein, for the consideration of Member States. We thank the convening of this meeting as it is in line with General Assembly resolution 76/6, which requested the Secretary-General to brief Member States on a regular basis.
3. The Group believes these briefings are important to keep Member States appraised and ensure a Member States driven process on the discussion and implementation of relevant proposals outlined in the report, through intergovernmental processes.
4. The Group also believes that further information should be made available to Member States in that regard. Predictability and clarity are essential, particularly on the objectives, processes and timelines through which it is proposed to consider specific initiatives.
5. The Group is convinced that the main priority in present times should be implementing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. All of our efforts should be devoted to that endeavor. It is essential to ensure that the initiatives derived from the Secretary General's report contribute to that end.
6. On a similar note, the Group considers that any discussion of specific proposals should ensure the effective participation of all delegations, in particular smaller ones and those coming from developing countries.
7. Overlaps with other very important processes should be avoided, as far as possible. In the current session, there is a high number of processes already mandated by Member States that will consume time and efforts and pose a serious challenge for smaller delegations.
8. Appropriate time should be given to delegations to consult with their Capitals and each other, as part of intergovernmental deliberations on the proposals of the Secretary General's report. The initiatives of the report will require intergovernmental processes to determine those that would be part of the preparations of the Summit of the Future in 2024 and the ones that might need further reflection by Member States. We need to give careful consideration to the timelines of substantive discussions on such proposals with a view to avoid duplication or overlaps with other mandated processes, and putting smaller delegations in the difficult position of choosing which processes to follow and engage in. If that is the path, some might be left behind.
9. The Group takes note with interest of the idea of elaborating Policy Briefs on specific initiatives. The Group believes these documents would serve as important inputs, among others, for the preparatory process leading up to the Summit in 2024, keeping in mind that Member States will make the final decision on the various tracks of the Summit and its outcomes. Proper consideration should be given to the tracks proposed by the Secretary General´s team. Nonetheless, Member States should have the space and time not only to decide on these proposed tracks, but also to identify additional ones, if needed.
10. The Group notes that Member States have not decided yet the scope of the Summit, as per General Assembly resolution 76/307. In the view of the Group, that should be the initial step for the preparatory process of the Summit, leading up to the Ministerial Meeting this September. It would be natural to commence substantive negotiations within the specific tracks, after the overall scope of the Summit has been decided upon.
11. Finally, the Group reiterates that it stands ready to continue engaging with a constructive spirit in the follow-up process to the report of the Secretary General entitled "Our Common Agenda".
I thank you.