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 INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE SUMMIT OF THE FUTURE (New York, 16 March 2023)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group remains fully committed to engage constructively in the intergovernmental preparations of the Summit of the Future.
3. We also recall all the previous statements delivered by the Group on the Secretary General’s report “Our Common Agenda” and the Summit of the Future, including the statement delivered on 9 March 2023, at the briefing of the Secretary General to present the Policy Briefs on an emergency platform and on future generations, respectively. The Group further recalls that it took note with interest of these two Policy Briefs and that it indicated that it would be better prepared to provide comments, if any, at a later stage.
4. However, the Group wishes to indicate that it is in no position to engage on substantive discussions on these Policy Briefs today, but would be willing to do so later in the process of the preparations for the Summit of the Future. The Group wishes to note that insufficient time has been given to assess the proposals contained in these documents, receive guidance and instructions from Capitals and coordinate positions. We further note that this meeting is held within a week of the circulation of the two Policy Briefs, and that some of the elements contained therein are of great complexity and implications to the overall work of the United Nations and must be adequately reviewed and considered by Member States.
5. The Group reiterates that it takes note with interest of the idea of elaborating Policy Briefs on specific proposed tracks for the Summit of the Future. These documents would serve as important inputs, among others, for the preparatory process and deliberations leading up to the Summit in 2024. However, they should not be considered as the basis of negotiations. Taking into consideration that Member States are yet to decide on the scope of the Summit, it is also important to highlight that not all Policy Briefs would necessarily contribute to the preparations for or should be considered as tracks of the Summit. Rather, they should be considered as “food for thought”, as highlighted by the Secretary General himself on 9 March 2023, to contribute to a Member State driven process.
6. The Group is committed to giving proper intergovernmental consideration to the tracks proposed by the Secretary General. However, as part of this intergovernmental process, we strongly believe that Member States should have the space and time 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. Member States should also have the possibility of identifying additional tracks, if needed, during the consultations on the scope of the Summit.
7. The preparations for the Summit of the Future should be conducted based on what Member States have agreed in resolution 76/307. That agreement is limited to holding the Summit in 2024, with a preparatory Ministerial Meeting in 2023, and to initiate open, transparent and inclusive intergovernmental consultations on the preparatory process. As per OP16 of that resolution, the intergovernmental preparatory process of the Summit shall consist of consultations to determine the scope of the Summit, topics and organization of the interactive dialogues and then negotiations to conclude the outcome document.
8. The Group believes that the first part of this process, in particular leading up to the Ministerial Meeting in 2023, should be devoted to consultations on the scope, topics and other elements mandated by OP16 a) of resolution 76/307. Beginning substantive discussions on specific proposed tracks, without Member States deciding on the overall scope of the Summit would appear to be premature, and prejudges its general outcome.
9. The Group would also like to reiterate the need to have further information and clarity on when we will discuss the overall purpose of and preparations leading up to the Ministerial Meeting in 2023 mandated by resolution 76/307. Taking into consideration that we have only six months until that meeting, we propose to start intergovernmental consultations in that regard.
10. The current roadmap of this process is prepared on the basis of the expected dates of circulation of the Secretary General’s Policy Briefs, in order to react to them. However, it does not include reference to substantive negotiations on the scope of the Summit of the Future and on its outcomes. In the spirit of having greater clarity and predictability, the Group believes that a revised version of the roadmap, that takes into account these concerns, is needed. The Group would propose to have a comprehensive roadmap outlining the different steps of the overall process, both for 2023 and 2024.
11. On a similar note, the Group believes that we should avoid overlaps with other very important processes that are taking place, with clear intergovernmental mandates. The Group regrets that this meeting is being held on the same day as the second informal consultation on the political declaration for the SDG Summit. If the Summit of the Future is to be truly successful, and its preparatory process truly inclusive, it would be unwise to put smaller delegations in the difficult position of choosing which processes to follow and engage in. That road would leave many behind and would contradict the spirit of OP18 of resolution 76/307.
12. The Group believes that the preparatory process for the Summit of the Future should ensure the effective participation of all delegations, in particular smaller ones and those coming from developing countries. The Group also believes that the priority in the coming months should be the SDG Summit.
13. To conclude, the Group reiterates its willingness to engage with a constructive spirit in the preparatory process of the Summit of the Future.
I thank you