STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. DALIA M. TORRES SEARA, THIRD SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA TO THE UN, AT THE SECOND INFORMAL CONSULTATION ON THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE 2023 ECOSOC FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT FORUM FOLLOW-UP (FFD FORUM) (New York, 4 April 2023)
1) I have the honor to deliver these remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2) At the outset, let me thank the co-facilitators for their hard work in this process.
3) The Group believes that the first draft presents a good basis for further discussions and took on board some of the suggestions that we have shared earlier.
4) Our comments today will, therefore, not only try to strengthen existing elements in the first draft but will also reiterate the elements which have not been included.
5) Keeping in view the time limits, I will only highlight certain aspects of our inputs as the rest has been submitted to you.
6) In the preambular paragraphs, on paragraph 4 we would like to see the reference to the reform of the financial architecture as was drafted by the facilitators. It is a crucial reference that should be placed at the beginning of the paragraph. In addition, the Group strongly supports the inclusion of a reference to the Secretary-General's proposal for an SDG Stimulus which is of the upmost importance for developing countries and the implementation of the SDGs.
7) In the Cross-cutting issues chapter, the Group would like to reiterate what we proposed earlier regarding the recognition of the vaccines as global public goods to help overcome the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide as well as the fact that their production should be expanded in different locations particularly in the developing countries.
8) For the Group is key to include in this section the importance of the provision of new and additional climate finance by developed countries to developing countries, that is different from Official Development Assistance (ODA), especially to those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Group has re-submitted language in this respect as 6 pre.
9) In addition, the Group would like to see in paragraph 6 a reference to the establishment of a fund for responding to loss and damage. We have resubmitted language in this regard.
10) While the Group appreciates the inclusion of paragraph 7, we insist on the need to scale up "the provision and mobilization" of biodiversity finance "especially from developed countries". We propose to use "welcome" instead of "call" for the implementation of all decisions as all of them are not related to the FfD process. In addition, we would like to include the "call for the timely implementation" of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund.
11) On paragraph 10, we would like to maintain the language proposed by the facilitators on the social protection systems in general and include that we need to strengthen them to provide universal access to essential social services, consistent with national priorities and circumstances, in order to help to meet the internationally agreed development goals, which is agreed language from PP12 of resolution A/RES/76/136. Also, to be constructive, we propose to use language from 2022 outcome document regarding the references to "child-sensitive and gender-responsive social protection". We have submitted one proposal in that regard.
12) On paragraph 11, we would like to "take note" of the United Nations Transforming Education Summit organized in 2022 and include "intercultural and multilingual education" in the sectors that need to receive attention and investments.
13) On paragraph 12, we would like to see a reference to the need to enhance investments in quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, particularly in developing countries and to the support of the discussions on the establishment of an Infrastructure Policy Board under UN auspices. We would like to request the deletion of the new language regarding the sound infrastructure governance and the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment as they have not been agreed by all States.
14) Regarding paragraph 14, we request its deletion and propose to use the previous language presented by the facilitators.
15) In the Domestic Public Resources chapter, on paragraph 16, we believe that the call on the international community should be to scale up international cooperation to support related technological, institutional and human capacity building to countries, particularly developing countries, and to explore digitalization as a tool to optimize the efficiency of tax systems. We have therefore reintroduced these elements and request their inclusion. While we appreciate the efforts of the Addis Tax Initiative to strengthen the capacities of developing countries, we believe that its membership is limited to a few countries and not fully representative. We consequently request its deletion.
16) On paragraph 17, we believe that the intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation must be in line with resolution A/RES/77/244. It must also include language from the resolution with references to the possibility of developing an international tax cooperation framework or instrument through the evaluation of additional options through a United Nations intergovernmental process taking into full consideration existing international and multilateral arrangements. We stress that this paragraph should be closely aligned with OP 2 of resolution A/RES/77/244. We therefore believe that references to the work of the UN Tax Committee and OECD should be moved to paragraph 19.
17) As stated already, we believe that paragraph 19 is the appropriate paragraph to take note of the work of the UN Tax Committee and OECD.
18) We believe there is the need to strengthen paragraph 20, by reintroducing language which calls upon States to consider the possibility of waiving or reducing to the barest minimum the processes and costs of the recovery of stolen assets, in particular by reducing the administrative and legal bottlenecks in the recovery of illicit assets.
19) In the chapter on Domestic and international private business and finance, the Group believes it would strengthen the text to highlight the key areas in which support is needed to promote investment and develop bankable projects. The Group has also made proposals to align the text of paragraph 21 with agreed language.
20) The Group believes it is relevant to have a reference to global macroeconomic conditions which are having a direct and adverse impact on private investment and domestic business.
21) The Group welcomes the co-facilitators proposal to make reference to the role of multi stakeholder partnerships and believes that paragraph 24 could be further strengthened by including more specificity on the areas where such partnerships could be beneficial.
22) The Group wishes to inquire on the source for the second part of paragraph 26.
23) The term "green washing" is new and not yet intergovernmentally agreed. The Group proposes to delete the second sentence of paragraph 27 and believes the aim of paragraph 27 will not be affected by this deletion.
24) Finally, the Group believes it is important to emphasize that remittances is not a substitute for FDI, ODA, debt relief or other public sources; the Group has made a proposal to this effect based on agreed language in para 28. It may have been an oversight to remove the reference to migrants in the remittance paragraph. Our Group has made a proposal to remedy this.
25) In the chapter on International Development Cooperation, we wish to stress in paragraph 29 that North-South cooperation remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable development, with South-South cooperation as a complement to, rather than a substitute for. This was reflected in last year's outcome document and the Group would like to reiterate our call to include this idea as previously submitted in our written inputs. We would also like to reiterate the fact that ODA is the commitment by developed countries.
26) On paragraph 36, we appreciate the inclusion of the discussion on the measures of progress on sustainable development that complement or go beyond gross domestic product in this section. We still wish to strengthen the language to reflect the vulnerabilities, structural gaps and multidimensional challenges faced by developing countries and stress that the measures should also better inform access to concessional finance.
27) On paragraph 39, we understand that this paragraph is based on the outcome document last year. However, we reiterate our position not to include the discussion on "total official support for sustainable development" or TOSSD. While Indicator 17.3.1 has been agreed by the United Nations to measure additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources, TOSSD is not a globally accepted measure. It has been recognized as a data source for commonly agreed elements only. In addition, TOSSD is not a globally agreed tool to measure South-South cooperation.
28) On paragraph 40, the Group prefers to use the agreed language from last year's GA resolution on South-South cooperation as submitted in our written inputs.
29) In the chapter on International trade as an engine for development, on paragraph 43, the Group would like to bring back its proposals for specifically outlining what developing countries need from the multilateral trading system if trade is to truly be a driver of development.
30) The reform of the WTO and the multilateral trading system is critical and must be on the basis of foundational principles and core provisions such as special and differential treatment. The Group has therefore made a streamlined proposal in this respect.
31) Finally, in this section, priority issues for the Group on the WTO's negotiating agenda, the need to urgently eliminate unilateral and protectionist trade measures and the elevated shipping costs are missing elements which the Group believes are directly relevant to today's trade challenges and must be addressed.
32) The Group reserves its position on the Debt and Debt Sustainability Chapter.
33) In the Addressing systemic issues chapter, on paragraph 57 we have submitted an alternative proposal based on language from the debt resolution. We would like to see two important elements "the voluntary rechanneling of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to the developing countries" and the exploration of viable options for countries to voluntarily channel SDRs through but not limited to Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).
34) On paragraph 61, the Group reiterates that would like to see an explicit reference to the essential need to reform international financial architecture and the international financial institution and multilateral development bank governance, especially IMF and the World Bank, to broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making, norm-setting and global economic governance.
35) We look forward to fulfill the commitment of IMF to revisiting the adequacy of quotas and continuing the process of governance reform under the sixteenth general review of quotas, by 15 December 2023. For that reason, the Group has resubmitted language in this regard.
36) We would like to request deletion of paragraph 63, it is premature to take note of such initiatives as there are still to be considered and discussed.
37) In the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) section, on paragraph 64, the Group would like to reiterate our proposal to remove the reference to "inclusive structural change" as it is unclear what this means. We propose to replace it with "inclusive digitalization" which we believe conveys the same idea in a clearer way.
38) On paragraph 65, the Group notes the new addition of the reference to "women-owned and women-led MSMEs". At the same time, the Group notes that there is already a reference to "especially for women who are disproportionately affected" in this paragraph. Nonetheless, to be constructive, we would like to reintroduce the paragraph from OP22 of the ICT resolution, which mentions "support for MSMEs, including those owned for operated or operated by women".
39) On paragraph 66, while the Group can broadly go along with this paragraph, we would like to seek clarification on the definition of "meaningful" access to Internet.
40) On paragraph 67, we would like to reintroduce the reference to "capacity building". Our preference is also to use "technology transfer" instead of "transfer of environmentally sound technologies". However, to demonstrate flexibility, we can go along with "environmentally sound technologies" if we include "development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion" and "developing countries, which is agreed language from SDG17.7. We also think it is important to reintroduce the Group's earlier proposal to include a reference on adequate financing for the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the LDC Tech Bank. We note that this is agreed language in the FFD Outcome Document last year.
41) In the Data, Monitoring and Follow up section, the Group can go along with paragraphs 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76 and 77 as currently drafted.
42) On paragraph 68, we would like to reintroduce the Group's earlier proposal on the need to scale up financial support and assistance to strengthen capacities of national statistical offices. We believe that it is important to have this support and assistance to help developing countries "strengthen efforts to collect, analyze and disseminate" data, which is also mentioned in this paragraph.
43) On paragraph 69, we would like to highlight our support for this paragraph as currently drafted. It is also important to note the link between this paragraph and paragraph 36 of the International Development Cooperation section.
44) On paragraph 70, we would like to delete the reference to "with appreciation" given that it is the usual practice to "take note" of non-intergovernmental meetings. In addition, we propose to replace "findings" with "convening", as the findings of the meeting are not inter-governmentally agreed.
I thank you.