STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT SECOND MEETING ON THE PREPARATORY PROCESS FOR THE HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 1 May 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, I would like to thank the co-facilitators for convening this second meeting to share our views on the scope, format and programme of the High-Level Dialogue.
The forthcoming High-Level Dialogue presents a valuable opportunity for a frank exchange between leaders at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government, to reflect on the progress made in implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and to consider the most effective ways to close the widening gap in mobilizing the political will and resources required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The dialogue will be held at a time when progress towards the SDGs is reversing, and many developing countries are facing crushing debt burdens, as well as fiscal challenges. The SDG Summit in September will provide an opportunity to review the scale of the damage done by the multiple crises as well as the concrete actions needed if we are to achieve the goals.
Financing for Development holds the key to the success of the SDG agenda.
Against this background, the High-Level Dialogue should be of key strategic relevance for guiding the FFD process beyond the deliberations and outcomes of the recently concluded ECOSOC forum on FFD follow up. The next opportunity for an exchange at this level will be four years from now in 2027.
The High-Level Dialogue should further complement and build on the SDG Summit by taking stock of progress made on SDG 17 and all the means of implementation since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, identifying the implementation gaps, and developing concrete measures to address these gaps and accelerate implementation.
The issue of finance cannot wait for the next FFD Conference, and the Group hopes that the High-Level Dialogue will see the announcement of new initiatives and concrete commitments to support Financing for Development. We believe that there needs to be a comprehensive approach to financing for development, which takes into account the interrelated nature of the SDGs, the right to development, and the imbalance in the current international architecture.
In this context, the High-Level Dialogue should also consider concrete and specific actions for international cooperation on the key issues, within and beyond the 7 thematic areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. For the Group the priorities topics to be addressed are:
- The reform of the international financial architecture, including international financial institution and multilateral development bank governance reform, especially of IMF and the World Bank, to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries.
- Urgent actions addressing the debt crises facing many developing countries, in particular, the need to reform the global sovereign debt architecture for long term sustainable management of sovereign debt.
- Renewed commitments from developed countries to meet their ODA commitments.
- Reforming the multilateral trading system, strengthening the special and differential treatment for developing countries as a multilateral principle and ensuring transfer of technology to deliver on resilient and sustainable development.
- The urgent need to eliminate immediately all laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries. The Group emphasizes that such actions not only undermine the principles enshrined in the Charter of the UN and international law but also severely threaten the freedom of trade and investment.
- Support to structural transformation and to enhance productive capacities for building diversified, resilient, and sustainable economies that can generate decent and productive employment. The Group believes that the High-Level Dialogue should prioritize discussions around structural transformation and productive capacities which are essential for sustainable development, poverty eradication, and job creation, providing access to basic services and promoting social inclusion.
- Investments in areas such as infrastructure, innovation, technology, and skills development, as well as support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The illicit financial flows that drain resources from developing countries.
- Enhancing international cooperation on tax matters, including the development of inclusive and effective platforms to design and discuss international tax rules and norms at the UN.
- Advancing in 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, which will also require increased investment in national statistical systems, in data collection, and in capacity building for national statistical agencies.
- We also need commitments on scaled up investments in digital infrastructure, connectivity, education, skills-training and capacity-building to ensure that developing countries can take better advantage of the digital economy.
We think that the HLD provides the opportunity for further considerations of the relevance of a 4th International Conference on Financing for Development. In our view the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is an adequate framework for FfD. Therefore, a next conference would be useful as a review conference of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, to recommit to its full and timely implementation, maintaining its structure and thematic areas, strengthening it where implementation lagged behind. The HLD also provides a suitable platform to further discuss and support through concrete actions the UN Secretary-General's proposal for a "SDG Stimulus" for developing countries, in particular, the most in need and distressed countries.
In our view, the High-Level Dialogue should be structured to allow for meaningful engagement and dialogue between States in a way that is inclusive and participatory. The Group insists on the need to have sufficient time for interactions and productive dialogues. Therefore, it is important to avoid an excessive number of speakers and panels. In this regard, the Programme could include the holding of three roundtables that could cover the priorities topics outlined by the Group above.
In conclusion, we believe that the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development presents a valuable opportunity to strengthen the international cooperation required to mobilize the resources and policies needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The Group remains committed to working together with all member states to ensure that the High-Level Dialogue is a success, and that it contributes to the achievement of our shared vision of a more prosperous, just, and sustainable world.