STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NADIESKA NAVARRO BARRO, PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UN, AT THE 2023 ECOSOC OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT SEGMENT - INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (New York, 23 May 2023)
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. Vice President,
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, for the comprehensive Report on the 'Implementation of General Assembly resolution 75/233 on the QCPR' along with its related documents.
We also take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Secretary-General and her team, the Development Coordination Office and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs for their valuable contributions to this process, and we look forward to engaging with them throughout this segment.
Mr. Secretary General,
Every year we come to these fora highlighting the obvious, which is how far behind we are to implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving its SDGs. However, words have not been translated into appropriate actions and the multiple challenges and crisis we have been confronted with in recent times have further complicated our way towards the fulfillment of all our previous commitments.
As it is mentioned in the report, "we all know, however, that sustainable development is the only comprehensive solution. It is the only way to address the drivers of instability, vulnerability and structural inequality. It is the only way to leave no one behind. It is humanity's ultimate preventive tool". This, Mr. Secretary-General, is also our Group's firm belief.
For this the reason, our Group strongly advocates that the focus of the UN Development System, and in particular the Resident Coordinator system, must remain on development issues, bearing in mind the different development levels and realities on the ground in all developing countries. The eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions must remain the system's overarching objective. That's why we appreciate the information provided by the report on the UN Development System activities to support our countries in that path, in several important dimensions, in line with the principles of countries' ownership and leadership.
Mr. Secretary General,
Funding development activities must be a top priority. That's why we also appreciate the references to the activities of the System in favor of enhancing the financing options of developing countries through initiatives such as the SDG Stimulus plan and the reform of the international financial architecture.
However, we note with concern that there continues to be less money available for development than for other pillars and that the very limited funding to development is more directed to non-core funding, which we know does not necessarily support the overarching sustainable development programme set out by the system, in alignment with the priorities and needs of programme countries. In this regard, we continue to urge donors to contribute to the system in a way that is more beneficial to its coordinated efforts through core funding, as well as joint, thematic and pooled funding.
We greatly appreciate the excellent manner in which the system responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in programme countries. However, we do note in your report that there still seems to be a major gap in how the entities of the system come together and conduct joint work. In that regard, members of the executive and governing boards of the entities must do their part to ensure there is coherence between decisions at the board levels and the mandates of the QCPR. We need to also decrease the need for competitiveness among the entities, and promote the benefits of them working together.
We are also concerned about the funding shortfall to the Resident Coordinator system and we note your decision to provide a report in the second half of the year to consider options for funding this system. The Group of G77 and China attaches great importance to the need to provide sustainable, predictable and adequate funding to the Resident Coordinator system and reiterates its commitment to engage constructively in the consultations to come on that particular subject.
The Group of 77 and China will continue to work along with you to ensure that the now strengthened and improved development system will be able to function properly and efficiently to execute its mandate to support countries in their realization of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of its SDGs.
Some G77 members are among the ones furthest behind, in extreme poverty, experiencing high indebtedness and most affected by the continued negative impact of climate change, and other sorts of external shocks whether they be economic, financial or health related. We should also underline the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the activities of the UN country teams at the national level to help implementing actions for the achievement of the SDGs.
Therefore, we call on the international community, including the UN development system and its Resident Coordinators system to enhance assistance, in particular, to countries in special situations and under specific challenges and circumstances, to properly address their key development priorities.
The incoming SDG summit should provide a particular impetus to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its goals and targets within this decade, and we look forward to engage the UN development system at all levels to contribute to this collective effort.
We take this opportunity to thank the ECOSOC Vice President, Ambassador Albert Ranganai Chimbindi of Zimbabwe for his efforts to strengthen the Operational Activities Segment program and improve its oversight of the UN development System. We look forward to engaging constructively in the deliberations of the Segment and its outcome.
In closing, Mr. Secretary-General, as we begin to prepare for the 2024 QCPR, you can count on the Group's continued support to you and the UN development System. We look forward to your proposed engagements later in the year and your regular briefings and reporting. We think this is critically important to assist us to further guide the system to deliver on its task of assisting programme countries with their development priorities and needs.
I thank you.