INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA DURING THE INFORMAL MEETING OF THE GENERAL COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON AGENDA ITEM 2: DRAFT PROGRAMME FOR THE SDG SUMMIT (New York, 14 June 2023)
We thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this informal meeting of the General Committee. We take note of the information provided so far on the SDG Summit program and we would like to highlight a few points and request clarification on various issues.
Given the importance of the SDG Summit, particularly for developing countries, the Group wishes to underline the need to allow delegations and groups to have sufficient time to consult capitals, coordinate, as well as to have adequate time to negotiate in the process leading up to that event.
Coming to the program itself, first of all we note the proposal to adopt the political declaration at the beginning of the Summit. However, we wonder whether it would not be more suitable for it to be adopted at the end of the Summit, once our Heads of States and Governments have spoken, with the adoption of the political declaration ideally being the culmination of the SDG Summit.
We also note the proposal to have a moderated leaders' discussion for 35 minutes to 'set the stage' during the opening. However, we would seek clarity on whether this is supposed to be separate and additional to the proposed subsequent leaders' dialogues, in which our Heads of State and Government are expected to intervene. If so, who exactly are the 'leaders' expected to participate in this discussion and what will be the criteria for the selection?
We take note of the proposed themes of the leaders' dialogues and would seek for more background information and rationale for these themes.
Furthermore, we note that some leaders' dialogues are proposed to be held in parallel, for example, like the one on 'Game-changers: Applying STI & Data for Transformative Action', whereas others, such as the one on 'Mobilizing Finance & Investment & Means of Implementation for SDG Achievement' are not. The Group would seek additional rationale for this, as we believe it would be better for our Heads of States and Governments and delegations to listen to each other rather than engaging & intervening in parallel discussions.
We also note the proposal to have interventions from selected representatives of the UN system or intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society and academia during the leaders' dialogues. We would like to seek clarity as to whether this practice was followed during the leaders' dialogues of the 2019 SDG Summit and would also seek for clarity regarding the criteria to be utilized for their selection and invitation.
Lastly, the Group notes that there is no plenary in the entire program and would seek clarity on whether this practice was followed in previous processes.