STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON AGENDA ITEM 22: OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT: (A) OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND (B) SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (New York, 12 October 2023)
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on agenda item 22 and its sub-items on behalf of the G77 and China. At the outset, allow me to extend our appreciation for the presentation of the Secretary General's reports. These will enrich our deliberations on the relevant issues under consideration.
The path towards Sustainable Development is under serious threat. Developing countries continue to face multiple challenges that limit their capacity to recover their economies and, at the same time, invest in the wellbeing of their populations and future generations.
We need as a matter of urgency to work on strengthening multilateralism and reaffirming through actions our commitments in the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.
During this QCPR cycle, despite some advances, development activities have not received the same attention and resources from the international community as other matters. In 2021, as indicated in the SG Report, spending on development activities reached $20 billion for the first time, while spending on humanitarian activities surpassed $25 billion, to name one example.
As this cycle nears its conclusion and we begin to prepare for the new QCPR cycle in 2024, we wish to reiterate the key principles that should continue to drive the United Nations System.
The system should retain its strong development focus, bearing in mind the different development levels and realities on the ground in all developing countries and ultimately the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions should remain its overarching objective.
The Group reiterates the call to the United Nations development system to continue to support countries, upon their request, in the acceleration of the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Group reiterates that a more stable, predictable and sustainable funding for United Nations operational development activities is key to poverty eradication. Such funding must be aligned with national development priorities and strategies of program countries with a view to reflect national ownership of their development trajectory. In this vein, the overall funding of the UNDS, especially for areas related to poverty eradication, should be increased and accelerated.
We express our concern at the continuing decline of core contributions to the UNDS, which negatively affect the efficiency and effectiveness of its functions. Reversing this trend, along with enhancement of core contributions to UNDS entities, will ensure achieving the objectives of operational activities for development. 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 programme countries, we greatly appreciate the progress made thus far in the repositioned development system and the RC system. However, we are also concerned about the funding shortfall to the Resident Coordinator system and how this affects operational activities in the field. As indicated by our Group in May during the OAS Segment, we note the SG 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 reiterates its commitment to work closely and constructively with the Secretary-General and his Team, other delegations, and all members of the UN Sustainable Development Group, to collectively implement and achieve the 2030 Agenda.
We wish to reaffirm that South-South cooperation is a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation. It should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit. We also reaffirm the need to work towards an international cooperation system that puts development at the center.
We continue to look forward to the invaluable contributions that South-South and triangular cooperation makes in the realization of development in its three dimensions, and so, we reiterate our call to the United Nations development system to continue enhancing its support to South-South and triangular cooperation, at the request and with the ownership and leadership of the developing countries.
We welcome the outcomes of the 21th session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation which is the second session after the adoption of the landmark outcome document of BAPA+40. In the same vein, we recognize the positive debates and outcomes of the Summit of the Group of 77 and China that took place in Havana, last September on Science, Technology and Innovation, which have contributed to strengthen collaboration among the countries of the South to take advantage of their potentials and enhance cooperation in this field.
Finally, Mr. Chair, you can also count on the Group's commitment to engage constructively and contribute to the discussions under this agenda item.