Distinguished co-facilitators of the Global digital compact, Excellencies,

We have the honor of deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The Group highly appreciates the significant effort that has been made by you Dr. Chola Milambo, Permanent Representative of Zambia and Ms. Anna Karin Enstrom, Permanent Representative of Sweden, and your staff, into the 2nd Rev of the Global digital compact.

From the onset we wish to applaud the fact that the co-facilitators had provided a concise revised text without alteration of the structure. We all agree that we need a concise, action-oriented Global digital compact with realistic and achievable goals, for presentation to Heads of State and Government.

The Group appreciates that some of its important proposals have been taken into consideration, including reinserting the proposal to initiate an Annual Global Dialogue on AI Governance under the auspices of the UN, and the proposal to initiate an inclusive process towards international data governance arrangements.

The Group emphasizes the importance of having an inclusive and legitimate global AI dialogue, and the United Nations provides the foundation where all Member States have equal opportunity to take part in shaping our digital cooperation forward, based on universal values.

It is also equally important to have the process of data governance at the UN to go hand in hand with our dialogue on AI, taking into consideration that data is one of the important pillars in AI development. Addressing the current fragmented global data governance is essential for developing countries to close data divides, level playing field, and promote interoperability that contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.

However, and although the Group recognizes that a reference to means of implementation has been included in the revised text in the preambular paragraphs, it still needs to be further strengthened and considered a cross-cutting aspect linked to the implementation of the Compact as a whole by including it as a principle as proposed by the Group. Without that, it would be challenging for developing countries to reach the different goals and targets set out in the text.

Also concerning references to multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships throughout the text including the relevant principle and its title, we must make sure that we are not re-writing the delicate balance reached in the WSIS Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society regarding respective roles and responsibilities of Governments and other stakeholders. We would, therefore, like that delicate balance to be consistently reflected throughout the whole document.

Regarding the cluster on Internet Governance, we want to reiterate once again that the GDC should not pre-empt the WISIS review of the Internet Governance Forum, to take place in 2025. In addition, other processes related to internet governance should be highlighted such as the implementation of enhanced cooperation as outlined in the Tunis Agenda.

The Group reiterates that the proposition of the specific targets mentioned in the various commitments will not impose additional burdens on developing countries, but are instead meant to galvanize the international community to work together to help all countries, in particular developing countries, to achieve these targets, including through a reflection of the provision of means of implementation as a cross-cutting issue in the implementation of the Compact as a whole.

The Group stresses the need to provide and facilitate the access to telecommunications and information technologies, facilities, services and related applications to all countries. Therefore, the text should reiterate the call to Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory action that could impede technically another Member State from having full access to telecommunications and information technologies, facilities, services and related applications.

Distinguished Co-facilitators, the G77 and China confirms its commitment to actively and consturctively engaging in this very important intergovernmental process through focusing on key priorities, calling for and exercising compromise and through flexibility. We look forward to reaching a concise, action-oriented, and ambitious outcome agreed by consensus through intergovernmental negotiations.

In conclusion, given the detailed and technical nature of the draft and also given the different number of intergovernmental processes at the UN, the Group requests for more time before the informal consultations on Rev 2 scheduled for 2nd July to allow the G77 to coordinate in order to react as a Group on Rev 2.

Thank you.