Statement of the Group of 77 and China on the occasion of the Thirteenth Meeting of the Working Group on financing the Agency's activities, including ways and means to render the resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable, delivered by the Chairperson of the Group of 77 H.E. Ambassador Yparaguirre, Permanent Representative of the Philippines on 17 July 2014
I have been entrusted by the Group of 77 and China to make the following remarks, which intend to address the work of this Group so far and the way ahead.
The positions of the Group of 77 and China have been expressed both collectively and individually by some delegations over the past few months. During our last session, the Group presented a number of concrete proposals on steps that can be taken to provide adequate resources to the TC, and a proposal on increasing transparency and participation in the regular budget.
These proposals have nothing new about them. These have been long-standing positions of the Group, which have been articulated in various fora, including in this Working Group. Neither were they submitted late or in an untimely manner.
In fact, they had been announced by our Group through the statement delivered by my predecessor, Ambassador Azeez, during the fourth meeting of this Working Group on 20 March. On that occasion, the G-77 and China proposed themes for discussion and asked for time to engage meaningfully in this important process. The plea for more time was made subsequently by various Members of the Group. It was also clearly stated in our 20 March statement that what is of importance to our Group is that, at the end of this process, we have a set of concrete, actionable proposals (for the Board to consider).
After the G-77 and China statement on 20 March we basically had a series of briefings by the Secretariat, and by mid-May the Co-Chairs presented a first final draft report that was later converted into a non-paper. After some discussions on procedure, including on what was the actual textual basis for negotiations, it was possible, at the last session of the Working Group, for the G-77 and China as well as a few other delegations to come up with concrete proposals.
The fact that our Group has come up with concrete proposals should, therefore, come as no surprise.
Madame Co-Chair, these proposals have been made in good faith. We hope to be able to continue considering them on a substantive level in the weeks to come or after the summer break, in September. If consensus is not possible by then, we would be ready to engage in an informal exercise of consultations among interested delegations, to come to a constructive outcome. We should spare no efforts to try to achieve this goal. We would like the Co-Chairs to continue leading the informal exercise of consultations. The Group also believes that further consultations would help us reach consensus on the issues.
Setting artificial deadlines may not be the best way forward to elicit the spirit of compromise that should always guide our actions. It is our belief that the work of this Working Group should continue with a view to reaching an agreement at the earliest.
I would like at this stage to recall that our work here is not an academic exercise, disconnected from the work of the Agency. This Working Group was established in the wake of a difficult negotiation which led to a compromise that allowed for the budget to be adopted last year. That was the compromise, the agreement and the spirit of the work. Quite clearly, failure to deliver constructive results on financing the Agency's activities, including the ways and means to render resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable will adversely affect the discussions on the General Conference Resolutions and on the Programme and Budget for the upcoming biennium.
We wish to assure you, Madame Co-Chair, the full cooperation of our Group and wish to commend you on the efficient, fair and amiable way in which these consultations are being conducted.