Statement of the Group of 77 and China delivered by H.E. Ambassador Shahbaz, Permanent Representative of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Chairman of the G-77 Vienna Chapter, during the High-level Dialogue on "UN System-wide Coherence:The Next Steps, Vienna, 4-5 March 2008

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the G-77 Vienna Chapter, I am pleased to welcome all participants and express our appreciation to UNIDO and especially to Dr. Yumkella for his initiative in organizing this High-level Dialogue. We are confident that this meeting would highlight some main issues regarding UN System wide Coherence in the context of sustainable development. The Group stresses the importance of reaching global anti-poverty targets and support all efforts to make the UN system a more productive, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective organization.

The Group attaches high priority to the reform of the United Nations, and wishes to reaffirm that the reform process should be aimed at strengthening multilateralism, providing the Organization with a substantive capacity to fully and effectively meet the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and at consolidating its democratic character and its transparency as the central forum for dialogue and negotiations.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group reiterates that UN reform is not intended to change the inter-governmental nature of our decision-making, oversight and monitoring processes. Neither is it to reduce the budget levels of the Organization or to fund more activities from within the existing pool of resources, nor is it meant to redefine the roles and responsibilities assigned to the various Organs of the United Nations by the Charter.

The Group of 77 and China emphasizes that the United Nations is the premier international organization and system, addressing sustainable development in its three components: economic development, social development and environment protection.

We stress that the objective to achieve system-wide coherence should not be a cost-cutting exercise. Reductions in administrative expenses should be redirected to programmes in each country. The principles of cost recovery should be harmonized, and its proceeds retained and spent on development programmes.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group reaffirms and strongly support the roles and mandates of United Nations humanitarian and development institutions and agencies. In this context, we will continue to work with UN organizations and agencies to strengthen the role and functioning of the United Nations system in the field of development.

The Group stresses that industrialization remains an essential factor in the sustained economic growth, sustainable development and eradication of poverty in developing countries. The Group reaffirms its full support for the mandate of UNIDO and calls for enhancing the Organization's role and maintaining its institutional integrity in the context of UN reform.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group of 77 and China would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the position of G77 and NAM, in the context of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC), stated during the plenary meetings and subsequent informal meetings of the UN General Assembly. Both groupings would prefer an integrated process instead of a divided one. Our position on this approach could evolve further, depending on the results of the consultations. Funding, development and governance will be areas of priority interest for both Groups and no a priori decision with regard to when decisions will be taken on the Panel report. This should flow from the consultations. In other words there should not be any artificial deadlines.

We reaffirm that economic and social development should remain the centre piece of deliberations at the UN and that the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs should continue to be the overarching framework of the UN activities. We also reiterate that development cooperation should be demand-driven and should be pursued on the basis of national strategies and plans of developing countries.

On the Delivery as One" approach, the Group of 77 and China believes that the "Pilots" for the "Delivery as One" approach in several developing countries should, as recognised in the High-level Panel's Report, remain voluntary, decided and led by the national governments taking into account national particularities and conditions. It should be emphasized that there is no "one size fits all" approach, as recognised by the Panel, and there should be no restrictions on the ability and sovereignty of national governments to determine their own development priorities or select their development partners, as well as the type of relation with the UN development entities they wish to establish at the country-level.

In conclusion, we would like to reiterate our commitment to UN System wide Coherence and we look forward to continue engaging constructively in these consultations in an open, inclusive and transparent process.

Thank you Mr. Chairman

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