(Geneva, 26 June 2019)

Mr. President, H.E Mr. Michael Gaffey (Ireland),
Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Ms. Isabelle Durant,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. The Group of 77 and China would like to express its sincere gratitude to His Excellency Ambassador Salim Baddoura for his work as Chair of the Trade and Development Board.

2. His Excellency Ambassador Michael Gaffey, we welcome dearly your nomination as Chair of the Trade and Development Board. Due to history, there is no other group as committed to the success of this institution than the G77. You can count on our support and constructive commitment.

3. The Group of 77 and China thanks to the UNCTAD Secretariat for the organization of this session of the Board. Invited speakers have provided invaluable insights on the issues discussed during these days.

4. The Group of 77 and China believes that the defense of multilateralism and reckons that institutions as UNCTAD are fundamental to the attainment of Agenda 2030. In this regard, the G-77 and China recalls the SDG target 10.6 which states that member States should "ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions".

5. The Group of 77 and China expresses its deep concern with the increase in the unilateral coercive and protectionist measures that will not only undermine the multilateral trading system but also will lead to a negative impact on access of the developing countries' exports to the global markets* and constitute a serious risk to the right to development, affecting the most vulnerable sectors of the countries that suffer the consequences of such measures. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China recalls the Nairobi Maafikiano paragraph 34, the United Nations General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 58/198 of 23 December 2003 as well as the report to the General Assembly (A/60/226) of 12 August 2005. The Group of 77 and China recommends Member states to support multilateralism and avoid any sort of unilateralism.

6. The Group of 77 and China would like to recognize the work done by UNCTAD and its contribution to the accomplishment of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. the Group particularly would like to stress the importance of the research and analysis pillar, its policy recommendations and related tools.

7. Trade can contribute to economic growth, but it only has a long-lasting impact when it is accompanied by adequate public policies. No one size fits all. The Group of 77 and China would like to emphasize the notion that trade policies should be encompassed in the framework of industrialization and structural transformation strategies. Commodity dependence increases economic vulnerability and is a serious challenge for developing countries with negative consequences in their economic growth.

8. The Group of G77 and China expresses once again its concern about the reduction of the Official Development Assistance, the shift in ODA resources towards humanitarian assistance and crises is not consistent with long term and sustainable approach to financing development policies and programs needed to achieve 2030 Agenda targets*.

9. Another recurrent concern of developing countries is the steady increase in the illicit financial flows and its negative impact on the Sustainable Development Goals and the rule of law and security of national states. In this regard the G77 and China considers indispensable to scale up the level of cooperation to curb illicit financial flows and recover the proceeds of crime, including embezzled public funds, stolen assets and unaccounted-for assets that are found in safe havens, and to demonstrate strong commitment to ensuring the return of such assets to the countries of origin*.

10. Sound taxation is another important source of revenue for developing countries. The Group of G77 and China recognize the importance of dialogue to reinforce international cooperation in this field in the multiple forums in which this transversal issue must be tackled.

11. The Group of G77 and China recalls the importance of addressing the consequences of the digital and technological divide. To obtain long term benefits developing countries require to overcome the lack of technology, infrastructure and capacities. Further support is needed regarding technology transfer on favorable terms including on concessional and preferential terms.

12. The Digital Industrial Revolution requires appropriate supporting policies. Developing countries require analytical support in order to better address their needs and legitimate development aspirations. The Group of 77 and China request UNCTAD to explore this issue with a developing perspective according to its mandate.

13. Monopolistic and oligopolistic practices in the Digital economy should be addressed and discussed considering the implications on the developing countries' economies from a long-term perspective. Consumer protection issues also deserve proper attention in the digital economy. The Group of 77 and China recognizes the efforts made by UNCTAD in these fields and encourages the Secretariat to continue to inclusively address them.

14. The Group of 77 and China has always stressed that South-South cooperation is a voluntary manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda. It should never be considered as a substitute for North-South cooperation, which remains the main channel for international development cooperation, but as a complement. The spread of South-South Cooperation shall not reduce the commitment of developed countries to reach 0.7% of their GNIs, as their official developing assistance to developing countries. In this regard, the group would like to address the background note by the Secretariat on "Trade Policies impact on inequalities" which in its section regarding Policy Recommendations (iv) does not mention the role of North-South cooperation.

15. The Globalization process has created many opportunities and posed challenges to all developing countries. One of the consequences has been the increase in inequality which requires public policy space to improve social conditions and protects the vulnerable.


* 2018 Ministerial Declaration Group of G77.