STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. MOURAD BENMEHIDI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ALGERIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE ZERO DRAFT OF THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 25 January 2012)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. Let me at the outset thank the Co-chairs and Bureau members of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development for leading the ongoing process and providing us with the zero draft of the outcome document.
3. The Group of 77 and China stresses that the participation of developing countries is key for this process and must be ensured. The Group would like to thank those countries which made contributions to the Commission on Sustainable Development voluntary trust fund and reiterates its deep concern that the resources available in the trust fund are insufficient to support the participation of representatives from all developing countries in the meetings of the preparatory process of the Conference and in the Conference itself. It is incumbent upon the international community to address this important issue as soon as possible in order to ensure the participation of representatives from governments and major groups from developing countries during this process.
4. As far as the negotiating process is concerned, the G77 and China requests from the Co-Chairs of the PepCom to establish a clear schedule of meetings in order to facilitate the work and coordination of the Group. In that sense, we reiterate our proposal on the schedule of negotiation that was presented to the Bureau last December. With respect to the zero draft, sections I and II are still under consideration of the Group and we reserve the right to come back later and complete our submission, in order to reflect the concerns and the positions of the G77 and China. The Group also requests that the outcome of this meeting be a compilation document that contains all proposals and not a revised Co-Chair's text. Furthermore, given the complex nature of the issues dealt with in the zero draft, the Group also requests the extension of the deadline for submission of text proposals on the rest of the zero draft, initially scheduled for 17 February, to a later date, since the next negotiating session is scheduled from 19 to 23 March 2012.
5. The Group believes that this zero draft lacks vision, ambition, balance and action oriented language and did not reflect all the concerns and positions of the G77 and China, especially in terms of the means of implementation and the full integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic, social and environmental pillars. However, the Group expresses its readiness to engage constructively in the negotiations in order to improve it further and bring in more ambition and turn it into an action-oriented document.
6. The outcome document of the Conference of Rio +20 shall achieve the objectives of securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges. It will not renegotiate nor retract agreed outcomes of the major summits and agreed principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
7. The zero draft of the outcome document did not address the issue of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation in accordance with the relevant documents on sustainable development, especially the agreed language from the JPOI, that have been duly reflected by the two paragraphs in the submission of the G77 and China.
8. This draft did not also address the important issues of health and population. Further, it did not reflect all the relevant outcomes of conferences and summits dealing with the three pillars of sustainable development, including the three convention of Rio: UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD.
9. The G77 and China takes note of the paragraphs relating to oceans, seas and SIDS, which are included under the same subsection and would prefer to address oceans and SIDS in two separate subsections. Concerning the substance, the G77 and China recalls its comprehensive proposal on these topics taking into account interests and concerns of its Member States. However, many issues pertaining to oceans and seas, included in the aforementioned submission have not been or were very insufficiently reflected in the draft document. The Group reserves its right to come back with concrete proposals on those issues during the negotiations. Furthermore, the Group has noted terminological and factual inaccuracies that should be rectified during the consideration of this subsection.
10. At the same time, the Group believes that other sectorial issues should be reflected in a balanced manner.
11. The Group of 77 and China is convinced that the outcome document needs to produce an assessment and stocktaking as to why many of the commitments of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio 1992 as well as the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002, were not realized to their full potential; what has prevented the international community from moving forward on agreements; and how we can re-energize the political will to avoid the perception that multilateral approaches are increasingly associated with indecision, unfulfillment of commitments and stalemate.
12. The Conference should identify concrete actions and measures to deliver previously agreed commitments, focused on implementation and full integration of the three pillars of sustainable development and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, in order to achieve tangible outcomes. This includes:
a. The provision of new, additional, stable, predictable financial resources to support implementation activities in developing countries;
b. The increase of resources for development, including commitments by developed countries to increase ODA, and the fulfillment of ODA assistance;
c. Effective access to and transfer of technologies for developing countries, in accordance with JPOI principles;
d. Effective institutional frameworks at all levels to strengthen the role of governments, with the fundamental lead of States, and encourage the participation of major groups and other stakeholders for the implementation of the sustainable development agenda;
13. On the participation of civil society, major groups and other stakeholders in the implementation of sustainable development, the G77 and China would like to see an equal and balanced treatment of all stakeholders, while recognizing the need to ensure that their participation in the national sustainable development strategies should be done in accordance with national legislations and policies.
14. The lack of integration of the three pillars of sustainable development and the lack of implementation of commitments of sustainable development have led to the scale and gravity of global challenges, especially climate change, threatening the ability of developing countries to achieve the MDGs and for some threatening the territorial integrity and the existence and viability as countries.
15. Guided by the Rio Principles and Agenda 21, the UNCSD (Rio+20) 2012 outcome should provide the necessary political impetus for the range and level of action required to bridge the implementation gap.
16. Any outcome should give priority to the eradication of the root causes of poverty, and to supporting the effective national efforts of developing countries in promoting empowerment of the poor, including enhancing the productive capacity, full and productive employment and decent work for all as well as the creation of income opportunities that must be complemented by effective social policies with a view to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs. In this regard, we must adopt forward looking policies and action plans that promote gender equality and empowerment of women in all spheres of sustainable development. An integrated focus on women and gender issues is essential for achieving equitable and inclusive growth.
17. The G77 and China understands that the renewed political commitment in Rio should lead to the full implementation of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development ("Johannesburg Plan of Implementation") and should fully support national efforts to achieve sustainable development in particular eradication of poverty and food security.
18. There is an urgent need to increase efforts at the national, regional and international levels to address food security and agriculture development as an integral part of the international development agenda. We underline the need for sustained funding and increased targeted investment to enhance world food production and called for new and additional financial resources from all sources to achieve sustainable agriculture development and food security.
19. The G77 and China reaffirms that the current major challenge for developing countries is the impacts from the multiple crises, particularly the ongoing economic and financial crisis which is a result of the current imbalances in the structure of the international financial system. In this context, we reaffirm the urgent need to address the lack of proper regulation and monitoring of the financial sector, the overall lack of transparency and financial integrity, excessive risk taking, overleveraging and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production in developed countries. These economic repercussions have also aggravated poverty, social exclusion and gender disparities, increased unequal distribution of income and wealth, and undermined efforts to implement sustainable development. In this regard we call for the reform of the global financial system and architecture and its governance. Recognizing the vital role played by the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields in shaping a broad development vision, we also reaffirm the need to continue working towards a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest, cooperation and solidarity among all States.
20. On a Framework of Action for Implementation of Commitments, we stress that the UNCSD should identify a framework of action of implementation of commitments and should move the sustainable development agenda forward. We strongly believe that increased political commitment of developed countries is essential to fill the gaps in the means of implementation. It can be achieved through the provision of a clear registry on financial resources and technology transfer from developed countries available for the implementation of sustainable development commitments, as well as its timelines, functions, recipients, management, and objectives.
21. It is clear that there is an urgent need for substantial increases in the provision of financing to developing countries for sustainable development. It is also essential that financing for the UN system be significantly enhanced for it to operate effectively and fulfill its sustainable development mandate.
22. In the transfer of technology and capacity building sections, the G77 and China believes that no concrete actions and mechanisms have been reflected. The Group reiterates its call for decisions on transfer of technology and capacity building to:
i. Establish an International Mechanism to implement concrete actions focused on bridging the technological gap between developed and developing countries and facilitating transfer of technology in sustainable development.
ii. Create an enabling environment that aims at removing all barriers to technology transfer and technology adaptation, consistent and in harmony with the relevant international obligations.
iii. Ensure immediate implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building.
iv. We stress the need for effective mechanisms, enhanced means, appropriate enabling environments and the removal of obstacles to the scaling up of the development and transfer of technology to developing countries.
v. There is a need for access of developing countries to technologies. Developing countries would also need to have access to the know-how and expertise required for the effective utilization of these technologies to achieve sustainable development.
vi. Consideration must also be given to the role of patent protection and intellectual property rights along with an examination of their impact on the access to and transfer of environmentally sound technology, in particular to developing countries, as well as to further exploring efficiently the concept of assured access for developing countries to environmentally sound technology in its relation to proprietary rights with a view to developing effective responses to the needs of developing countries in this area.
vii. Concepts and modalities for assured access to environmentally sound technologies, including state-of-the-art technologies, in particular by developing countries, should continue to be explored, enhanced access to environmentally sound technologies should be promoted, facilitated and financed as appropriate, while providing fair incentives to innovators that promote research and development of new environmentally sound technologies
viii. Bearing in mind that recipient countries require technology and strengthened support to help further develop their scientific, technological, professional and related capacities, taking into account existing technologies and capacities.
23. The Group of 77 and China has addressed key issues related to a Common understanding and to the Way forward on Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
24. In this regard, the G77 and China believes that the elements of what should be discussed should be developed in accordance with the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as respective capabilities and national priorities, with Agenda 21, and the instruments further adopted for the implementation of Agenda 21, in particular the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
25. At this point in time, the Group recognizes that there is no consensual agreement on the definition of a Green Economy in the context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. The Group is discussing and considering further this theme based on, among others, these following tenets:
- Undertaking economic and social activities in an environmentally sound manner;
- Ensuring social inclusion and equity;
- Including tools to catalyze international cooperation in the multilateral framework for achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication through technology transfer/access and sustainable consumption and production patterns;
- Applying a multidimensional and multisectoral approach covering all aspects and stages of development;
- Analyzing the effects of practices conducive to the quantification and evaluation of ecosystem services oriented to establishing market mechanisms
26. The Group of 77 and China stresses that, the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, as a whole, should focus on the effective integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, the implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI and shall be based on an action- and result-oriented approach and be consistent with the principles of universality, democracy, transparency, cost-effectiveness and accountability, keeping in mind the principles of Rio, in particular the common but differentiated responsibilities.
27. In its submission, the G77 and China has also stated the General Principles and Goals that should be the basis of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and should guide our efforts towards it, as well as underlined two main Functions: Implementation of sustainable development, and Integration of the three pillars of sustainable development.
28. The Group would like to reiterate that an effective IFSD should strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to foster international cooperation in order to address fully the wide range of issues pertaining to development, particularly of developing countries and reduce overlapping and duplication of responsibilities among the existing structures, while promoting effective coordination.
29. The G77 and China would like to stress on the central role that Governments will play in the ongoing process,
30. The G77 and China is looking forward to the convening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20, in Brazil in 2012 and hopes that we can have useful and constructive discussions in this initial consultation on the zero draft of the outcome document.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.