STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR KINGSLEY MAMABOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE THIRD DRAFTING SESSION ON THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT TO TAKE PLACE IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (New York, 15 June 2015)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, I would like to once again acknowledge, with sincere thanks and appreciation, the leadership role of the Co-Facilitators in the preparatory process towards the upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development, to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As you are all aware, we have arrived at the third and what might be the final Drafting Session in preparation of the Addis Ababa Conference. It is trusted that from this Session commencing today, 15 June, to end on 19 June, good progress will be made to demonstrate our collective will and determination to conclude this work with an agreement on an ambitious Outcome Document by 19 June 2015. This timeframe has been proposed by yourselves, Co-Facilitators. Indeed, as Member States and Members of the United Nations Specialized Agencies, we must heed your call to conclude our work by the proposed deadline.
The Group remains steadfast in its resolve and commitment, to continue engaging in a positive and constructive spirit. The sixty-five (65) bridging paragraphs you proposed last week have been carefully considered by the Group of 77 and China and the Group's comments have been forwarded to you.
We support the Co-Facilitators' desire, to ensure that this important International Conference is pitched at the highest level in terms of political participation and provides a platform for the launch of concrete action-oriented deliverables and initiatives, in support of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We reiterate our longstanding position as a Group that the financing for development and the post-2015 Development Agenda processes remain separate, albeit related, negotiation tracks.
The Group of 77 and China wishes to see the Addis Ababa Outcome Document embrace high-quality deliverables that speak directly to the development financing needs and aspirations of developing countries, so as not to lose focus on the purpose and objectives of this Conference. Whilst the Group acknowledges the time constraints which will require speedy progress if we are to meet the 19 June deadline, we are equally keenly mindful of the need not to compromise on the required high level of ambition, in terms of the need for important deliverables, on which the Group's position is well known, such as, for example:
- The Outcome Document of the International Conference on Financing for Development should closely resemble those of its predecessors in terms of the scope and structure, namely of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration, with the titles and sub-titles clearly reflecting that the Conference is focused on, and speaks directly to, Financing for Development.
- The traditional definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA), based on North-South Cooperation, should be maintained, with a reaffirmation of the fact that ODA remains the main source of international financing for development for many developing countries. It should be based on quantified and time-bound targets that are consistent with, and build upon, MDG-8, the global partnership for development, which must of necessity be re-invigorated and strengthened, and in accordance with the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). South-South and Triangular Cooperation will remain a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South Cooperation.
- The listing of developing country regions and groupings (including people and countries living under foreign occupation) needs to be respected.
- There is an imperative need to maintain the separation of the financing for development track from the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Climate finance is intrinsically separate from, and cannot be included in the Financing for Development Process, and, as such, cannot be counted as ODA.
- An inter-governmental and Universal Commission on Review and Follow up for the Financing for Development Process is necessary to ensure implementation is taken seriously at the inter-governmental level.
- There needs to be agreement on the upgrading of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and the Statistical Commission to inter-governmental entities. We have talked about these issues for a long time now, and there is a need to address them sooner rather than later. The Outcome Document should also avoid prescriptive language on issues such as domestic taxation matters, which should be left in the purview of states and governments, to ensure respect for national policy space.
The Group of 77 and China strongly opposes any attempts to weaken the Outcome Document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, including by erroneously seeking to equate the commitments contained therein with SDG 17.
The Group is steadfast and resolute in its resolve and commitment to ensure a meaningful and ambitious Outcome for the Financing for Development Process, in order to adequately and predictably address the interests of all Member States of the United Nations. Poverty eradication in all its forms must of necessity be at the very heart of this process. The Group looks forward to working with all concerned as a responsible partner, towards this end.
I thank you!