STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G-77 COORDINATOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE VIRTUAL INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE ECOSOC/HLPF REVIEW PROCESS (New York, 26 February 2021)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, allow me to express the Group's appreciation to you for co-facilitating the intergovernmental negotiations for the review process of the ECOSOC and the HLPF and for convening today's informal meeting to hear the views and ideas of Member States on issues related to the reviews based on four key questions.
2. First, the Group of 77 and China would like to underscore that the two reviews of ECOSOC and HLPF should not be merged but rather be treated as separate processes, with due attention to their interconnectedness and coherence. They are derived from different mandates and each should have its own full treatment and respective outcome. The Groupe believes that there should be two resolutions dealing with the ECOSOC review and the HLPF review respectively.
3. The Group underlined that the ECOSOC's work goes beyond the 2030 Agenda and should play a bigger role in assisting developing countries to achieve the sustainable development. The Group is of the view that this process is not meant to rewrite the ECOSOC mandate, which is enshrined in the UN Charter. The Group strongly believes that the ECOSOC mandate should be reaffirmed and fully discharged. The current review must respect the distinct nature of both the ECOSOC and the HLPF. The ECOSOC is a Charter Organ, while the HLPF is a platform for follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development, and must not be put at the same level, and their status and mandates cannot be mixed.
4. Second, the review of the ECOSOC should adhere to resolution 72/305. The Group believes that the current arrangement of the ECOSOC segments works well and should be maintained.
5. The Group requests for more clarification of Co-facilitators' intention of moving High level Meeting ECOSOC to February. Will it change the beginning and arrangement of the ECOSOC Session? How will it strengthen both the ECOSOC and HLPF? What difficulties of the ECOSOC current segments and forums would be addressed with the proposal? What would be the main inputs of the High-Level Segment to ensure a relevant outcome that provides political vision and guidance? How the subsequent back-to-back meetings proposed, namely the multi-stakeholders 'partnerships forum and the coordination segment, would be benefited from the High-Level Segment?
6. We are also concerned that by changing the ECOSOC cycle, the level of participation at the Ministerial level could be affected, in particular for developing countries. The Group also would not favor to a non-negotiated document, such as a Presidential Statement, as its outcome. The Group will discuss this issue once we get more information and arguments from the co-facilitators and provide our feedback.
7. Third, the themes of 2022 and 2023 HLPF should be concise and focused on the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental. The HLPF's should consider high-level meetings and international processes to enhance synergies. The synergies and interlinkages among the SDGs should also be addressed both in their implementation and follow up. The Group also stresses the need to avoid going into details on cross-cutting issues.
8. Fourth, the intergovernmental nature of both ECOSOC and HLPF must be preserved. The Group recognizes that the contribution of major groups, civil society, academia, the private sector and other stakeholders is beneficial for the deliberation of the ECOSOC and HLPF. The Group reiterates the arrangements and mandates regarding the participation of stakeholders reflected in previous resolutions and stresses the need to continue to stick to them and explore ways to enhance the wider participation of those from developing countries in our deliberations while retaining their intergovernmental nature and allowing sufficient time for States' deliberation.
9. NGO participation should be on a non-objection basis, with only the participation of NGOs with ECOSOC consultative status. The current arrangements for the participation of stakeholders and NGOs provide sufficient and meaningful avenue for the substantive engagement and contributions of stakeholders. These arrangement and mandates for the normative and orderly participation of stakeholders must be maintained.
10. Finally, while retaining their intergovernmental nature, ECOSOC promotes the active participation of relevant stakeholders in their activities, in accordance with the respective rules of procedure and the provisions of General Assembly resolution 67/290 of 9 July 2013 in so far as it pertains to the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the Council.
Distinguished co-facilitators and delegates,
11. Please be assured of our Group's commitment to work constructively with the co-facilitators and our Partners towards a successful outcome. The G77 and China will submit our detailed comments to the zero draft on a para-by-para basis next week. We hope the co-facilitators will take our detailed input into account when preparing the revised draft. The Group requested to the co-facilitators to postpone the revised draft by a week from 5 to 12 March 2021. We urge the co-facilitators to take into account the continued challenges of virtual negotiations and other negotiation processes, as you plan for our work in the upcoming months.