STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G77 COORDINATOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UN, AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE MINISTERIAL DECLARATION OF THE 2021 HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE AUSPICES OF ECOSOC (New York, 7 April 2021)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, our Group would like to express its appreciation to you for co-facilitating the intergovernmental consultations on the Ministerial Declaration of the High-level Segment of the 2021 Economic and Social Council and the high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Council, and for convening today's informal meeting to hear the views and ideas of delegations on issues relevant to the process.
2. At the outset, allow me to thank you for your efforts in producing the draft structure of the 2021 ECOSOC-HLPF Ministerial Declaration and for the transparent and inclusive manner in which you are carrying out your important mandate.
3. The G77 and China has reviewed the draft structure presented and is of the view that it is a very good basis on which to begin our discussions on the 2021 Ministerial Declaration. We are pleased to see the inclusion of several issues which are priorities for our Group. We take this opportunity to offer our perspectives on the draft and to reiterate some elements that we believe should also be taken into consideration as you begin preparation of the zero draft.
4. First, while the Introduction lists several important elements, the Group would like to highlight some key elements to be included:
- The promotion of sustainable development in its three dimensions in a balanced and integrated manner.
- The relevance of adopted agendas and instruments, such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, among others.
- The opposition to unilateralism and protectionism including any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
- The multi-dimensional impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially on developing countries.
- The reaffirmation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
- The need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of States.
- The recognition of the special challenges and needs facing all developing countries, especially countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States as well as specific challenges faced by many middle-income countries, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation.
5. Second, in the section on the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Group would like to underscore the importance of treating COVID-19 vaccination as a global public good by ensuring affordable, equitable and fair access for all. We should forge robust partnerships with the private sector and international organizations, including the WHO, to scale up the safe and accelerated production, distribution, development, manufacturing, procurement, storage, shipping and fair allocation of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, (Source: Para 6 of G77 position paper on FfD dated 15 March 2021) especially in developing countries. We should also ensure the stability of global supply chains and unimpeded flow of trade.
6. Fourth, while the Group recognizes the interlinkages among SDGs, the Group is not convinced that it is appropriate to discuss the cross-cutting issues, as suggested in the third section of Co-Facilitators' structure of the Ministerial Declaration because we believe that will prioritize some SDGs over others and create unbalance among 17 SDGs. Rather, we suggest discuss other SDGs that will not be reviewed this year in a new section and in a streamlined and concise manner.
7. Regarding recommendations on the section on Accelerated Actions, our Group would like to include a reference to the importance of supporting research and development of vaccines and medicines, as well as preventive measures and treatments for the communicable and non-communicable diseases, in particular those that disproportionately impact developing countries, as agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda
8. The G77 and China highly appreciates the road map attached to your letter dated 19 February 2021, in which it provides adequate time for these negotiations so that, together, delegations can hopefully craft a Declaration that is action-oriented and which provides focused policy guidance for States in the Decade for Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development.
9. The negotiation process should consider the challenges of virtual negotiations. The language which has been used in the revised draft dated 29 June 2020 of the 2020 HLPF MD should be used as the basis for 2021 HLPF MD to avoid repetitive work and to save our time and efforts.
10. In conclusion, allow me to indicate the Group's confidence that the process guided by the co-facilitators leading to the adoption of the Declaration will continue to be underpinned by inclusivity and transparency despite the challenging circumstances in which we are undertaking to negotiate this important document.
11. The G77 and China commits to be a constructive partner throughout and assures you of its full support in the execution of your responsibilities.
I thank you.