STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G-77 COORDINATOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UN, AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATION ON THE DRAFT STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTERIAL DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE AUSPICES OF ECOSOC (New York, 22 April 2021)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to thank you for your efforts in producing the draft structure and the zero draft of the 2021 ECOSOC-HLPF Ministerial Declaration and for the transparent and inclusive manner in which you are carrying out your important mandate. We highly appreciate the hard work of your esteemed missions.
3. The Group would like to first of all make some general comments.
- First, we believe that the zero draft needs to be streamlined as much as possible, taking into account all the previously adopted Declarations were within 10 pages.
- Second, 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, and the negotiation process should consider the challenges of virtual negotiations.
- Third, we stress the need throughout the process to use terms and references based on internationally agreed language and/or that are part of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
4. On the structure of the zero draft.
- First, Segment II should make general reference to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic without going into specific areas. Para8 of the draft of 2020 HLPF MD could be a reference. COVID-19 vaccines and digital gap could have standalone paras respectively in the Segment as they are the mostly interlinked to the fight against the pandemic.
- Second, Segment III should follow the structure of 2017 and 2018 HLPF MD. We appreciate and should maintain specific paragraph on SDGs to be reviewed in-depth in 2021. For each SDG to be reviewed in-depth, the implementation progress, challenges, actions and solutions should be incorporated in one paragraph. The paras on SDG1, 2, 8, 10 should be extended.
- Third, Segment IV should be much more streamlined and the length of each para in this Segment should be as concise as possible.
- Fourth, Segment V should focus on the future international conferences and overall actions rather than those related to specific areas, which could be accommodated in Segment III and IV.
5. On the substance of the zero draft
- First, the G77 and China is pleased to see the inclusion of several issues which are priorities for our Group such as the full realization of the right to self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, the principle of CBDR, the principle of respecting the territorial integrity and political independence of States, the role of extensive immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good for health in preventing, containing and stopping transmission in order to bring the pandemic to an end. We also appreciate references to the multidimensional nature of poverty, MICs, desegregated data, DRR, and the commend to the 42 countries that will present their VNRs this year. We take this opportunity to offer our initial perspectives on the zero draft and to reiterate some elements that we believe should also be taken into consideration as you begin preparation of the revised draft.
- Second, we reiterate the necessity to reflect the following elements:
The promotion of sustainable development in its three dimensions in a balanced and integrated manner;
Poverty eradication, as the overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda.
The relevance of adopted agendas and instruments, such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the New Urban Agenda, 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 all developing countries;
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;
The reaffirmation by the 2030 agenda of the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of States;
The relevance of guaranteeing inclusivity, dignity and safety for migrants and refugees in the middle of COVID-19 crisis, acknowledging of the exacerbated challenges they have faced in the midst of the pandemic, as well as their valuable contribution to societies and the economy in the fight against the virus and the achieve of Sustainable Development;
The importance of ensuring food security and nutrition through stability and continuity of the food supply chain and the alignment of food production and consumption with Sustainable Development, in the light of the COVID-19, in order to combat hunger and help improve the global health crisis;
The reaffirmation that the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals and targets;
The IP flexibilities and open-source technologies to support developing countries achieve the SDGs;
The One Health Approach in Para 9 should be deleted;
The special challenges faced by the graduating and graduated countries;
Enhancing the contribution of South-South cooperation and other regional initiatives and partnerships
Support to the COVAX facility to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for developing countries;
The importance of reinvigorating economic recovery including through creative economy, reviving the tourism sector, and support to MSMEs;
While we appreciate the reference to poverty and its multidimensional nature, the formulation for SDG1 needs to be strengthened.
- Third, the Group also calls on developed countries to honour their commitment and jointly mobilize financial resources of at least USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to assist developing countries in their climate change actions with respect to both mitigation and adaptation, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries. This should be reflected in the Declaration.
- Fourth, duplications should be avoided, including on references to sustainable consumption and production patterns, that it is currently mentioned more than twice in the para related to biodiversity. This para should include a reference for concerted enhanced action and transformative change to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity of living in harmony with nature.
- Fifth, issues that are still under discussion in other processes such as CPD should not be pre-judged, using placeholder-approach is more favorable. Reference to the outcome of recently concluded event such as FfD should be done in general manner, without detailing out the content.
6. In conclusion, allow me to reiterate the Group's confidence that the process 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.
7. In this same vein, we urge you positively consider extending some deadlines if needed throughout the process, considering the ongoing challenges of virtual negotiations.
8. 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.