STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THEMATIC CLUSTER II AT THE INFORMAL THEMATIC CONSULTATIONS AS A FOLLOW-UP TO THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ENTITLED "OUR COMMON AGENDA" (New York, 14 February 2022)
President of the General Assembly,
The Secretary General,
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of G77 and China.
2. Allow me again to thank you, Mr. President, for convening these thematic discussions in a constructive and structured manner.
3. I am also thankful to the Secretary General for his commitment to engage with the member states and to provide continuous information on various proposals and concepts in "Our Common Agenda" report and for his assurances about maintaining this as a State-driven process.
4. On this thematic cluster, I will try to summarize the written inputs that have already been shared with your office.
5. The Group agrees with the Secretary General that today inequalities are skyrocketing and there is a need to turbo-charge the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
6. The Group also agrees with the remarks of the Secretary General that "global financial governance is dominated by the richest economies today. Success is judged by narrow, short-term measures of profit and growth, divorced from other areas of international agenda-setting and decision-making."
7. The Group takes note of the proposal by Secretary General on the complete overhaul of the global financial system and other related issues and looks forward to having further discussion in this regard.
8. On illicit financial flows, the Group reiterates the need to strengthen international cooperation on tax matters. We recognize with concern that there is still no single global inclusive forum for tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level.
9. To fill the need for a more broad-based cooperation on international tax policy and combat associated illicit financial flows, the Group reiterates its call for the upgrading of the existing Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body, with experts representing their respective governments.
10. The Group also believes that there is need to address challenges faced by affected States in the recovery of assets, as well as to strengthen international coordination in relation to illicit financial flows and assets recovery and return.
11. The Group takes note of the proposal by the Secretary General to establish a new joint structure on financial integrity and illicit financial flows and requests for further details in this regard.
12. The Group supports the proposal for convening a biennial summit to promote a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient global economy.
13. We believe the Summit should involve all members of the United Nations. The Group will also propose some elements for discussions at the Summit including on the reform of the global financial architecture.
14. The Group affirms that international trade is a key component of measures to promote inclusive economic growth and development, as well as poverty eradication.
15. In this context, the application of the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries in harnessing the developmental benefit of international trade remains crucial.
16. The Group supports the elements of the proposal for a fair-trading system. However, the Group would like to propose the use of multilaterally agreed terms such as sustainable production and consumption rather than "green" economies.
17. The Group is pleased that urgency has been attached to the measures of progress that complement GDP. We support shifting away from relying on GDP alone as a criterion to determine access to concessional finance and other means of support and request greater clarity on the suggested complementary measures to the GDP. As a way forward, the Group proposes that the General Assembly and the ECOSOC structure discussions to revise the GDP based criteria with the aim of including other factors of vulnerability to address financing needs of all developing countries.
18. The Group supports the need for the business community to align their business practices with global goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
19. Listening exercises are important part of ensuring inclusivity. These exercises should be in accordance with the national circumstances and capabilities.
20. The United Nations should support governments in achieving inclusivity keeping in view national circumstances and respective capabilities of the countries and in line with global agreements such as 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
21. While the implementation of the SDGs, including SDG 16, is crucial, greater clarity is needed on the new vision for the rule of law proposed by the Secretary General in the Report.
22. The Group reiterates that the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly is the sole Committee of the Organization entrusted with responsibilities for administrative, financial, and budgetary matters.
23. In this regard, any budgetary, financial, and administrative matters, including those related to the establishment of a peacekeeping operation or special political mission, should be discussed solely in the framework of the Fifth Committee, and in conformity with the UN Charter.