Statement by H.E. Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations and Chairman of the Group of 77 on the occasion of the Stock-Taking Session on the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (19-21 January 2015.)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the 134-member Group of 77 and China.
On behalf of the Group of 77 and China I wish to express our gratitude to you as Co-facilitators for convening this Stocktaking Session on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This marks an important step in the much-envisaged intergovernmental process that seeks to craft a truly transformative agenda that continues to place poverty eradication efforts at the centre of the programme of the United Nations. This process should be guided by a vision of 'transformation' and an ambition to negotiate and reach agreement on a transformative development paradigm, which is people-centred, that aspires for universal human development while respecting human dignity and protecting our planet. In this regard we recall what our leaders said in the Millennium Declaration in the year 2000:
“We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.”
The Group remains concerned that despite the laudable achievements of the global MDG target on extreme poverty, there are still significant variations and inequalities across regions and within countries. It is therefore imperative that as the international community embarks on a complex task of elaborating the Post-2015 Development Agenda we must continue to sustain the spirit of the Millennium Declaration, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Rio plus 20, by creating an environment – at the national and global levels alike – which is conducive to sustainable development and to the elimination of poverty.
We thank the Co-facilitators for the programme circulated earlier in the month to guide our interactions in this Session. The Group calls on the Co-facilitators to ensure that the views of Member States are canvassed in developing future programmes for the sessions of this intergovernmental process. The Group reiterates its position that that the Post-2015 Development Agenda process must be intergovernmental in nature, conducted in an open, transparent and inclusive manner, in line with the Outcome document of the 2013 Special Event of the MDGs. Accordingly the Group of 77 takes this opportunity to emphasize that that the inclusive consultations by the Co-facilitators with all relevant stakeholders including major political groups must not impinge on the time allocated for the intergovernmental process of negotiations. Similarly, going forward the Co-facilitators must re-consider the number of the panel discussions that are organised in each session to allow member states adequate time to engage among themselves and to optimise on the limited time we have for negotiations.
The Group of the 77 and China wishes to reiterate that this intergovernmental negotiations process must respect the rules of procedure and established practices of the General Assembly and ECOSOC and should take place in line with the agreed modalities resolution and decisions.
In relation to the organisational aspects of the inter-governmental process we commend the Co-facilitators for ensuring the timely adoption of the resolution on the programme of work for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In this connection we call on the UN Secretariat to make available the means for the developing countries, in particular experts from capitals to actively participate in the process.
Our view is that the initial draft of the outcome document on the Post-2015 Development Agenda must be prepared by the Co-facilitators on the basis of views provided by Member States, taking into account substantive discussions in the process of intergovernmental negotiations, and shall be presented to Member States by May 2015 to pave the way for intergovernmental negotiations. In line with Resolution 68/309, the Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG-SDGs) shall serve as the main basis for integrating the SDGs and targets into the Post-2015 Development Agenda while the outcomes of processes such as the Intergovernmental Committee on Experts for Sustainable Development Financing, the process to develop options for a United Nations technology facilitation mechanism should be considered as inputs in the process. In addition, the development of ‘indicative’ indicators by the United Nations Statistical Division should be done in an open and transparent manner with the UN Statistical Commission which is a member states body. Such an undertaking should seek to recognise that there are national and regional specificities, peculiarities and different capacities and therefore the outcome should not impose unworkable and unrealistic figures on developing countries.
The Group takes this opportunity to thank the Secretary General for his a Synthesis Report entitled: The Road to Dignity by 2030 that takes into account all the processes that have been undertaken in this regard within the framework of United Nations. We are of the view that the Synthesis Report will as well serve as an input and resource that the member states can tap into during the intergovernmental process of negotiations.
As we conceptualise this development agenda, the Group of 77 would like to stress that the guiding principles in this process must be based on those enumerated in Agenda 21 and Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), be consistent with international law, and should fully respect all Rio Principles and recognition that in pursuit of Sustainable Development States have Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). In addition poverty eradication should be seen as an imperative and an essential requirement for sustainable development and should be pursued as such in line with the Rio plus 20 outcomes.
In formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda it remains critically important to deepen economic, social and environmental development in a comprehensive, balanced and coordinated manner in accordance with the Rio plus 20 outcomes. The Group of 77 and China reiterates that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should build on the Millennium Development Goals but also ensure that we are able to reach out and sustainably improve the lives and circumstances of those who continue to live in abject poverty and of those that continue to be marginalised and left behind.
The Group of the 77 and China welcomes the adoption of the “Decision on Modalities for the process of Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda” by the General Assembly 16 January 2015. This is a positive development that will ensure a smooth process of negotiations of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
There is no doubt that in pursuit of both the MDGs and the Post- 2015 Development Agenda developing countries will continue to require development assistance. In this context the Group reiterates its position that developing countries should be supported by an enabling international environment, which includes a supportive and just international system where the rules are fair and pro-development, as well as a genuine global partnership to enable developing countries to meet their sustainable development aspirations. The Group maintains that this could be achieved through the provision of new and additional financing resources, technology transfers with concessionary and preferential terms, capacity building, pro-development trade policies, and effective means of implementation for developing countries. Accordingly the Group of 77 and China believes that in formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda it will be critical to strengthen Global Partnership for Development.
The Group looks forward to stronger synergies between the track on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the one on the Third International Conference on Financing for Development so as to ensure that we are in a position to influence both processes in an effective manner. In this logic the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development scheduled to take place in Addis Abba in July this year Conference must feed into the Post-2015 development agenda as a key input of the means of implementation.
Similarly we must begin to establish a facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies, on the basis of the recommendations Structured Dialogues held during the Sixty-Eighth Session and the latest resolution on Agenda 21 adopted last December (69/214). In this regard the Group believes that it is essential that the implementation process commences with the aim of reaching a conclusion during the Sixty-Ninth session and this outcome should also form part of the elaboration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In conclusion we call on the Co-facilitators to urgently initiate informal consultations on the details of the future programmes for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to allow adequate time for coordination within political groups.
The Group looks forward to a fruitful discussion in this current Session that will not only set the tone for the entire process of negotiations but which also allows to conclude on schedule at the end of July in time to allow us sufficient time for the organisation of the Summit that will adopt the post-2015 development agenda.
In conclusion the Group wishes to again underline that it subscribes to the view that the outcomes document should be prefaced with a declaration which will set the tone, give political content and outline the aspirations in the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Such a declaration will also serve as the vehicle for the UN Member States to reiterate the political will that will be required if we are all to accomplish the vision our leaders committed themselves to at the Millennium Summit
I thank you.
For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974
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