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The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.

 

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Statements and Speeches

Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by a Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, at the Informal Consultations of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation

New York, 29 June 2015

Mr President,

At the outset, I would like to thank you for convening the current Informal consultations of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation.

The Group of 77 and China notes the Secretary-General's Report of 17 July 2014 where it made recommendations aiming to improve the system-wide governance, focus, coherence and coordination of South-South Cooperation, in order to maximize its developmental impact.
Indeed we are here pursuant to the request that emanated from the General Assembly Resolution 69/239 on South-South Cooperation in its 26th Operational Paragraph (OP) where it put forward the following:

- Requested the Secretary-General, in his report to the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation at its nineteenth session, to provide an update on concrete steps taken to further strengthen South-South cooperation within the United Nations development system.

Mr President,

The Group would like to reaffirm its position that South-South cooperation is a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

And in this regard, as mentioned in the Nairobi Outcome document, South-South Cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South and should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit. At the same time, we reiterate that South-South cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation.

Mr President,

Pursuant to the General Assembly resolution of 69/239

The Group of 77 and China would like to, inter alia, reiterate the following:

- Call for the further strengthening of the Office for South-South Cooperation before a decision is taken on the long-standing request to separate the Office for South-South Cooperation as operationally autonomous from the United Nations Development Programme,
- the Secretary-General to present as part of his comprehensive report to the High-level Committee at its special inter-sessional session to be held in September 2015, in consultation with Member States, the Office for South-South Cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme, a comprehensive proposal on up-scaling the Office in financial, human and budgetary terms under the current auspices of the United Nations Development Programme, including through the appointment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, and at the same time recommending specific contributions of the United Nations Development Programme under such a change; and
- Requesting an update regarding the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, as Chair of the United Nations Development Group, regarding progress on establishing a more formalized and strengthened inter-agency mechanism, coordinated by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, with a view to encouraging joint support for South-South and triangular initiatives, as well as sharing information on development activities and results achieved by various organizations through their respective business models in support of South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation.

Mr President,

The Group would like to reiterate that North-South Cooperation is still the core of global partnership for development. South-South Cooperation, Triangular Cooperation and the private sector are complements rather than substitutes thereof.

Further, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) represents the major source of financing for the development of many developing countries and it must target the eradication of poverty in its multiple dimensions. The Group further proposes that the unfulfilled ODA commitments of the developed countries on the unfinished Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should be carried forward and the impact of the "ODA deficit" be assessed and estimated in the context of the review of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration, as a matter of urgency.

Mr President,

During the Financing for Development (FFD) negotiations that have stalled a number of times recently, there has been mention of the phrase "Southern providers" and reference to their "increased contributions." These represent attempts to blur the distinction between North-South and South-South cooperation. The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its position that South-South cooperation cannot be a substitute for North-South cooperation. South-South cooperation should not and cannot absolve developed countries of fulfilling their ODA commitments.

The Group of 77 and China is of the firm view that the issue of policy space for national governments must also be respected. Individual Member State regulations on public domestic financing must be the prerogative of national governments, in accordance with their own specific needs and objectives. The manner in which additional forms of financing are incorporated must also recognize the role of governments in regulating financing channels to fund development programmes that are being implemented in their countries. This should not be confused with the objectives of South-South Cooperation as the resources emanating from public budgeting are mainly used in delivering services to the population, in line with the priorities of the respective governments.

Mr President,

The Group is of the view that there is need to recognize the importance of considering South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation in the context of the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

Going forward, it would be critical to understand what the Secretary-General has carried out and what he intends to do to strengthen the Office of South-South Cooperation. There is a need to move away from the abstract and to rather come up with tangible and practical steps to carry out this important mandate.

The Group's written positions shall be formally submitted with regard to the report of the Secretary-General, for onward submission to the special inter-sessional meeting of the committee pursuant to the General Assembly resolution 69/239.

We look forward to a proposal that advances the possibility of using resources of the regular budget of the United Nations, taking into account existing practices in this regard in other similar units in the Secretariat as well as Funds and Programmes such as the recent decision to allocate resources from the regular budget of the United Nations to finance the Resident Coordinator system in certain programme countries.

Thank you.