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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 Mr. Thembela Ngculu, Counsellor for Sustainable Development at the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, on the Occasion of the Debate on "Follow-Up and Review for the Post-2015 Development Agenda"

New York, 20 May 2015

Co-facilitators,

I deliver this intervention on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

We thank you Co-facilitators and the Secretariat for presenting the Preliminary Impressions on this debate, at least so far.

The Group believes that the HLPF on SD is the appropriate platform for follow up and review as stipulated in Resolution 67/290, therefore the phraseology "accountability and or monitoring" has no place and mandate in this debate. Accordingly we would like to propose that any reference to this debate and section should, in future, be consistently entitled "Follow up and review." We believe that the said Resolution should be the basis of our discussions, going forward and any language within the zero-draft on HLPF and follow up and review should be guided by Resolutions 67/290 and 69/214.

While we agree that it may be too early in the process to discuss and agree on the modalities of follow up and review, either through a GA resolution or a decision, it is important and opportune to re-state the Group position as follows:

- The 'follow up and review' should be universal in scope and should be owned by each country in accordance with its national circumstances, needs and priorities;

- It must be government-led and voluntary, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants;

- The review should also be aimed at reviewing the activities of the UN system and stakeholders with regards to the SDGs and their Means of Implementation.

- The follow up and review should encompass all the 17 SDGs and 169 targets in a balanced and integrated manner, including Goal 17 and MoI-specific targets at the international level. The Group would like to stress that this vision should in no way seek to prejudge the 'review and follow-up' on progress to be determined for the Financing for Development track.

- The Group reiterates its support to the technology facilitation mechanism for the implementation of the SDGs. The Group also believes that follow up and review endeavours should assess the results of such mechanism in catalyzing efforts to promote and transfer of technology to developing countries.

- We maintain that the 'follow up and review' process should focus on international efforts to promote sustainable development, as well as the assess progress, gaps, achievements and challenges in the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

- This process should also include the contribution of the relevant UN entities, including the regional level, at the request of states, in line with their national programmes. We wish to add that it will be up the regional organizations together with their membership to decide if they need to do review at regional level and to decide if there is need to adopt the global level principles and guidelines.

- The 'follow-up and review' should be conducted in a constructive spirit in order to foster positive mutual learning and cooperation to assist governments in their achievement of sustainable development through means of implementation (financial support, capacity building and technology transfer).

- The 'follow-up and review' process should strengthen the follow up and review of the commitments at the international level and the MOI required by developing countries for the attainment of the SDGs;

- We note that while the issue of universality in the preliminary impressions by the Co-facilitators the issue of differentiation is left out. We stress that universality of SDGs should always be balanced with the principle of CBDR, with a view to making a point about different national realities, capacities and levels of development while also emphasizing the importance of national policy space.

- Resolution 67/290 is clear on the need for the participation of all relevant stakeholders such as civil society, social actors and the UN development system, and the importance of creating this space in accordance with national legislations.

- We maintain that the envisioned follow up and review should ensure coherence between the national, regional and global levels.

- It is our view that the basis for the follow-up and review of qualitative national information on sustainable development policies at all levels should be robust data drawn from Member States. Data and information from existing reporting mechanisms should be used where possible, recognizing the urgent need for transfer of financial resources, technologies and capacity building for developing countries in accordance with national priorities and strategies.

On the question of the indicators as mentioned in the Co-facilitators paper of the 19th of May it is our understanding that this issue is being addressed through a technical track led by the UN Statistical Commission, tasked with developing global indicators. We maintain that in this endeavour the UN Statistical Commission should ensure respect for national policy space while also recognizing differentiation and different capacities of countries.

Co-facilitators,

We wish to remind Member States that the HLPF should be the forum for exercising the voluntary follow up and review, and we have agreed in 69/214 that the HLPF will address its working methods, how to implement the review process, the need for a Secretariat during its June 2015 meeting (op8 of 69/214).

With regards the concerns about "burdening of the HLPF with work," we believe that the final review outcomes of the different processes during its 5 days of thematic debates should feed into HLPF to ensure that it is not burdened with many reviews. We will provide further details on this issue when we discuss the modalities at the appropriate time.

On the follow up on the Moi in the context of the FfD track we also reiterate our position that FfD and Post 2015 are two separate tracks with important inter-linkages. Accordingly we maintain that there is a need for an independent intergovernmental commission or committee or mechanism on follow up of the FfD commitments.

The Group reiterates its view that the recommendation emanating from the review and follow up process should not be prescriptive to member states and should rather be aimed at assisting developing countries in pursuit of sustainable development in line with their national development strategies and plans.

Lastly we take note of the Food For thought paper on technology facilitation mechanism, circulated earlier in the week. We will pronounce ourselves at the appropriate time once we have consulted.

In this regard we request that we start at 11 am on Friday, 22 May 2015, in order to allow time for coordination before we commence our discussion on the way forward.

I thank you.