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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 Ambassador Kingsley J.N. Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, on the Occasion of the Sixth Session of the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Declaration

New York, 22 June 2015

Co-facilitators,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Preamble.

- The Group expended a great deal of time on this dimension of the document and after thorough consideration a conclusion was reached that it does not add any value to the entirety of the text. It is noted for instance that the opening paragraph of the preamble is repeated elsewhere in the declaration of the text.

- In addition the listing reflected in this part of the document appears selective and the basis on which it was developed is not clear to the Group. Accordingly the Group calls on the Co-facilitators to remove this part from the document. Our position is that we can do without it.

- We maintain that the Report of the Open Working Group on SDGs contains priorities in the form of goals that represent the three dimensions of sustainable development in a fair and balanced manner that clearly highlight development challenges of our time. There should be no attempt to present a competing list of development priorities in the form of the preamble.

Declaration.

- The Group of 77 welcomes the draft declaration as it takes into account a number of issues of global development importance that need attention in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. In particular we are pleased to see reference to the centrality of poverty eradiation as we consider this issue to be the overarching priority and central imperative of the post-2015 development agenda. In line with this priority we emphasize the need to address poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon, and therefore in accordance with SDG1 we believe that the declaration should be consistent in stating that poverty should be eradicated "in all its forms and dimensions" in order to truly leave no one behind.

- Equally the mention of the Rio principle number seven namely, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, policy space, condemnation of foreign occupation and the right to development should, inter alia, be lauded. We would also like to reaffirm the principles of territorial integrity, national unity and political independence of countries.

- We believe that the declaration seeks to set the right tone for our much-coveted agenda.

- However the Group has identified some area of concern in the declaration such as the distortion of the CBDR in the context climate change (paragraph 27) that calls for "historic responsibilities for all states." We hold the firm view that developed countries must assume their historic responsibilities and address issues of mitigation and adaptation as it is the developed country partners that have been disproportionately contributing to climate change and attendant challenges largely precipitated by the phenomenon, which undermine our efforts to achieve sustainable development. The responsibility cannot be for "all states" as developing countries are responsible for a relatively inconsiderable margin of green-house gas emissions. Similarly, the mention of shared responsibility the in paragraph 29 contradicts the essence of the principle of CBDR.

- We reiterate the right of developing countries to continue with the efforts to claim their space for development. We trust that the Co-facilitators will correct this contradiction with the noble principle of CBDR.

- We believe that the issue of migration requires re-calibration as it is reflected in the text as a negative phenomenon while there are mutual benefits for both sending and receiving states. Additionally the Group is deeply concerned at the continued loss of life of migrants. The agenda must recognize that the phenomenon of migration, while it presents humanitarian challenges in some situations, it could contribute significantly to development if properly managed. We appeal to the Co-facilitators to take this sentiment into account in tweaking the language.

- There is also need for recognition in the text that there are different visions and tools of development and sovereignty over natural resources. The Declaration should also emphasize the importance of regional cooperation and inter-connectivity. In addition the issue of Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (SCP) is usually caveated with "developed countries taking the lead." In this regard we call on the Co-facilitators to reflect this kind of formulation in line with the Johannesburg Plan of Action and The Future We Want.

- Furthermore the Group is concerned at the omission of the need to condemn the 'unilateral coercive measures against developing countries' whose grave effects make it impossible for the targeted developing countries to meet their development needs. We call on the Co-facilitators to reflect this issue as this trend is indeed a matter of concern to the Group. Unilateral actions constitute aggression of international impact and have unintended consequences for populations in targeted countries.

- Lastly as the G77 and China stated in previous sessions, the SG synthesis report cannot serve as a basis of the negotiations on the new agenda. In the same vein, it cannot enjoy the same status as the outcomes of previous intergovernmental processes.

I thank you.