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, on the Occasion of the Seventh Session of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

New York, 27 July 2015)


In the letter that was circulated to us late last night….very late last night…you requested that the interventions today should not be general statements and that we should instead "… focus firmly on textual work and on finalization of the draft document".

The Group of 77 and China has responded positively to your request and we have provided positive and constructive proposals, rather than statements of what we cannot support.

In this regard, we have listened carefully to some statements that have been made today, which are again making proposals (which have been repeated on numerous occasions in the past) where it is well known that there is no agreement on such changes to your text.

The Group of 77 and China is not going to be tempted into a negative re-opened debate on issues where we have clearly stated our positions in the past.

Co-facilitators, we work on the basis that you are fully aware of the G77 and China's positions on the key issues being considered and that it is not necessary for us to hold a repetitive, if not circular debate, on issues related to, for example:

- CBDR, which has been an issue discussed extensively and where repetition of arguments is not again required.
- The importance of the reaffirmation of the overarching objective of eradication of poverty which remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development
- On the outcome of the Financing for Development Conference there is nobody in the room that does not recognise the important role of the Addis outcome, and there are already very strong cross-references in the document reinforcing this.
- On unilateral sanctions, we would encourage our partners to reflect more carefully on the actual wording of the draft. The language refers to unilateral sanctions that are (a) "not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations" and that (b) "impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries". ?
- On Climate Change there is clearly work that needs to be done on the language in the outcome document, but we accept there is no one in this room that believes that we should here - in this context - be negotiating the UNFCCC. This is the work of the climate change negotiators that are preparing for the meeting in Paris.

Therefore, let me underline, that because the Group of 77 and China does not take the floor after every intervention with which we disagree, it should not be assumed that we accept what is being proposed. You know our positions on these issues and we remain conscious of the appeals that you have made to us to limit our interventions in this regard.


Let me be clear that the Group of 77 and China could bring a number of controversial issues to the table. We have however, chosen to be constrained in the interests of finding an amicable and consensual agreement by Friday. The text that we are considering represents a delicate compromise. We have thus chosen to negotiate in good faith and negotiate only on key red lines. It would be important for our partners to follow the same approach.


We would additionally caution against any drastic changes to your text at this late stage because this would take us back to the start of this process rather than where we are, 4 days from adopting our outcome.

Let me reiterate that the Group remains fully committed to working constructively with you and others in the room to complete this process this week and achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable development agenda that we can all be proud of.

I thank you.