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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 by H.E. Ambassador Kingsley J. N. Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, Chair of the Group of 77, at the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Meeting on "South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Financing for Development in the South and Technology Transfer"

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 17 May 2015

Honourable Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh,
Honourable Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister of Finance,
Mr. Zhou Yiping, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, Director of the United Nations Office on South-South Cooperation,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

I would like to express my deep appreciation for inviting me to this High-level Meeting on South-South cooperation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which is focused on the financing for development in the South and the technology transfer. At the outset, I wish to express my gratitude to the Government and the people of Bangladesh for their generous hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for this important meeting.

I wish to also pay a special tribute to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation under the able leadership of Mr. Yiping Zhou, Director and Secretary-General's Envoy for South-South Cooperation, for his excellent support, dedication, devotion and commitment for the cause of South-South cooperation.

It is indeed a great privilege to be here and share with you some perspectives of the ongoing negotiations of the Post-2015, especially in connection with South-South Cooperation and the Financing for Development process in terms of technology transfer.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

The Group of 77 and China would like to stress that South-South Cooperation is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to North-South Cooperation.

The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate the call to establish a technology facilitation mechanism, which was one of the most important decisions that emanated out of Rio+20, as a result of the realization that a global technology facilitation mechanism would prove one of the most transformative means to implement sustainable development.

Furthermore, given the increasing role of South-South and Triangular Development Cooperation and other forms of financing, it is important to monitor and analyze spending allocated towards gender equality and the realization of women's and girls' human rights in such cooperation. Dedicated thematic funds must be gender-responsive in their allocations.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

We are all aware that South-South and Triangular Cooperation are playing a central role in helping many developing countries address multiple and complex development challenges, including the management of shared natural resources. We have, on many occasions, expressed the importance to strengthen South-South Cooperation as a strategy to sustain the development efforts of developing countries and as a means of enhancing their participation in the economy, especially considering the current international economic environment. It may be pointed out that South-South Cooperation is the purview of developing countries in an attempt to assist each other to address development challenges and it is in no uncertain terms a substitute to North-South Cooperation. The latter remains central in addressing global development disparities.

I wish to share with your esteemed selves the increasing importance given to South-South Cooperation globally, which indicates that it is ever more imperative that the international community contributes actively and tangibly to the agenda and purposes of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

With specific focus on financing for development, it should be reiterated that domestic resource mobilization should not be elevated to the detriment of reducing the relevance of official development assistance (ODA). A country's strategy for domestic financing should be determined by its national governments, according to the national conditions and development priorities. The Group's view is that policy space and national ownership of developing countries should be acknowledged and prioritized with regards to domestic resource mobilisation. Mobilising domestic finance should not be used as a pretext to interfere in national countries' fiscal and policy-making on taxation.

We are also aware that science and technology are critical in meeting development goals in the South. In fact, science and technology have shown to be a crucial engine for socio-economic development of any country. In this respect, it is vital to strengthen educational institutions and research and development (R&D) organizations in developing countries, while not eroding the importance of Governments to regulate their internal processes relating to these.

The ability of developing countries to sustain healthy levels of economic growth has been affected by a lack of adequate technology infrastructure. Most developing countries are today facing serious challenges in building their national science and technology base that would address the needs of their economic and social development. However, there is increased global interest on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in terms of how these could be utilized to engender meaningful development in developing countries. In that regard there is a need for a strengthened and scaled up global partnership to enhance South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

I wish to recall that one of the main decisions that emanated out of the Rio+20 Conference was the need to create a global technology facilitation mechanism to implement sustainable development. The Group of 77 and China has expressed the urgency to establish this global mechanism whose core function will be: the development, transfer and dissemination of technologies for the implementation of the SDGs.

In consequence, targets 17.6 listed in the Post-2015 Development agenda states the importance to enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on access to science, technology and innovation, and enhance knowledge-sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, particularly at the United Nations level, and through the global technology facilitation mechanism.

Target 17.7 stressed the need to promote development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed; and target 17.8 reiterates the need to fully operationalize the Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) capacity-building mechanism for LDCs by 2017, as well as enhance the use of enabling technologies in particular, ICT.

In essence, we must promote South-South collaboration on science, technology and innovation with a view to exchanging experiences in policy-making and applying technology in key sectors such as agriculture, health, infrastructure development, climate change and renewable energy. Scaling up innovation will be one of the key drivers of a more effective South-South cooperation.

If tangible results are to be harvested from the outcomes of the Financing for Development and post-2015 Development Agenda processes, then it is crucial to have concrete mechanisms for the transfer of technology. Such mechanism will promote and facilitate the transfer of technology to the developing countries, with special focus on the LDCs.

There is a need to share technologies, experiences and best practices for its effective use. In that regard, important financial resources and technology support should be provided to developing countries in their efforts to improve the development and deployment of different types of technologies to promote socio-economic growth.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

On many occasions, the Group of 77 and China has underscored the need to further strengthening the support by the United Nations system for South-South Cooperation, including through Triangular Cooperation. While we note the increasing involvement of other entities of the United Nations development system who have made significant progress in mainstreaming South-South and Triangular Cooperation into their key policies and strategic frameworks, we urge the United Nations system to implement the recommendations and measures adopted by the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation at its 18th Session in May 2014, on the strengthening of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

In addition, it is crucial to reinforce the existing mechanisms for South-South Cooperation and expand their capacity in order to create opportunities for other developing countries to participate in South-South initiatives particularly in the field of science, technology and innovation. In this context, we note with appreciation the inauguration by the UN Office for South-South cooperation of the new South-South Technology Transfer Facility for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which was launched in Apia, Samoa on 30 August 2014 to transfer appropriate technologies from provider to recipient SIDS, in an effort to improve the Small Islands Developing States' access to the global market. Considering the impact of such a facility in the region, we encourage similar South-South initiatives to be launched in other developing countries.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate that ODA remains critical and will remain political in nature. Not only should ODA and the international public financing commitments be honoured and enhanced by the Financing for Development (FfD) process, but the definition and measurement of ODA should improve development finance quality and effectiveness for developing countries.

The Group is of the firm view that 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 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.

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 of North-South Cooperation.

There is no doubt that in pursuit of both the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, developing countries will continue to require ODA. The international community should provide enhanced and adequate means of implementation to developing countries, including through quantitative, time-bound financing targets in addition to those already established for ODA, debt relief and debt restructuring, trade, capacity-building, technology transfer and greater participation of developing countries in global economic governance.

It is the Group's view that the FfD process should complement and support the elaboration of the Post-2015 agenda. As such, it should provide a set of tools that will support the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda. However, FfD is a separate process and its scope goes beyond merely financing the SDGs. In a similar manner, the post-2015 Development Agenda will draw from the means of implementation contemplated in the FfD outcome in light of its adequacy and relevance towards the implementation of its goals and targets, but this will not exhaust its means of implementation, which goes beyond those elaborated by the FfD outcome document.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

Actions should be accelerated to guarantee universal access to financial services, with a particular focus on the financial inclusion of women. In this regard, special efforts must be taken urgently to eliminate discriminatory policies practices on the basis of sex, income, geography and other factors.

A fundamental transformation of the global economic and financial architecture is needed that places gender equality at its core and reduces global imbalances and inequalities. Under-regulated global economic and financial forces have produced systematic crises which have increased inequalities and disproportionately affected the livelihoods and wellbeing of women and girls.

The following issues may be pointed out as key in providing a locomotive for discussion in this High-Level Meeting. These are as follows:

  • the centrality of North-South Cooperation, with South-South Cooperation complementing it;

  • the need to establish a global technology facilitation mechanism;

  • the imperatives for policy space on domestic resource mobilization and sovereign right of developing countries to cooperate amongst themselves in the spirit of solidarity, and

  • gender equality and the realization of women's and girls' human rights on South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

We express the conviction that the outcome of the Addis Ababa Conference in July 2015 will provide a solid outcome in financing for development in, inter alia, the following:

  • the Development Partners' resolve to meet their ODA commitments;

  • enhanced and scaled up global partnership which includes a strengthened North-South Cooperation, South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation on access to technology, science and innovation with a clear understanding of the centrality of North-South Cooperation in playing a critical role in poverty eradication in all its forms, particularly in developing countries; and

  • We also look forward to ensure gender equality and women's and girls' empowerment, to promote and protect all human rights, including the right to development, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and advance fully to an inclusive and equitable global economic system where no country or person is left behind, enabling decent work and productive livelihoods for all, while preserving the planet for our children and future generations.

The Group also looks forward to a successful Post-2015 Development Agenda Summit in September 2015, in order to bring forth an agenda that respects the different peculiarities affecting all countries in the global system, with due appreciation of the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).

I thank you.