REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. VIRACHAI PLASAI, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE RETREAT ON THE PREPARATION FOR THE 2016 HLPF (New York, 23 February 2016)
1. At the outset, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Permanent Mission of Germany for her generosity and hospitality in hosting this retreat and the ECOSOC and UNDESA for their continued efforts in providing Member States a platform to share expectations and exchange views on the 2016 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
2. Allow me to share with your some of our thoughts on behalf of the Group of 77 and China:
3. First, it is important to look back in order to leap forward. In this regard, I wish to recall that in the year 2013 the General Assembly adopted Resolution 67/290 in accordance with the Rio+20 outcomes which resulted in the HLPF. The said Resolution stresses the need for an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development, which should be guided by the specific functions required in the mandates involved. In this sense, the HLPF is not new, but rather a global follow-up and review framework which builds on existing arrangements.
4. Second, coordination is the key to success. We firmly believe that an efficient and effective HLPF must build upon enhanced coordination between the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and other relevant entities. In this regard, it is crucial to consider how the General Assembly could further integrate sustainable development as a key element of the overarching framework for United Nations activities. With regard to ECOSOC, within its mandate under the Charter as a principal organ in the integrated and coordinated follow-up of the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields, how could it perform its key role in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development? The Secretariat of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on its part has a crucial role to play with a view to enabling the HLPF meetings under the auspices of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC to perform their functions and produce deliverables as stipulated in Resolution 67/290.
5. Third, how can we work on interlinking processes toward one shared goal? We believe that the discussions on ECOSOC Dialogue on the Longer-term Positioning, the Revitalization of the work of the Second Committee, QCPR, and the HLPF, among others, share one common goal i.e. attaining 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As such, that should be seen and considered together, rather than being dealt with in separate forums and through different approaches.
6. Fourth, inclusiveness is the cornerstone for universality. While we recognize the efforts of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and UNDESA for convening smaller group retreats and workshops, we are of the view that the discussions on 2016 HLPF and the global follow-up and review framework would bear fruitful results if the participation is opened to all Member States in a universal and inclusive manner. We understand that some delegates from the capitals could not attend this retreat due to logistical matters. We hope to discuss this further with DESA as we prepare for future events. In this regard, we believe that more work is needed to ensure efficient, robust, inclusive and transparent follow-up and review process, which is truly targeted at poverty eradication and assistance to developing countries, in particular LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, in pursuit of sustainable development in line with their national development strategies and plans.
7. We look forward to a productive discussion in the next two days.
I thank you.