Articles

G77 Summit Set To Influence UN Negotiations

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SANTA CRUZ (IDN) - The Declaration of the G77 Summit held in Santa Cruz on June14-15 has sections on three prominent issues that are presently the subject of negotiations at the United Nations – the Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Declaration should thus have significant influence on the UN negotiations since it reflects the positions of the G77 and China, at highest political level, and these positions can be expected to be maintained by the Group during the negotiations on these three issues.

The negotiations on the SDGs are now taking place in New York and have reached their critical phase, with the report of the Open Working Group scheduled to be presented to the General Assembly this September. The inter-governmental negotiations on the post-2015 Development Agenda is expected to begin soon after September when a working group is established for this issue.

The Development Agenda negotiations will culminate in a Development Summit that is expected to be held in September 2015 or later.

Key points

Some of the key points made in the Declaration are as follows:

There is unevenness and gaps in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, many developing countries are not on track to achieving them by 2015, Goal 8 on global partnership for development is key and without international support and systemic changes, several of the Goals will not be achieved in many developing countries by 2015.

Poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

SDGs should focus on integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), and the outcome document of the Rio+20 summit is the basis for the work of the Open Working Group on SDGs.

Progress in realizing the MDGs, SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda will depend on a pro-development, international, enabling environment and delivering the means of implementation, particularly in the areas of finance, trade, technology and capacity-building, to developing countries.

The process and outcome of the SDGs Open Working Group should fully respect all the Rio Principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The need to define adequate means of implementation for each and every sustainable development goal, as well as the need for a dedicated sustainable development goal on the strengthened global partnership for sustainable development containing broader commitments on the means of implementation and international cooperation for sustainable development.

The central importance of a just, transparent and inclusive intergovernmental negotiation process in the establishment of the post-2015 agenda; this process will need to focus on its modalities and substantive aspects to arrive at a negotiated and agreed outcome document.

Poverty eradication must remain the central and overarching objective of the post-2015 development agenda, which should aim to eradicate poverty by 2030.

The post-2015 development agenda must fully adhere to the Rio Principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The importance in the post-2015 Development Agenda of strengthening the global partnership for development, to be based on quantified and time-bound targets, consistent with MDG Goal No. 8 and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

North-South cooperation remains the core of this partnership and strengthened commitment from developed countries is therefore required to enhance international cooperation and scale up support for developing countries.

The post-2015 development agenda must address issues of reform of the institutions of global economic governance, to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in decision-making in these institutions.

The global economic, financial and trading systems remain imbalanced, to the disadvantage of developing countries; it is important to identify, in the post-2015 development agenda, the weaknesses and imbalances of these global systems and propose actions for improvements.

The need for a sound implementation mechanism for the post-2015 agenda to ensure development resources for the attainment of goals.

The need for a responsible accountability approach to be adopted on partnerships involving the UN, particularly as regards participation of the private sector, civil society and philanthropic entities, and for procedures to consider and approve any such initiatives by Member States in the General Assembly, in order to preserve the intergovernmental nature of the UN.

The importance for the post-2015 development agenda to fully respect the development policy space of developing countries to make use of policy tools and measures that are required to implement their policies.

The post-2015 development agenda should promote rapid, sustained and inclusive economic growth in developing countries as a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and reducing inequalities within and among countries.

MDGs in focus

In the Declaration’s section on Millennium Development Goals, the political leaders expressed their commitment to strengthen efforts to achieve the MDGs by 2015 and to take a leading role in shaping the international development agenda during the post-2015 period. They called upon the international community to redouble all efforts for the accelerated achievement of the Goals by 2015 through concrete measures.

They noted the progress achieved so far on the MDGs but were concerned about the unevenness and gaps in achievement and about the vast challenges that remain in developing countries, many of which are not on track to achieving them by 2015.

They underscored the central role of the global partnership for development and the importance of MDG Goal No. 8 in achieving all the Goals and that without substantial international support and systemic changes, several of the Goals will not be achieved in many developing countries by 2015.

They called on the international community to “intensify its efforts to provide enhanced means of implementation to developing countries through a renewed global partnership based on the collective quest to eradicate poverty and deprivation.”

On Sustainable development and sustainable development goals, the Declaration reaffirmed the statement by world leaders in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “The future we want”, that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

“We reiterate that eradicating poverty, changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, and protecting and managing the natural resource base for economic and social development are the overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development,” said the statement.

“We also reaffirm the need to achieve sustainable development by promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports, inter alia, economic, social and human development while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration and restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges.”

They stressed that sustainable development goals should address and be focused on the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) and be guided by the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, respecting all the Rio Principles and taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and priorities. They also reaffirmed that the outcome document of that UN Conference is the basis for the work of the Open Working Group on SDGs.

Pro-Development environment

They also stressed that progress in realizing the MDGs, SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda “will depend on progress in creating a pro-development, international, enabling environment and delivering the relevant means of implementation, particularly in the areas of finance, trade, technology and capacity-building, to developing countries.”

They reaffirmed that the guiding principles of the SDGs must be based on all principles set out at the major United Nations summits and conferences in the social, environmental and economic fields and be consistent with international law. The process and outcome of the SDGs Open Working Group should fully respect all the Rio Principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The SDGs should contribute to the full implementation of the outcomes of all the major summits in the economic, social and environmental fields.

They reaffirmed that “planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that “Mother Earth” is a common expression in a number of countries and regions, and note that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development.”

They were convinced that to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environment needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature. They called for a holistic, integrated approach to sustainable development, which may include, among others, the recognition by some countries of the principles mentioned above, to guide humanity to live in harmony with nature and lead to efforts to restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems.

They welcomed the General Assembly dialogue on Harmony with Nature in April 2013, to commemorate International Mother Earth Day.  They stressed that the report of the Open Working Group must be the result of an inclusive intergovernmental process.

They underscored the need to define adequate means of implementation for each and every sustainable development goal, as well as the need for a dedicated sustainable development goal on the strengthened global partnership for sustainable development containing broader commitments on the means of implementation and international cooperation for sustainable development.

On the Post-2015 development agenda, the leaders reaffirmed the centrality of a just, transparent and inclusive intergovernmental negotiation process in the establishment of the post-2015 agenda, as decided at the special event towards achieving the MDGs in 2013.

They stressed that this intergovernmental process will need to focus on its modalities and substantive aspects to arrive at a negotiated and agreed outcome document, taking fully into account the outcomes of the various follow-up processes mandated at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development as well as of the major summits and conferences related to the social, economic and environmental fields.

Recalling the statement made at the Rio+20 summit, that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development,  the leaders emphasized that “poverty eradication must remain the central and overarching objective of the post-2015 development agenda. We strongly support the view that the post-2015 development agenda should reinforce the commitment of the international community to eradicate poverty by 2030.”

Coherent approach to post-2015 development agenda

The Declaration underlined the need for a coherent approach to the post-2015 development agenda, which should reinforce the commitment of the international community to poverty eradication and the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner, with the contributions of the SDGs Open Working the financing for development process, the Intergovernmental Committee on Experts for Sustainable Development Financing, the process to develop options for a UN technology facilitation mechanism and other relevant processes.

The leaders reaffirmed that the post-2015 development agenda must fully adhere to the Rio Principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

They underscored the importance of strengthening the global partnership for development, to be based on quantified and time-bound targets, consistent with MDG Goal No. 8 and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the post-2015 development agenda.

North-South cooperation remains the core of this partnership and South-South and triangular cooperation are a useful complement to North-South cooperation.

“Strengthened commitment from developed countries is therefore required to enhance international cooperation and scale up support for developing countries”, stated the Declaration.

“We emphasize the need for developed countries to urgently fulfil the ODA commitments they have made, individually and collectively, including the target of allocating 0.7 per cent of their GNP to ODA official by 2015 and the target of allocating between 0.15 and 0.20 per cent of their GNP gross national product for LDCs.

“We emphasize that the post-2015 development agenda must meaningfully address issues of reform of the institutions of global economic governance in order to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in decision-making in these institutions.

“We also note that the global economic, financial and trading systems remain imbalanced, to the disadvantage of developing countries, and in this regard we stress the importance of identifying, in the post-2015 development agenda, the weaknesses and imbalances of these global systems and of proposing actions for improvements with the aim of supporting the development agenda and the programmes of developing countries.

“We affirm the need for a sound implementation mechanism for the post-2015 agenda to ensure development resources for the attainment of goals. In this regard, we call for the intensification of development financing, for the establishment and improvement of mechanisms of technology transfer and for the enhancement of efforts to build the capacities of developing countries.

“We call for a responsible accountability approach to be adopted on the question of partnerships involving the UN, particularly as regards participation of the private sector, civil society and philanthropic entities. In this regard, we reaffirm the need to enhance transparency, coherence and sustainability, as well as accountability to Member States, in UN partnerships, and stress the need to ensure that procedures exist for the consideration and approval of any such initiatives by Member States in the General Assembly, in order to preserve the intergovernmental nature of the UN.

“We emphasize that the post-2015 development agenda should be an agenda for development, and in this context it is important to advance economic, social and environmental development in a comprehensive, balanced and coordinated manner. This agenda should be broader than that of the Millennium Development Goals and aim to include areas, issues and groups of populations that are key to achieving sustainable development.

“We also stress the importance for the post-2015 development agenda, if it is to be global in nature and universally applicable to all, to fully respect the development policy space of developing countries to make use of policy tools and measures that are required to implement their policies for poverty eradication and other developmental plans and programmes.

“We also stress that the post-2015 development agenda should promote rapid, sustained and inclusive economic growth in developing countries as a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and reducing inequalities within and among countries.

Particular needs of developing countries

The Declaration also has a Part V on “Particular needs of developing countries in special situations.”

This Part contains summary descriptions of the needs and challenges faced by various categories of developing countries, and proposals for actions for each of them.

The categories of countries covered in Part V include Africa, the least developed countries, the small island developing States, the landlocked developing countries, and middle-income countries.

The Declaration also dealt with and called for action in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Palestinian people; the issue of Argentina and the United Kingdom on the question of the Malvinas Islands; the sovereignty issues facing developing countries, including the dispute over the Chagos archipelago, including Diego Garcia; the rejection of imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures including unilateral sanctions against developing countries; the embargo of the US against Cuba and the economic sanctions imposed on the Sudan.

*Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre and can be contacted at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This article originally appeared in SouthNews on June 23, 2014. It is being re-produced by arrangement with the South Centre. [IDN-InDepthNews – June 28, 2014]

2014 IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters

Image: Big poster of the G77 Summit at the opening ceremony

Martin Khor’s previous IDN articles:
http://www.indepthnews.info/index.php/search?searchword=Martin%20Khor&ordering=newest&searchphrase=all

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook:
http://twitter.com/InDepthNews
http://www.facebook.com/IDN.GoingDeeper