Inter Press ServiceG77Headlines – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:24:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 G77 Nairobi Chapter Underlines Importance of New Urban Agendahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-nairobi-chapter-underlines-importance-new-urban-agenda/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-nairobi-chapter-underlines-importance-new-urban-agenda http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-nairobi-chapter-underlines-importance-new-urban-agenda/#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:59:05 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151214 Pointing out the importance of the New Urban Agenda, the chairman of the G77 chapter in Nairobi, Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya, said the Agenda is a framework that lays out how cities should be planned and managed to promote sustainable urbanization. The Member States, who met in Quito, Ecuador […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30 2017 (IPS/G77)

Pointing out the importance of the New Urban Agenda, the chairman of the G77 chapter in Nairobi, Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya, said the Agenda is a framework that lays out how cities should be planned and managed to promote sustainable urbanization.

The Member States, who met in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, agreed on a common roadmap for the next 20 years, he added, pointing out that the New Urban Agenda dovetails into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encompassing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 11 is Sustainable Cities and Communities. But the SDGs have a cross cutting nature and all Goals have to be pursued in a holistic manner, he added.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, he said the Group would also like to emphasize the importance of providing adequate financial and human resources to UN-Habitat based in Nairobi.

“At the same time we urge UN-Habitat to address its weaknesses with a clear headed approach.”

The significance of the 26th Session of the Governing Council (GC26), he said, was enhanced by the fact that it was held just a few months after the successful UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development held in Ecuador which adopted the New Urban Agenda.

He said the Group welcomed the holding of GC-26 last May and is confident that UN-Habitat will strive to achieve its goals by engaging developing and least developed countries with special attention to extending requisite assistance.

In this regard, the importance of transfer of technology, capacity building and canalization of financial resources cannot be underestimated.

This Group is willing to extend its full support to the organization and other partners for realization of our common goals, recognizing as a premise the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

“We are aware that an independent assessment of the organization is being undertaken. We would like to emphasize that inputs of the Nairobi-based Committee of Permanent Representatives of UN-Habitat, must be factored in. The Group is concerned at the growing trend of diminishing the importance of Nairobi which is the Headquarters of UN-Habitat. This tendency must be eschewed,” he noted.

While acknowledging the importance of engaging all relevant stakeholders, the G77 reiterated the intergovernmental nature of UN-Habitat and the need to respect its deliberations and decisions.

The Governing Council which serves as the decision making body for the United Nations Human Settlement Programme and is also the approving body for the organization’s biennial work programme and budget should devise such policies which incorporate the interests and priorities of developing and least developed countries, he added.

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G77 Expresses Support for UN Peacekeeping Missionshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-expresses-support-un-peacekeeping-missions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-expresses-support-un-peacekeeping-missions http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-expresses-support-un-peacekeeping-missions/#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:54:16 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151213 The Group of 77 reaffirmed its “strong belief that peacekeeping budgets must provide the necessary resources to enable the United Nations to fulfill its mandates”. The Group said it does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground. “We acknowledge that our negotiations over the […]

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Peacekeeping. Credit: UN Photo

By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 reaffirmed its “strong belief that peacekeeping budgets must provide the necessary resources to enable the United Nations to fulfill its mandates”.

The Group said it does not believe in arbitrary, across-the-board cost-cutting exercises that do not take into consideration the situation on the ground.

“We acknowledge that our negotiations over the last two months have been difficult at times. We hope that the conclusions we have reached will enable the UN Secretariat to carry out its work effectively and efficiently,” a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary)

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, she said the Group is pleased to have made progress towards addressing sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Group reiterates that the United Nations must continue efforts to harmonize its approach to this issue, prioritizing the needs of victims. The zero-tolerance policy must also apply equally to all whether they are uniformed personnel or civilians, including all non-United Nations forces authorized under a Security Council mandate, she added.

As of 30 June 2016, 15 active United Nations peacekeeping missions were in operation, with 115 countries contributing 89,002 military personnel and 86 countries contributing 13,059 police personnel. In addition, there were 17,350 civilian staff of over 176 nationalities and 1,772 United Nations Volunteers.

Concluding its second resumed session, the Fifth Committee sent 21 draft resolutions to the General Assembly, asking the body to authorize the allocation of $6.80 billion to finance 14 peacekeeping missions for the year beginning 1 July 2017, according to a UN press release.

As a follow-up, the General Assembly will address a range of items, including expressing serious concern over sexual exploitation and abuse allegations involving peacekeeping missions. The Committee also approved related drafts on the support of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, and the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy.

The Ecuadorean delegate told the Fifth Committee that the Group of 77 recognizes the invaluable contribution of troop and police-contributing countries to the maintenance of international peace and security.

“We emphasize the importance of continued close consultation between the Secretary-General and troop and police contributing countries on all matters related to peacekeeping operations.”

The Group noted the progress that the UN Secretariat has made over the past year in making peacekeeping more field-focused and effective. The Group looks forward continued efforts in this regard, including the full utilization of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe to maximize efficiency gains and benefits.

But she also pointed out that the Group regrets that once again, “we could not reach agreement on addressing closed peacekeeping missions. We trust that when we next consider this issue, there will be new options for a sustainable solution to address claims payable to Member States, particularly troop and police contributing countries from closed peacekeeping operation budgets.”

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G77 Calls for Stronger Coordination Battling Humanitarian Criseshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-calls-stronger-coordination-battling-humanitarian-crises/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-calls-stronger-coordination-battling-humanitarian-crises http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-calls-stronger-coordination-battling-humanitarian-crises/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:56:49 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151189 With the United Nations battling several humanitarian emergencies worldwide, the Group of 77 has called for stronger coordination of UN assistance to people caught up in the ongoing crises. Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations said the Group strongly believes that the […]

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More than 6 million people in Somalia are in need of food assistance [Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA]

By an IPS Correspondent
GENEVA, Jun 21 2017 (IPS/G77)

With the United Nations battling several humanitarian emergencies worldwide, the Group of 77 has called for stronger coordination of UN assistance to people caught up in the ongoing crises.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations said the Group strongly believes that the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly (GA) should have different mandates and functions — and avoid duplications in their respective work.

Given that ECOSOC is a technical body of the GA, its humanitarian affairs segment should focus on the operational aspects of humanitarian assistance and emergencies, the G77 said, during a meeting of the ECOSOC in Geneva.

The Member States of the Group requested they be constantly informed on the operationalization of the coordination of humanitarian assistance in emergency situations and the implementation of normative aspects, and how recommendations bring operational ideas to enhance coordination in the field.

The Group also stressed the need to pay equivalent attention to both conflict and security, on the one hand, and, emergencies and natural disasters, on the other. Relevant information and recommendations are necessary on these equally important issues in order to address the need to strengthen capacity building and resilience.

As an example, the Group singled out the issue of famine, a “very serious issue in several countries, for which substantive, concrete and operational recommendations are required to support efforts made to address the challenges linked to this phenomenon.”

The same observation can be applied to the important issue of responding to humanitarian emergencies in urban settings.

The Group expects further substance on the operationalization of the New Urban Agenda in the context of humanitarian assistance, along with concrete prospective recommendations in this regard.

At the same time, the Group also reaffirmed the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance, as well as the promotion and respect for international humanitarian law.

“We express concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures; we condemn the threats to and deliberate targeting of humanitarian personnel, including through acts of terrorism; and we call upon all States and parties to comply with the provisions of international humanitarian law in order to protect and assists civilians, including in occupied territories,” the G77 delegate told the ECOSOC meeting.

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Developing Nations Reaffirm Support for New Urban Agendahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/developing-nations-reaffirm-support-new-urban-agenda/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=developing-nations-reaffirm-support-new-urban-agenda http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/developing-nations-reaffirm-support-new-urban-agenda/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 18:29:27 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151210 The Group of 77 has renewed its strong commitment to sustainable housing and urban development as envisaged in the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. The agenda is expected to lay the groundwork for urban development in the developing world over the next 20 years. Speaking […]

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Downtown Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: UN Habitat

By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 15 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has renewed its strong commitment to sustainable housing and urban development as envisaged in the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.

The agenda is expected to lay the groundwork for urban development in the developing world over the next 20 years.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations, told a high level panel on UN Habitat the Group is not only committed to the promotion of sustainable urban development but will also be involved in proposing policies and means of implementation of the New Urban Agenda capable of integrating all aspects of sustainable development to promote equality, wellbeing and shared prosperity.

“We consider that the implementation of the New Urban Agenda must be coherent and consistent with our ambitions and the efforts of the Member States and stakeholders in the New Urban Agenda preparatory process,” he noted.

The G77 delegate also posed several questions:

What will be the weight that you provide to the responses from the Member States versus stakeholders and anonymous sources? What is the purpose of having anonymous sources?

Will the two-day High Level PGA Event be held within the current session of the General Assembly, as mandated by the New Urban Agenda.

What is the ambition and the outlook of the report? How does this report assessment relate with other outcomes of UN Agencies on the organization?

We would also like to know whether you will share with the member states the initial findings before issuing the final Report? And what do you expect in the Upcoming Nairobi Travel in July?

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2030 Agenda Most Relevant for Developing Nationshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/2030-agenda-relevant-developing-nations/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2030-agenda-relevant-developing-nations http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/2030-agenda-relevant-developing-nations/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:05:11 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151191 The Group of 77 has reiterated that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is “the most relevant issue for developing countries.” Speaking on behalf of the Group, joined by China, a delegate of the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations said while the General Committee can make recommendations to the General Assembly, it is ultimately […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 14 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has reiterated that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is “the most relevant issue for developing countries.”

Speaking on behalf of the Group, joined by China, a delegate of the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations said while the General Committee can make recommendations to the General Assembly, it is ultimately Member States that have the primary responsibility for deciding on the action to be taken on the agenda.

Addressing a briefing on enhancing synergies and coherence between the work of the General Assembly and the 2030 Agenda, the Group said it believes that this constructive process should be inclusive, taking into consideration the view of the universal membership of the United Nations, safeguarding the rights of all States.

“It is of the highest importance for the Group that this alignment process leads to a comprehensive coverage of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and targets, recalling the priority of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions.”

In the same regard, this consultation process should take into account the perspectives of all Committees of the General Assembly.

Responding to some of the draft recommendations, the G77 said:

The Group restates that further discussion within each Committee is a prerequisite for joint Committee and joint Bureau meetings, recalling that these meetings could be useful to enhance coordination within the United Nations; while not being a substitute of the deliberations held by each Committee and their respective perspectives.

The Group requests more information on how the reference to the United Nations Development System reform is relevant, without prejudging the current activities undertaken by the Secretary General, and taking into account the agreement reached regarding QCPR. “We restate that this proposal needs further discussion with regard to the reference to the review of resolution 68/1.”

The Group underscores that while the General Committee can make recommendations to the General Assembly, it is ultimately Member States that have the primary responsibility for deciding on the action to be taken on the agenda.

The Group believes that this constructive process should be inclusive, taking into consideration the view of the universal membership of the United Nations, safeguarding the rights of all States. In the same regard, this consultation process should take into account the perspectives of all Committees of the General Assembly.

Any exercise regarding overlapping must prevent the elimination of substantive topics on existing agenda items and safeguard and strengthen the United Nations Development System, while recalling that the revitalization process should address gaps and duplications in a balanced way.

The mapping exercise lead by Colombia in 2016 reflected important advances in identifying gaps of the 2030 Agenda and should be taken into account, as an input.

Duplication does not necessarily mean repetition; overlaps should be studied in a case by case basis, taking into consideration specific mandates and perspectives, and should examine new emerging issues related to sustainable development, including the financing for development.

The Group also said that by 2019, at the latest, “we should conclude and fully integrate the alignment process, while leaving no one behind and working together to reach consensus, premises that should not be bound by deadlines.”

The G77 restates its support and commitment to engage constructively in this consultation process.

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G77 Appeals for Conservation of Ocean’s Resourceshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-appeals-conservation-oceans-resources/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-appeals-conservation-oceans-resources http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/06/g77-appeals-conservation-oceans-resources/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:57:26 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=151207 The Group of 77 has expressed its strong support for a “Call for Action,” adopted at the end of the UN conference on Oceans in early June, which commits member states to move forward in their attempts to conserve and sustain the use of marine resources. Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, […]

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Island Nation of Kiribati Affected by Climate Change. Credit: UN Photo

By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 8 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has expressed its strong support for a “Call for Action,” adopted at the end of the UN conference on Oceans in early June, which commits member states to move forward in their attempts to conserve and sustain the use of marine resources.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa of Ecuador, told delegates it is essential to embark collectively in building commitments and in taking actions beyond those mentioned in the Call for Action.

This should be achieved “either by establishing voluntary commitments or by fostering measures in our daily life activities, that would allow us to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean and to ensure that it supports the needs of present and future generations.”

She said: “We sincerely hope that all the commitments adopted in this Conference and the ones formulated beyond are immediately put into practice with the participation and involvement of all citizens of the world, starting with us, as representatives of States, advocate for the well-being and common good of humanity and the planet.”

She pointed out that the Ocean is “an important part of our cultural and natural heritage, it is an interconnected body of water that covers over 70% of our planet, that support the well-being and livelihoods of humans and animals by providing water and oxygen, food security, employment, protection from natural disasters, other benefits fundamental to us.”

“We must take ambitious actions to sustain and conserve the Ocean for future generations, preventing its exploitation, contamination and other harmful activities that impair its irreplaceable role in the Planet,” the Foreign Minister declared.

The Group of 77 believes that for a successful implementation of SDG 14, it is necessary to take into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the overarching framework of the goal; while underscoring the integrated, indivisible and universal nature of the SDGs, specially SDG 14, restating the importance of its linkages, and balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development, which is essential to live in harmony with nature.

Accordingly, it is imperative that the actions taken for the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean are guided by the Agenda, especially by the principles reaffirmed therein, she added.

“The wide economic and development differences between states in order to address the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean must be taken into account; and we ought to recognize that we have common but differentiated responsibilities with the world and in relation with global environmental issues”.

She urged developed countries to take the lead in addressing the challenges of the Ocean and in providing support by enhancing the capabilities of countries that are unable to engage in the implementation of SDG 14, bridging the gap of available resources that constrains the actions that needed to be taken.

“In order to ensure that all countries are able to implement the goal and its targets, we need to consolidate a revitalized global partnership”.

She said the role of international cooperation for development to foster mobilization of domestic resources is crucial to ensure that no one is left behind and that all countries are able to work together for the lasting protection of the planet, the Ocean and its natural resources.

Partnership would also provide the necessary means of implementation, like predictable and adequate financial resources, the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, capacity building and the sharing of knowledge to States that lack the means to fully address the state of the Ocean.

She said the Group reiterates the importance of and the need for these tools, to ensure that we are all on the same track and adequately capable and equipped to protect the Ocean from degradation.

Stressing the link between oceans and climate change, she said the Group acknowledges that the Ocean is closely linked with the atmosphere, with both influencing the other; that Ocean is the primary regulator of the global climate and an important sink for greenhouse gases, since absorbing one quarter of all carbon dioxide released by human activity.

“By now, we all know that the adverse effects of climate change on oceans are likely to have profound and unpredictable dire consequences for marine organisms and ecosystems, with huge costs in the long run for humanity if we do not take immediate actions.”

“The preservation of the Ocean depends solely on our actions and on the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as it impairs the role and health of the Ocean and exacerbates the effects of climate change. “
She also said that the long-term protection and sustainable management of the Ocean’s health is critical to build the resilience of Ocean ecosystems. In this regard, the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is instrumental, recognizing that the UNFCCC is, and should remain, the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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Climate Change –& its Intrinsic Linkage to Sustainable Developmenthttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/climate-change-its-intrinsic-linkage-to-sustainable-development/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climate-change-its-intrinsic-linkage-to-sustainable-development http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/climate-change-its-intrinsic-linkage-to-sustainable-development/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 18:03:10 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150755 The Group of 77 has reiterated the relevance and priority it attaches to climate change and its intrinsic linkage to sustainable development. “The goals and targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be more difficult to achieve if we continue to be faced with negative impacts due to climate change,” an Ecuadorean delegate […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, May 26 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has reiterated the relevance and priority it attaches to climate change and its intrinsic linkage to sustainable development.

“The goals and targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be more difficult to achieve if we continue to be faced with negative impacts due to climate change,” an Ecuadorean delegate told a meeting of the UN’s open-ended informal consultative process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, he expressed the Group’s appreciation of the Secretary-General’s comprehensive report which provided an overview on “the effects of climate change on oceans” and the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change.

The report also provided an overview of the relevant legal framework and policies, as well as ways forward to implement Ocean-based adaptation and mitigation actions, climate change resilient sustainable development, capacity building, partnerships, financing and interagency coordination.

“The report gives a valuable background and nurtured us with significant information in order to engage in constructive and productive panel discussions,” he added.

The report also recognizes the vulnerability of the environmental, social and economic implications of the climate change effects on the ocean for developing countries, especially least developed countries (LDC’s), small island developing states (SID’s) and low-lying coastal countries.

The Group acknowledges that the effects of climate change on oceans pose a significant risk to their economies, biodiversity, food security and human health.

“We call on all States and relevant international and regional organizations to continue to enhance their cooperation and coordination to counteract the effects of climate change on oceans for the well-being of humanity, the ocean and the Earth.”

The Group also reiterated that it is essential for developed countries to deliver Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment to developing countries, especially SIDs, LDCs and low-lying developing countries, and provide them with technology transfer and capacity building from the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and their resources.

He said the Group is concerned with ocean warming and how it is expected to substantially impact specific species, and broadly impact ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Group noted the implications that the continuing warming of the Oceans, with the strongest warming being projected for the surface in tropical and Northern Hemisphere subtropical regions, has on the distribution of marine species for catch potential of fish and invertebrates.

As the distribution ranges of most marines species will shift towards the poles, this will shift provisioning services to benefit the middle and moderately high latitudes (often highly developed) at the expense of low latitudes, where small-scale (subsistence) fishing is important for food security.

The Group is of the view that a space could be found to discuss the redistribution of marine species for catch potential of fish and invertebrates, and a way to address its environmental, social and economic implications for countries located in tropical and Northern Hemisphere subtropical regions, in particular for LDC’s, SID’s and low-lying coastal countries.

The Group is also conscious that increasing seawater temperatures provide more energy for storms that develop at the sea affecting coastal areas exposing them to dangers caused by storms and other extreme weather events.

The exchange of heat between the ocean and atmosphere has led to changes in winds leading to fewer, but more intense tropical cyclones globally and in phenomena such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

The Group emphasized its concerns for the importance of strengthening international cooperation in the face of disasters, weather-related hazards, and the adverse effects of climate change to prevent major damage and ensure an adequate response and attention to the affected population in a timely manner in order to ensure resilience to their impacts, and recognizing in this regard, the importance of developing coordinated multi-hazard early warning systems and risk assessments.

“We are concerned with the total or partial loss of land territory on maritime limits that may result from sea level rise. We believe that this impact could be further discussed,” he noted.

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High Level Political Forum to Discuss Poverty Eradicationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/high-level-political-forum-to-discuss-poverty-eradication/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=high-level-political-forum-to-discuss-poverty-eradication http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/high-level-political-forum-to-discuss-poverty-eradication/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 17:53:27 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150753 The Group of 77 is calling for a “substantive outcome document” at the conclusion of the upcoming High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development scheduled to take place July 10-19. The Forum will also include a three day ministerial meeting July 17-19. The theme of the Forum will be ”Eradicating Poverty & Promoting Prosperity in […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, May 26 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 is calling for a “substantive outcome document” at the conclusion of the upcoming High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development scheduled to take place July 10-19.

The Forum will also include a three day ministerial meeting July 17-19.

The theme of the Forum will be ”Eradicating Poverty & Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”. The meeting is to be convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, an Ecuadorean delegate told a briefing that it was essential for the HLPF to “produce a concise yet powerful and substantive outcome document.”

First, in order to maintain consistency with the theme of the HLPF 2017, “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”, the document should emphasize at the outset and in its introductory part our overarching common goal to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.

This should include extreme poverty, recognized as the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, while making the linkages with the cross-cutting nature of all the SDGs.

Poverty eradication, ending hunger, healthy lives and well-being, gender equality, infrastructure, industrialization, innovation, conservation and sustainable use the oceans, as well as means of implementation, must be adequately aligned with the theme, he added.

Second, almost two years have passed since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, while considerable effort is being exerted on implementing the Agenda, “yet we must acknowledge the sobering reality that the pace we are on will not deliver it, indeed, we are still distant from a clear path towards its full implementation.”

The Ecuadorean delegate also said: “We believe that the zero draft of the outcome document should improve on the over-emphasis presented in the draft elements paper on the social dimension of sustainable development by expanding on the economic and environmental dimensions, while underscoring the integrated, indivisible and universal nature of the SDGs, restating the importance of its linkages, and balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as for humanity to live in harmony with nature.”

The zero draft should also reaffirm the principles recognized in Agenda 2030, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. It should also reflect references to relevant intergovernmental policy documents, such as the New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito and the entry into force of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UNFCCC.

While underlining the importance of achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls and the role of youth in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the zero draft should make this reference not in the introductory part, but in a more adequate section, with a view to appropriately reflect a balance in all vulnerable groups that need to be empowered.

Although the Group supports the need for the ongoing discussions on the reform of the UN Development System, which is still a work in progress, most notably within the mandate of the QCPR resolution, both HLPF and ECOSOC HLS might not be the appropriate fora to address this subject.

“In any case, we should recognize the importance for the UN Development System to continue to support developing countries in their efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals and their development objectives.”

Third, in the “Framing the Declaration”, “Progress to-date” and “Gaps and Challenges” sections, the following should be taken note of:

“Given that this will be the first year of thematic reviews, we should reflect it fully into the outcome document.”

Thus, It is fundamental to encompass a clear “goal-by-goal” reference to each of the SDG’s that will be reviewed in-depth in HLPF 2017, while safeguarding the integrated nature of Agenda 2030.

The Group also believe that a treatment of all levels, including the regional level, is fundamental to a thorough treatment of the SDGs.

Fourth, on Countries in special situations:

“Given our common endeavor to eradicate poverty and to achieve shared prosperity for all, the document should adequately recognize all categories of countries in special situation and emphasize their need for stronger support.”

Fifth, on means of implementation and partnerships:

The G77, joined by China, believes that the treatment of the issue of “means of implementation” to achieve sustainable development should be enhanced throughout the document as an important element of follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda.

In this regard SDG 17, being annually considered and assessed, and bearing in mind its cross-cutting nature, should be reviewed in-depth on equal footing as the other SDGs that will be reviewed each year, and should also be discussed on this part of the document on MOIs.

The Group also believes that the treatment of South-South Cooperation should be included, and recalling it as a complement rather than a substitute for North-South Cooperation.

Sixth, on Follow up and Review:

The Group emphasized the need to avoid reference to “Monitoring”.

“We should also acknowledge countries that presented their Voluntarily National Reviews last year, highlight this year’s reviews, while stating that all countries are making efforts in line with their national priorities and different levels of national development and capabilities.”

A win-win cooperation approach should be considered for achieving SDGs. Wider mechanisms for consultation and participation by individuals in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda will enhance the sense of contribution, involvement and shared benefits.

“We should encourage the involvement of all stakeholders and not only that of civil society,” he declared.

According to the UN, the set of goals to be reviewed at the Forum include: Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year. The other goals under review include:

• Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
• Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
• Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
• Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
• Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
• Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

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Realization of SDGs Depends on Predictable Financial Flowshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/realization-of-sdgs-depends-on-predictable-financial-flows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=realization-of-sdgs-depends-on-predictable-financial-flows http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/realization-of-sdgs-depends-on-predictable-financial-flows/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 17:24:52 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150747 The realization of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly by developing nations, is dependent largely on “assured and predictable financial flows.” “As such, the mobilization and meaningful use of financial and non-financial resources are essential to accomplish our commitment to end poverty and to achieve Sustainable Development in its three dimensions,” according to […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, May 24 2017 (IPS/G77)

The realization of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly by developing nations, is dependent largely on “assured and predictable financial flows.”

“As such, the mobilization and meaningful use of financial and non-financial resources are essential to accomplish our commitment to end poverty and to achieve Sustainable Development in its three dimensions,” according to the Group of 77.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Carola Iniguez Zambrano, Under-Secretary of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, told the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD) that in allocating development resources, priority should be given to areas that bear most directly on people’s livelihood and development of developing countries, such as poverty eradication, infrastructure development, health and education.

She reiterated the need to strengthen international development cooperation and called for greater international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows, as well as to ensure the return of assets to the countries of origin in a timely manner, in line with domestic and international law.

“We will continue promoting the upgrade of the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body with experts representing their respective governments. We recognize the work of the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters and call on Member States, relevant organizations and other potential donors, to contribute generously to the Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters to supplement regular budgetary resources, to enable the Committee to fulfil its mandate,” she told delegates.

In this context, the Group recalled the importance of an equitable geographical distribution of members of the Committee of Experts, taking into account an increase in participation of members from developing countries.

There is a need to improve the global economic governance and create an enabling international environment for development.

“The international community should bear in mind the overarching goal of win-win cooperation and work to create a favorable external environment for developing countries”.

The G77, joined by China, “is alarmed at the increase in protectionist rhetoric and tendencies of some developed countries.”

“In this regard, we reaffirm importance of a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.”

“We emphasise the need for balanced outcomes that will allow developing countries to meaningfully engage in global trade.”

Finally, she said, “we express serious concern at the lack of progress in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, particularly domestic support and market access issues of interest to developing countries and the efforts by some members to undermine the commitments contained in the Doha Development Agenda.

“We thus call for the international community to work tirelessly to conclude the Doha Development Round of negotiations and afford priority to issues that address the imbalances and inequities of the current global trading system by agreeing on legally binding outcomes that will allow developing countries to meaningfully engage in equitable global trade.”

The Group also remains committed to addressing climate change, recognizing that its Member States have been and continue to be the most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change, which erode development gains, thereby undermining and delaying the achievement of the goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Group has called for further climate action and predictable and sustainable support, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, especially those particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, as provided for in the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC and other existing commitments under the convention.

“We would like to stress our commitment to addressing the challenges faced by countries in special situations, in particular African countries, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small-island developing States (SIDS), the need for special attention to countries in conflict and post-conflict situations and countries and peoples under colonial or foreign occupation as well as the specific challenges faced by middle-income countries.”

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Developing Nations Seek to Reduce Digital Dividehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/developing-nations-seek-to-reduce-digital-divide/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=developing-nations-seek-to-reduce-digital-divide http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/developing-nations-seek-to-reduce-digital-divide/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 18:08:07 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150757 As the international community takes rapid strides in the world of high technology, there is a growing “digital divide” between developed and developing countries. As a result, the ability of developing countries to sustain healthy levels of sustainable growth has been affected by the lack of adequate technology infrastructure. Speaking on behalf of the Group […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, May 18 2017 (IPS/G77)

As the international community takes rapid strides in the world of high technology, there is a growing “digital divide” between developed and developing countries.

As a result, the ability of developing countries to sustain healthy levels of sustainable growth has been affected by the lack of adequate technology infrastructure.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, a delegate from Ecuador underlined the importance of promoting the development and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in strengthening infrastructure, as well as capacity building.

This, in effect, includes rapid universal and affordable access to the Internet, the G77 delegate told the General Assembly’s High-Level meeting on Innovation and Connectivity.

He pointed out that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide, and to develop knowledge societies, as scientific and technological innovation does across areas as diverse as medicine and energy.

However, inequality on innovative capacity, connectivity and access to technology, including information and communications technology, are prevailing conditions within and among countries, he noted.

Unless there are concrete mechanisms for the transfer and diffusion of technology, one of the most transformative means to implement sustainable development, “we will never achieve the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he warned.

The Group of 77, joined by China, renewed its commitment to work in a constructive manner in the field of ICTs.

“Let’s take this occasion to exchange views and suggest concrete actions to reduce the digital gap for the benefit of all,” he declared.

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“Seeing Progress, Though Still Not Enough” on Tax Justicehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/seeing-progress-though-still-not-enough-on-tax-justice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seeing-progress-though-still-not-enough-on-tax-justice http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/seeing-progress-though-still-not-enough-on-tax-justice/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 14:21:49 +0000 Tharanga Yakupitiyage http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150459 Interview with Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long

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Guillaume Long

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, May 18 2017 (IPS/G77)

The time is now to work together to fight illicit financial flows, according to Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long.

Ecuador, which has long advocated for tax justice, has shed light on the issue at the United Nations. As Chairman of the Group of 77, Long highlighted the need to end the financial secrecy of tax havens and to create an intergovernmental body to help regulate taxation and financial flows.

In an interview with IPS, Long explains the issues, challenges, and goals towards tax justice.

Q: The President of the General Assembly said that SDG financing is going to take 6$ trillion annually and then $30 trillion through 2030. Do you think much-needed finances will be made available if the current rate of illicit financial flows is curbed?

A: I think it’s huge what you can get from curbing illicit flows and basically from tax dodging or tax evasion. In the case of Ecuador, we calculated that an approximate amount of $30 billion is held in tax havens. Just so you get a general idea of what that means, Ecuador’s GDP is roughly around $100 billion, so $30 billion means almost 1/3rd of our GDP. Most countries struggle to grow, but here you’ve got 30 percent of GDP hidden away, literally being robbed from us in tax havens.

That means less investment, less dynamism in the economy, less creation of jobs but also less taxes and it’s those taxes that are used for public policies to reduce poverty, reduce inequality, and create much needed infrastructure.

There are lots of statistics that we can throw around but there are have been estimates that public infrastructure that is needed right now in the developing world is roughly $1.5 trillion. This is hospitals, schools—the kind of infrastructure that the developing world needs to reduce huge rates of inequality, poverty, and some of the things we are trying to amend through, for example, the SDGs. And that’s only probably about 15% of illegal assets held abroad in tax havens and various offshore accounts.

It could revolutionize and dramatically transform the story and history of development. And it would certainly be one of the best sources of financing for development, which is the big thing. Now that we have come to an agreement on the 2030 Goals and what it is that we want to do, the next question is how do we do this? And we have to do this with resources.

Some resources are available to us, but many others aren’t and this is basically through tax dodging. This is also fundamentally a practice that is carried out by elites and therefore it also means that you get greater rates of inequality.

In a continent or a region like Latin America—if you do a per capita average then it is the middle class, but we know that averages hide huge disparities, and Latin America is actually the most unequal region in the world and a lot of that has to do with elites not being a willing part of the social contract.

And a major aspect of the social contract is taxation and not participating in tax dodging.

Q: How much does the developing world, particularly Africa, Asia, and Latin America, lose to illicit financial flows?

A: There are huge numbers that are being reported. Oxfam talks of $7.6 trillion in tax dodging—I’m not even talking about illicit financial flows, not even talking about offshore accounts, I’m talking about $7.6 trillion in tax dodging. That’s Oxfam’s number.

In the case of Ecuador, we are talking about $30 billion that we believe are held currently in secret accounts offshore. This is why Ecuador has taken this issue so seriously. We’ve been talking about tax havens and tax avoidance for years, particularly in this government in the last ten years with the Presidency of Rafael Correa. But after the Panama Papers scandal last year, President Correa really launched this as his priority and as a major crusade. He even launched what he called an “Ethical Pact” which included a referendum in Ecuador to ban civil servants and elected officials from holding assets in tax havens. If you are found to hold assets in tax havens, you can be removed from office automatically.

I really think Ecuador is one of the countries, if not the only country in the world, that’s done the most. This referendum, which was successful in terms of its results, is an example to the world. And I think Ecuador has been the most proactive country in the year that’s transpired since the revelations of the Panama Papers in taking concrete and bold steps.

Another major thing that we have been doing on the international front is from our presidency of the G77 which we currently chair. We have pushed for the creation of an intergovernmental body on tax justice. We had a workshop this morning which was co-chaired by Ecuador, India, and South Africa with huge participation exactly on this issue.

There is an opportunity—now that the issue is back at the forefront of the media, it means that we have to maximize that opportunity to try and create mechanisms, particularly inside the United Nations, that fight tax dodging. Those things we can deal with if we have the right tools and institutions to fight that.

Q: What are your thoughts on public disclosures on tax havens like the Panama Papers? Is that something that is needed more in order to increase transparency and action on tax havens?

A: Whistle blowing plays an important role. When information is public and people find out about these things if their politicians have been hiding money and fog them—most politicians have a very patriotic discourse saying they’re going to create jobs and economic activity and bring foreign investment. But surely there is a paradox and a contradiction if you are saying ‘vote for me because I’ll bring loads of foreign investment into the country’ and then on the other hand you’ve got all your personal assets hidden away somewhere without paying taxes. I think when those contradictions and lies and I would use the world ‘robbery’ especially if you are dodging taxes, are exposed then that’s a good thing. It creates greater consciousness.

In fact, I would say that I think this is a time of great opportunity because since the Panama Papers scandal, a lot of countries that could be considered to be tax havens are starting to take measures because they are under increasing pressure by people and by countries like Ecuador and also other countries to do something about it. The fact that we are having this debate today and the fact that I am talking to you is not necessarily in the tax haven’s interest, because it brings the spotlight onto their activities so, generally speaking, those kinds of public disclosures are a very important part of creating a general awareness that this must stop.

There are a lot of double standards too. On the one hand, developing countries are under pressure for all sorts of things. They’ve got to grow, they’ve got to be good economically, they’ve got to guarantee human rights—all of these things which we absolutely abide by and are very committed to, but surely there is a contradiction with having to do that and then on the other hand, all of these countries that are kind of sermonizing the rest of the world from their kind of civilizational pedestal are reaping the benefits of all the crony and corrupt elites of the developing countries depositing their money in these bank accounts without paying taxes.

So there’s a hypocrisy there that has to be exposed. And if these public disclosures can help to do that, then so be it.

Q: Has there been any progress since the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) adoption of the ‘UN Code of Conduct on Cooperation in Combating International Tax Evasion’?

A: That was a very important step. It was the first piece of important legislation and regulatory result that came out of the Committee of Experts in a long time. So we are seeing progress, though still not enough, but still progress. And that has to do with what we’re talking about, that it is back on the agenda.

Now there is a new step, which I think is very important, that the Secretary-General from June onwards is going to be naming the members of the Committee of Experts. So that’s also a positive development because it obviously raises the stakes and gives it more political clout.

However, Ecuador’s position is that we celebrate that the Committee of Experts was created with largely the fruit of debate that goes back to Monterrey in 2002. But now we think that the Committee of Experts is insufficient and that we need something else. We need something with more clout, with more accountability, with more relation with the United Nations system itself and the governmental nature of this organization.

You have it in other spheres—if you look at trade, the World Trade Organization is a regulatory body at the highest level for trade; the Intellectual Property Organization is a regulatory body for intellectual property at the highest level.

Those institutions exist because it is the interest of big capital that they should exist. Big capital is in favor of free trade, and if a country stands in the way of free trade, then you get reprimanded. But it’s not necessarily in the interest of big capital to have the equivalent in the field of taxation. This is an important concept that we should bear in mind. A lot of the institutions of global governance that we have inherited also respond to specific interests and not always to the interests of the most powerless in society. They respond to the interests of the most powerful in society.

And why should trade be more important than taxation? Probably in terms of redistribution, taxation is more important than trade. Although, nobody is saying that trade isn’t important for the overall accumulation of wealth of different countries, but in terms of redistribution and in terms of capacity of the state to work towards the 2030 Agenda, then surely [taxation] plays a huge role. And yet, we are fighting here for what? Not even for the outcome of what this body might decide, we are fighting for the creation of a body, we are fighting for the debate to exist, we are fighting for the rights of states to be a part of the debate, including tax havens, because if we do get an intergovernmental body, then any country can be a part of the intergovernmental body, including obviously tax havens.

It is great that we are getting closer, but it is frustrating that we are still talking about a fight in order to create an institution that will then dedicate itself to fighting for a greater outcome, which is tax justice. We are not even fighting for tax justice; we are fighting for the right to have the corresponding institutions just like you have them in the fields of trade and intellectual property and others.

Q: Are you proposing a new UN tax body or are you hoping to transform the Committee of Experts into an intergovernmental body that you have proposed?

A: We are looking to transform the Committee of Experts but we are very open to different kinds of formats. We are trying to create consensus and if you are trying to create consensus—I mean, we preside over the G77, that’s 134 nations so creating consensus between 134 nations is already a tall order—but at the end of the day, we are actually trying to create consensus between 193 nations of the United Nations and that includes tax havens, countries that have been a little pro-status quo particularly in the OECD, and a lot of countries that are not in the G77.

So we are open to all sorts of different outcomes. We just want to raise the hierarchy, the political clout, the visibility, the strength of the body. There are a number of initiatives. Some people have talked about keeping it within the ECOSOC while others want to elevate it to the General Assembly—there’s a huge debate within the G77 about it. But there is consensus among 134 nations of the G77 that it should be an intergovernmental body. And that’s something that we are trying to do, through our presidency, to express the will of the nations that are members of our group.

Q: How feasible is the proposal for an intergovernmental body for approval by the General Assembly?

A: I think multilateralism is a slow process always. I think we are getting closer, significantly closer. And I think that the big conference on financing for development in the next few weeks should make significant progress. I think we will find that there is much more consensus than there was in Addis Ababa in 2015.

Most countries from the Global South have these discussions about tax justice and the right to development. But a number of countries from the G20 or OECD or more industrialized countries have also started to be flexible in their position. We are seeing changes. In the workshop we had today, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago, we had loads of tax havens present. Not just tax havens that are blacklisted in the Global South by the Global North but tax havens from Europe and from other parts of the world. And they were there because they want to listen in on the debate, which shows that at least they are concerned or interested and some of them actually spoke out and said they are making changes and showing a greater commitment.

There is another major thing which is the securitization of the issue. For some countries, the issue of terrorism is a big thing. Where do terrorists hide their money? Well, increasingly in constituencies that enjoy banking secrecy and those tend to be tax havens. If we can all at least agree on the outcome which is greater accountability and greater regulations on that matter, even if it is for different reasons, it’s about consensus building and that’s what multilateralism is about.

Q: So would this proposed UN tax body help bring such international cooperation in tackling illicit financial flows?

A: That’s exactly right. It’s not just about naming and shaming tax havens. It’s just like how commercial dumping, just to use an example, is frowned upon and you can have regulations to stop that. You can have the same in taxation. If suddenly you have two neighboring countries in a European setting, even if they are developed countries, and they start this kind of taxation war by lowering their taxes in order to try to suck capital and investment out of each other in this kind of race to the bottom, then a [UN tax] body like that should be able to intervene and should be able to make at least the right recommendations. Whether those recommendations become compulsory then that’s another debate. But it should be a body, like you have in other fields, that has the capacity to make clear recommendations.

Q: Have you faced or expect to face opposition for this proposal, especially from the Global North?

A: For sure. The G77 has been facing—basically with the same position I am presenting to you is not a new position, the position has been going on for decades and there has been clear language on behalf of the G77.

It is interesting because within the G77, you actually have tax havens as well. But even those tax havens have accepted that an intergovernmental body, which doesn’t exclude them, is quite a good measure if you want to have a serious debate and discussion between member States on this issue. This has been the position of the G77 which has been resisted for decades. There has been loads of opposition.

We saw it in Addis Ababa, particularly members of the G7 or the G20 and lots of opposition from the OECD countries and opposition from countries that are not always considered to be tax havens in the kind of stereotypical manner. Countries like the United Kingdom, which has been opposed to this very much, not only because of its own policies but also because of what is euphemistically called non-autonomous territories.

The five biggest tax havens in relative terms of the offshore assets per GDP index are non-autonomous territories and four of the five are British, while one is a U.S. territory. They are not sovereign nations and they are not members of the United Nations. That’s an important issue and it’s not surprising that there is opposition when we are trying to move away from this.

The Panama Papers singled out Panama and actually Panama is making quite significant efforts to move away from that image. And we have been critical of Panama because of its tax system and we are very happy to see them move away from such practices. But actually, Panama is not necessarily in the top five in terms of the GDP index. The very people who even write up the black lists are not free of tax malpractice themselves.

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Developing Nations Seek Access to Science, Technology & Innovationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/developing-nations-seek-access-to-science-technology-innovation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=developing-nations-seek-access-to-science-technology-innovation http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/05/developing-nations-seek-access-to-science-technology-innovation/#respond Tue, 16 May 2017 17:34:41 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150750 The Group of 77 has reiterated that science, technology and innovation (STI) should be three key elements in helping implement sustainable development and moving towards the acquisition of knowledge for much-needed innovation in developing countries. Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Helena Yanez Loza, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador, told the […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, May 16 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has reiterated that science, technology and innovation (STI) should be three key elements in helping implement sustainable development and moving towards the acquisition of knowledge for much-needed innovation in developing countries.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Helena Yanez Loza, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador, told the second annual multi-stakeholder Forum on STI that without a breakthrough in international cooperation in the field of technology, shifting to a more sustainable path would be very difficult and burdensome for developing countries.

She said there is an urgent need to channel effective and sustainable technical assistance and capacity-building tailored to the specific needs and constraints of developing countries, to address technology infrastructure gaps as well as capacity constraints.

This is particularly relevant to African countries, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries and people under foreign occupation.

“We need to fully operationalize the technology bank for the LDC’s, recognizing its potential to foster productive capacity, structural transformation, poverty eradication and sustainable development.”

STI, especially under the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM), encompass the breadth and depth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as technologies are crucial for the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, she argued.

The Group therefore reaffirmed that international development cooperation, especially North-South cooperation, remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable economic growth.

“We urge developed countries to fulfill their unmet Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments. In the same vein it is essential to mobilize domestic resources to support science, technology and innovation. We underscore the increasing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development and reiterate our concern over the negative impacts that illicit financial flows and related tax avoidance and evasion, corruption, and money-laundering have on the world economy, in particular for developing countries,” Ambassador Yanez Loza told delegates.

She also pointed out that technology transfer and diffusion on concessional and preferential terms from developed countries are needed to, inter alia, effectively address and reduce vulnerability to adverse impacts of climate change, to improve ocean health, to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, as well as to strengthen educational institutions and research and development organizations in developing countries.

Meanwhile, the world’s urban population has increased from 2.6 billion (45 per cent of the whole) in 1995 to 3.9 billion (54 per cent) in 2014, most of this population growth taking place in developing countries.

For this reason, the Group underscored that in order to fulfill the New Urban Agenda, access to science, technology, and innovation and enhanced knowledge-sharing, among other means of implementation, are required.

The Group also underlined that traditional knowledge should be fully considered, respected and promoted while developing policies, strategies and programs to foster science, technology and innovation.

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G77 Underlines Key Role for Digital Technology & Social Mediahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/g77-underlines-key-role-for-digital-technology-social-media/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-underlines-key-role-for-digital-technology-social-media http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/g77-underlines-key-role-for-digital-technology-social-media/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:21:27 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150268 Underlining the key role to be played by digital technology in helping implement the UN’s 2030 development agenda, the Group of 77 has said it recognizes the importance of information and communications technologies (ICTs), including social media, and their positive potential to significantly amplify the UN’s messages to the widest possible audiences and to enhance […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 28 2017 (IPS/G77)

Underlining the key role to be played by digital technology in helping implement the UN’s 2030 development agenda, the Group of 77 has said it recognizes the importance of information and communications technologies (ICTs), including social media, and their positive potential to significantly amplify the UN’s messages to the widest possible audiences and to enhance greater interaction with the United Nations, in particular among the global youth population.

However, it cautioned, that the use of traditional media, including television and radio broadcast as well as print, must continue, since they still remain the primary means of public communications in many developing countries.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador and chair of the G77, told the UN Committee on Information the Group would encourage the Department of Public Information (DPI) to continue to promote, through its public campaigns, key decisions and agreements reached by the international community.

These, he pointed out, include agreements on sustainable development, decolonization, the New Urban Agenda, dialogue among civilizations and the culture of peace, the initiative on a world against violence and violent extremism, peacekeeping, disarmament, poverty eradication and climate change.

“The importance of the Department’s work cannot be stressed enough, amid increasing calls for the United Nations to better communicate to and connect with the global public, in order to be better understood and remain relevant,” he added.

Ambassador Borja said the General Assembly resolution 69/324 recognizes that multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding.

The Group fully supports its integration into all activities of the United Nations.

“While we recognize that there has been progress in this issue, the Group continues to be concerned at the disparity in the use of all official languages in United Nations public information materials and platforms, including various social media campaigns,” he noted.

“In this regard, we encourage the Department to reinforce its efforts to continue narrowing the gap among the official languages on United Nations websites and, as a matter of priority, we reiterate the request to design a strategy to deliver daily press releases in all six official languages, in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions.”

In addition, the Group also reiterated its full support for the work of UN Information Centers (UNICs) worldwide in disseminating information about the work of the United Nations in local languages.

“This will not only help overcome the language barrier faced by a large portion of the world population, but also enable them to participate in the discourse on global issues. We therefore encourage the Department to continue supporting them and strengthening their structure regarding both staffing and equipment.”

The G77 chair also warned against the misuse of information technologies. Despite their numerous benefits, information and communications technologies, including social media, can pose a risk of misuse and abuse.

Inaccurate and distorted information can have a negative impact on nations and their citizens.

The Group strongly rejects such practices and reiterates “our position that the use of such technologies should be fully compatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, in particular the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of States, and internationally recognized rules of civil coexistence among States.”

The use of information and communications technologies with declared or covert purposes to subvert the legal and political order of States is a violation of the recognized international norms in this field, whose effects could generate tensions and conflicts which could also affect international peace and security, he declared.

Meanwhile, the Group also said the Question of Palestine and the Middle East peace process deserve special attention.

The Group underscores the importance of the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine in raising international awareness on this important issue and in supporting the political process to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

“We commend the Department’s efforts in this regard, including the annual training program for Palestinian journalists, aimed at strengthening skills and capacities of young Palestinian journalists, and call for their continuation and enhancement.”

The G77 also emphasized the importance of the continued implementation by DPI of the ongoing Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists’ Fellowship Programme for broadcasters and journalists from developing countries as mandated by the General Assembly, and requests the Department to consider how best to maximize the benefits derived from the Programme by extending, inter alia, its duration and the number of its participants.

“We also emphasize the importance of the educational outreach activities of the United Nations and this regard commends “the United Nations Academic Impact” (UNAI) for its engagement with the global academic, research and scientific communities in realizing the objectives of the Organization.”

The Group encourages promoting this initiative, by inviting more institutions of higher education in all regions, especially from developing countries, to contribute actively to, and support the common principles and purposes of the Organization.

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Economic Growth Continues to be Thwarted by Lack of Infrastructurehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/economic-growth-continues-to-be-thwarted-by-lack-of-infrastructure/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=economic-growth-continues-to-be-thwarted-by-lack-of-infrastructure http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/economic-growth-continues-to-be-thwarted-by-lack-of-infrastructure/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:56:10 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150263 The economic growth of developing countries continues to be thwarted by the lack of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. The statistics are staggering: more than 1.2 billion people in the developing world still have no access to electricity; about 783 million people lack access to clean water; 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation; 2.8 billion […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2017 (IPS/G77)

The economic growth of developing countries continues to be thwarted by the lack of sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

The statistics are staggering: more than 1.2 billion people in the developing world still have no access to electricity; about 783 million people lack access to clean water; 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation; 2.8 billion people still cook their food with solid fuels; and one billion people live more than two kilometers from an all-weather road.

Pointing out these major deficiencies, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador and chair of the Group of 77, said the breakdown in infrastructure is due primarily to serious financing challenges facing developing nations caused by insufficient access to resources, both from the public and private sector, and resulting in a wider global infrastructure gap.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Borja said there was an urgent need to bridge this financing gap, including the US$1 trillion to US$1.5 trillion annual gap in developing countries.

In this context, he said, multilateral development banks have a critical role to play in providing financing resources and enhancing access to, and improving quality of, infrastructure services which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Addressing a meeting of the 2017 Global Forum on Infrastructure in Washington DC, he said infrastructure is a powerful driver of economic growth and contributes to economic, social and environmental development.

The participants in the Forum included the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.

The Group reiterated that international development cooperation, especially North-South cooperation, remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable economic growth.

“We urge developed countries to urgently fulfill their unmet Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments. In the same vein, and underscoring the increasing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development, we reiterate our concern over illicit financial flows and related tax avoidance and evasion, corruption and money -laundering, with negative impacts for the world economy, in particular for developing countries,” he declared.

The Group also stressed the importance of eliminating safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows — and the importance of scaling up international tax cooperation and combating illicit financial flows in order to mobilize domestic resources for inclusive and sustainable infrastructure.

At the same, the Group also recognized the important contribution that private investment can make to sustainable development, particularly in infrastructure, through tools and mechanisms such as public-private partnerships.

“In this regard, we acknowledge that impediments to private investment in infrastructure exist on both the supply and demand side.”

Insufficient investment, he said, is due in part to inadequate infrastructure plans and an insufficient number of well-prepared investable projects, along with private sector incentive structures that are not necessarily appropriate for investing in many long-term projects, and risk perceptions of investors.

“We further call for enhanced roles of the multilateral development banks to provide the soft infrastructure through technical support and capacity building programs.”

This calls for the strengthening and increased state-private sector risk alignment of mechanism such as the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and development of more context-responsive investment risk assessment and guarantee mechanisms.

He singled out six categories of developing nations that require special attention: least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries, countries and peoples under colonial and foreign occupation, and middle-income countries facing specific challenges.

These are the most affected developing countries by lack of adequate infrastructure and disaster-risk, particularly in terms of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, in view of their higher vulnerability and risk levels which often greatly exceed the capacity to respond to and recover from disasters.

In this regard, he said, the Group also encourages the Forum to identify and address infrastructure needs and capacity gaps to enhance preparedness in countries affected by the El Niño/ La Niña phenomenon.

In order to enhance coordination between this Forum and the UN System, the ambassador said, the reporting mechanism of the Forum to the annual ECOSOC Forum of Financing for Development follow-up needs to be strengthened.

“We are looking forward to an annual exchange of ideas to improve alignment and coordination among multilateral and national development banks, United Nations agencies, national institutions, development partners and the private sector,” he declared.

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UN’s 2030 Agenda Requires Revitalized Global Partnershipshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/uns-2030-agenda-requires-revitalized-global-partnerships/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uns-2030-agenda-requires-revitalized-global-partnerships http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/uns-2030-agenda-requires-revitalized-global-partnerships/#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:09:18 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150220 The Group of 77 has underlined the importance of increased financial resources and the transfer of technology to developing countries in order to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger by 2030. Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, the delegate from Ecuador told […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 21 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has underlined the importance of increased financial resources and the transfer of technology to developing countries in order to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger by 2030.

ILEANA091615Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, the delegate from Ecuador told the High-Level SDG Financing Lab the implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires a revitalized global partnership.

To that end, partnerships with financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders need to take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development, respecting national policies and priorities.

“We reiterate that enhancing support to developing countries is fundamental, including through the provision of development financial resources, transfer, dissemination, and diffusion of technology to developing countries on favorable, including concessional and preferential terms, as well as capacity-building and a rule-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals,” he told delegates.

He pointed out that financial flows need to be more aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Public finance, both domestic and international, will play a vital role in providing essential services and public goods and in catalyzing other sources of finance.

Private business activity, investment, and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth, and job creation.

He said the Group recognizes the important contribution that direct investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI), can make to sustainable development, particularly when projects are aligned with national and regional sustainable development strategies.

“Therefore, we call upon all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.”

The Group also expressed concern that many of the least developed countries (LDCs) continue to be largely sidelined by FDI that could help to diversify their economies.

The Group stressed the importance of increasing efforts to address financing gaps and low levels of direct investment faced by landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), many middle-income countries, as well as countries and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, and countries in a situation of conflict and post-conflict.

Moreover, to build adequate conditions to unlock financial resources and ensure that both public and private finance is channeled towards the SDGs, developing countries will need to improve their investment climate.

In this regard, he said, official development assistance (ODA) can help catalyze additional resource mobilization from other sources, public and private.

It can support improved tax collection and help to strengthen domestic enabling environments and build essential public services. It can also be used to unlock additional finance through blended or pooled financing and risk mitigation, notably for infrastructure and other investments that support private sector development.

The Group reassured its readiness to work in ensuring proper and effective follow-up of the financing for development outcomes and all the means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

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G77 Confident on New Treaty on Marine Resourceshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/g77-in-key-role-drafting-treaty-on-marine-resources/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-in-key-role-drafting-treaty-on-marine-resources http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/g77-in-key-role-drafting-treaty-on-marine-resources/#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:33:30 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150214 The Group of 77 is taking an active role in the drafting of an international legally-binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The new treaty, when finalized, will come under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), according a General […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 21 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 is taking an active role in the drafting of an international legally-binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

The new treaty, when finalized, will come under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), according a General Assembly resolution adopted back in June 2015.

The third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting, which was held March 28 through 8 April, will be followed by a fourth session scheduled to take place from 29 August to 12 September.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador and G77 chair, expressed confidence that by the end of the 4th session of the PrepCom, “we will be able to fulfill this mandate and to make substantive recommendations to the General Assembly on the elements of a draft text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea and before the end of the 72nd session.”

The General Assembly will then decide on the convening — and on the starting date—for an intergovernmental conference on the proposed treaty.

Ambassador Borja also requested the Chair of the PrepCom, Ambassador Carlos Duarte, to prepare a paper consolidating and streamlining what has been expressed on the floor and in the written submissions, to be circulated before the beginning of the 4th PrepCom in August.

“Given the progress made, we consider that a set of draft recommendations reflecting the substantive elements could be useful and valuable. It would help us to prepare for and lead us to engage into productive and constructive discussions for the next session and we would request that you prepare such a draft to be shared at the earliest possible date,” he added.

He also pointed out that the PrepCom has been mandated to report to the General Assembly on its progress before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, a delegate from Ecuador, addressed some of the cross-cutting issues such as the scope, objectives, and guiding approaches and principles of the proposed new legally binding instrument on BBNJ– as well as the definitions of different terms that are of technical nature or need more clarification.

Addressing the third PrepCom meeting, he said the Group of 77 would like to reiterate that the new instrument should not undermine existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies as it is stated in the resolution 69/292.

This instrument should reflect sustainable use of resources in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) and consider mechanisms for its rehabilitation in order to achieve sustainability.

To this end, the Group of 77, joined by China, believes there is merit in looking at structure of existing organizations and convention bodies such as the International Seabed Authority, the International Maritime Organization, the UNFCCC, etc., to consider lessons learned and best practices, while accomplishing universality, in an effort to determine the most effective mechanisms going forward.

At this juncture and without prejudice to the further consideration of the nomenclature of institutional bodies of the new instrument, institutional bodies could include 1) a secretariat; 2) a decision-making body such as Conference of Parties (COP); 3) a scientific and technical body with an advisory competence which can play a role in the establishment of ABMTs, including MPAs; 4) a clearinghouse mechanism to promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation, knowledge and data sharing as well as 5) a mechanism in charge of access and benefit sharing of MGRs, he noted.

Regarding the question of definitions, the Group is of the view that it can inspire from the existing instruments where some notions are defined in order to scope and give effect to the instrument.

“We believe that all the notions contained in the objective or main topics of the new instrument such as marine biological diversity, areas beyond national jurisdiction deserve to be defined. Furthermore, ‘marine genetic resources’ (MGRs), ‘utilization of marine genetic resources’ as well as their related technical notions should also be defined,” he declared.

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UN the Only Universal Forum for International Tax Reformshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/un-the-only-universal-forum-for-international-tax-reforms/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=un-the-only-universal-forum-for-international-tax-reforms http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/un-the-only-universal-forum-for-international-tax-reforms/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:01:26 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150218 The Group of 77 has declared that the United Nations is the only universal forum that can openly discuss issues relating to international tax reforms. With increasing reports of illicit financial flows having a devastating impact on the economies of developing nations, the Group is seeking a dialogue among national tax authorities underscoring the importance […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 20 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has declared that the United Nations is the only universal forum that can openly discuss issues relating to international tax reforms.

With increasing reports of illicit financial flows having a devastating impact on the economies of developing nations, the Group is seeking a dialogue among national tax authorities underscoring the importance of the growing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development.

The Group of 77, joined by China, has pointed out that there is still no single global inclusive forum for international tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level.

While it may be indicated that a certain level of dialogue and initiative actions are taking place at the international level regarding cooperation on tax matters, the Group underscores that the United Nations is the only universal forum where these issues can be discussed in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, “considering that other processes might be outlined from a perspective that safeguards the interests of constituents from developed countries.”

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Carola Iniguez, Under-Secretary of International Organizations of Ecuador, told a special meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope, and should fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries.

The subject under discussion was titled “International Cooperation on Tax Matters”.

The Group emphasized the importance of inclusive cooperation and dialogue among national tax authorities on international tax matters, and underscored the importance of the increasing recognition of the central role of tax systems in development, and stressed the importance of scaling up international tax cooperation and combating illicit financial flows in order to mobilize domestic resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Group also underlined the importance of coordinated and enhanced action towards eliminating safe havens that create incentives for transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows.

“We reiterate our commitment to work to strengthen international cooperation and national institutions to combat money-laundering and financing of terrorism, which have serious implications for economic development and social cohesion,” she told delegates.

In Africa alone, the estimated resources leaving the continent, in the form of illicit financial transfers, was nearly 530 billion dollars between 2002 and 2012, according to the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Group also highlighted the need to strengthen the Committee of Experts and called on Member States, relevant organizations and other potential donors, to contribute generously to the Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters established by the Secretary-General, to supplement regular budgetary resources, to enable the Committee to fulfil its mandate.

At the same time, the Group underlined the importance of an equitable geographical distribution of members of the Committee of Experts and invited developing countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs), to nominate candidates as members of the Committee of Experts, taking into account an increased participation of members from developing countries with a view to reflect a balanced representation of different tax systems and to fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries.

The Group urged the Committee and its subcommittees to fulfill its mandate– considering new and emerging issues that have extensively affected domestic resources mobilization, especially illicit financial flows, tax evasion and corruption– with a view to eventually eliminating them through strengthened national regulation and increased international cooperation, taking into account the best practices and lessons learned on tax policy and administration.

Additionally, the Group urged Member States to consider the upgrading of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, by transforming it from experts acting in their own capacity, to an inter-governmental subsidiary body of ECOSOC, with experts representing their respective governments. This upgrading is necessary and important to allow all Member States to participate in a mechanism that is inclusive and participatory.

The Group said it stands ready to engage actively and constructively with Member States and the Council in order to make the global discourse in tax matters to be as transparent and inclusive as possible.

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Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Boost 2030 Development Agendahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/strengthening-south-south-cooperation-to-boost-2030-development-agenda/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=strengthening-south-south-cooperation-to-boost-2030-development-agenda http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/04/strengthening-south-south-cooperation-to-boost-2030-development-agenda/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:55:50 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=150217 The Group of 77 has reiterated the urgent need for strengthening South-South cooperation for the successful implementation of one of the UN’s key objectives targeted over the next 13 years: the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador, chair of the G77, welcomed […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 20 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has reiterated the urgent need for strengthening South-South cooperation for the successful implementation of one of the UN’s key objectives targeted over the next 13 years: the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Horacio Sevilla Borja, Ambassador of Ecuador to the UN

Horacio Sevilla Borja, Ambassador of Ecuador to the UN

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador, chair of the G77, welcomed the progress, and reaffirmed the importance, of further strengthening South-South cooperation projects and initiatives, especially in the current international economic environment.

“The Group reaffirms that South-South cooperation is a collective endeavor of developing countries, based on the principle of solidarity. However, the Group reiterates its position that South-South cooperation is a complement, rather than a substitute for North-South cooperation,” he noted.

Addressing the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the G77 chair said there is an urgent need to channel effective and sustainable support in accordance with specific needs and constraints of developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land-Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as well as countries and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, and countries in situation of conflict and post-conflict.

At the same time, he underlined the importance of “a robust, effective, transparent, and long term Global Partnership of public and private sectors to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.”

But this, he said, should take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development, respecting national policies and priorities, through the delivery of the means of implementation, as contained in Sustainable Development Goal 17, as well as in each specific Sustainable Development Goal.

The ECOSOC debate was titled “Partnerships for Promoting Opportunities, Increased Prosperity and Sustainable Development For All.”

The G77 encourages the transfer of technologies to developing countries on favorable terms, as well as capacity-building and a rule-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, the G77 chair added.

“While we fully support United Nations multi-stakeholder partnerships, we also emphasize the importance of coordination in engaging potential partners between entities within the UN System, according to their respective mandates. ECOSOC as the main coordinating organ for partnerships has a significant role in this regard, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) could lead in undertaking a mapping exercise of UN partnership initiatives,” he declared.

He pointed out that UN multi-stakeholder partnerships must be based on transparency and accountability.

“It would be highly appreciated if information could be made available regarding the partners, their contributions and matching funds and projects for all partnerships with the UN, including at the country level. It would also be helpful if systematic reporting on such partnerships to the relevant Executive Boards could be strengthened.”

He said it was especially timely that ECOSOC discuss the issue of guidelines and principles for UN-associated partnerships, as it is important to debate on ways to enhance Member States’ oversight of partnerships involving the United Nations.

This will enable Member States to examine and adopt guidelines to improve transparency, coherence, impact, accountability and due diligence in partnerships between the United Nations and the private sector, philanthropic organizations, academia and other related stakeholders.

“In the light of the continued imbalance of funding structure for the UN development system, we highlight that partnerships between entities of the UN development system and other stakeholders should aim to prevent further imbalance between core and non-core resources, while giving priority to the former,” he noted

Finally, to enhance global partnership for development, “we reiterate the need for developed countries to fulfill their commitments regarding Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries and to provide genuine debt relief to LDCs.”

The Group of 77 and China reassures its readiness to work with all stakeholders to encourage effective partnerships, including public, public-private and with civil society, to enhance synergies on our joint efforts for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ambassador added.

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Developing Nations Support Proposed New Global Compact on Migrantshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/03/developing-nations-support-proposed-new-global-compact-on-migrants/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=developing-nations-support-proposed-new-global-compact-on-migrants http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/03/developing-nations-support-proposed-new-global-compact-on-migrants/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:51:46 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=149786 The Group of 77, joined by China, has extended its strong support for a proposed new global compact on migrants. The UN General Assembly, which approved the relevant resolution last month, will soon begin a preparatory process for inter-governmental negotiations for “a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.” The proposal is expected to […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 30 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77, joined by China, has extended its strong support for a proposed new global compact on migrants.

The UN General Assembly, which approved the relevant resolution last month, will soon begin a preparatory process for inter-governmental negotiations for “a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.”

The proposal is expected to be adopted at an inter-governmental conference on international migration in 2018.

The Group told the Fifth Committee it fully supports the provision of the resources requested by the Secretary-General, including additional resource requirements in the amount of $1,244,700 for 2017 under the programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017.

The Group said it recalls all mandates approved by the resolution 71/1, entitled “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants”, which launched the process of intergovernmental negotiations for the adoption the proposed global compact.

As part of the preparatory process, the President of the General Assembly (PGA) will organize a series of informal thematic sessions between April 2017 and November 2017, as well as four days of informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearings between April 2017 and June 2018.

The organizational arrangements for the preparatory process have been agreed and the resolution on them will be formally adopted soon in the UN General Assembly.

Although the resolution is pending formal adoption by the Assembly, the PGA is initiating the process for relevant stakeholders to apply to participate in the process, in consideration that the preparatory process is envisioned to begin in April 2017.

The final modalities of the preparatory process remain subject to the formal adoption of the resolution.

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G77 Calls for Access & Benefit-Sharing of Marine Genetic Resourceshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/03/g77-calls-for-access-benefit-sharing-of-marine-genetic-resources/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=g77-calls-for-access-benefit-sharing-of-marine-genetic-resources http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/03/g77-calls-for-access-benefit-sharing-of-marine-genetic-resources/#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:22:35 +0000 an IPS Correspondent http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=149778 The Group of 77 has strongly underlined the significance of marine genetic resources (MGRs) to the economies of developing nations. Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, Luis Ona Garces of the Ecuadorean Mission to the UN told a meeting of the Preparatory Committee that the Group reaffirms the importance of […]

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By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 28 2017 (IPS/G77)

The Group of 77 has strongly underlined the significance of marine genetic resources (MGRs) to the economies of developing nations.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, joined by China, Luis Ona Garces of the Ecuadorean Mission to the UN told a meeting of the Preparatory Committee that the Group reaffirms the importance of access and benefit sharing of marine genetic resources and reiterates that the principle of common heritage of mankind must underpin the new regime governing MGRs of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

“Given its crosscutting nature, the principle should be at the core of the new instrument,” he added

The common heritage of mankind provides the legal foundation for a fair and equitable regime of conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Over the course of the past sessions, he said, the Group has continued to emphasize that marine biodiversity represents a potential, in terms of economic prosperity, and a challenge, in terms of conservation and global food security, for humanity as a whole.

“However, the ability and capacity of countries to benefit from the potential, and to address such challenges, is not equal, creating a situation in which some access, exploit and benefit from these resources without the concomitant obligation to share the benefits. It is important to work in a provision that define access and benefit sharing obligations and overall compliance,” he added.

“We are of the view that the benefits should be both monetary and nonmonetary. The non-monetary benefits should comprise of access to all forms of resources, data and related knowledge, transfer of technology and capacity building as well as facilitation of marine scientific research on MGRs of areas beyond national jurisdiction”.

The Group, he pointed out, “was also open to discuss the different modalities of monetary benefits on the basis– but would not be limited– to those mentioned in our written submission, which would make their sharing of benefit most effective and responsive to the protection and preservation of marine environment, and the needs and interests regarding marine scientific research as well as the development opportunities of the developing countries, including future generations.”

In this sense, a clearinghouse mechanism could be established and a protocol or code of conduct or guidelines could be developed within the said mechanism in order to ensure environmental protection compliance and ensure transparency in the use of marine genetic resources of areas beyond national jurisdiction, he declared.

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