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The high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development in 2017 convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is being held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017 in New York under the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. A three-day ministerial segment of the forum will take place from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
 
H.E. Andrés Mideros, National Secretary of Planning and Development of the Republic of Ecuador, delivered a statement at the opening session on behalf of the Group of 77 and China recalling that the “achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda depends on enabling an international environment for development, facilitating the necessary means of implementation, in particular in the areas of finance, international trade, technology and capacity-building to developing countries”.
Below is the full statement of H.E. Andrés Mideros, National Secretary of Planning and Development of the Republic of Ecuador, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at the general debate of the 2017 high level political forum on sustainable development:

"Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world" (New York, 17 July 2017).

(English version)

Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Andrés Mideros, National Secretary of Planning and Development of the Republic of Ecuador, at the general debate of the 2017 high level political forum on sustainable development: "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world" (New York, 17 July 2017)
   
Mr. President,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

At the outset, please allow me to express the Group's appreciation for convening this very important session which aims to stress to all Member States and Observer States, relevant stakeholders and citizens that the overarching objective of the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development; it is also a central imperative of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to truly leave no one behind.

The Group takes note of the Report of the Secretary General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, which aimed to provide a global overview of the current situation of the Goals, on the basis of the latest available data for indicators in the global indicator framework.

The Group wishes to underscore that the high-level political forum, consistent with its universal intergovernmental character, shall provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development, follow up and review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development and review progress in the implementation of all the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, as well as their respective means of implementation.

The Group allocates special importance for the 2017 HLPF, whose theme is "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world", considering that, without prejudice to the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals, this is the first year that a set of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 1 to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, will be reviewed in-depth annually, including with a yearly assessment of Goal 17, along with means of implementation.

In the 2030 Agenda we already stressed our determination to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. Almost two years have passed since the Agenda's adoption 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. Developing countries continue to face unique challenges in implementing the SDGs.

Mr. President,

Full respect for the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter and international law inspires a full commitment to multilateralism, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We reaffirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity. We stress, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of States, as well as the imperative for States to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

We firmly believe that all states and stakeholders should devote ourselves collectively to the pursuit of "win-win" cooperation for global development on the basis of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world in building a community of shared future for humankind.

We emphasize once again that the international community must address the challenges and needs faced by developing countries, especially countries in special situations, in particular African countries, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as specific challenges that many middle-income countries, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries and peoples living under foreign occupation face.

Let us remember that the 2030 Agenda stresses that people who are vulnerable must be empowered. Those whose needs are reflected in the Agenda include all children, youth, persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80 per cent live in poverty), people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants.

We acknowledge that while extreme poverty has fallen globally, progress has been uneven; 1.6 billion people still live in multidimensional poverty and 767 million people lived below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. We also note with concern that poverty remains a principal cause of hunger, that an estimated 793 million people are still undernourished globally, 155 million children are stunted, and other forms of malnutrition are rising.

While we assess the progress made in this year's SDGs under review, the Group recalls that eradicating poverty, addressing persistent inequalities in income and wealth while ensuring access to opportunities and economic outcomes aimed at equitable and inclusive growth for a healthy, environmentally sustainable, peaceful and prosperous planet, as set out in the 2030 Agenda is a tall order.

Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls are fundamentally linked to sustainable development. It is simply not possible when half the world's population continues to endure discrimination and persistent inequalities and lacks access to basic services, opportunities and economic and other resources.

The Group recognizes that infrastructure is a powerful driver of economic growth and contributes to tremendous economic, social and environmental development, while science, technology and innovation is one of the most transformative means of implementing sustainable development. We emphasize the importance of providing opportunities for developing countries to bridge the technological and digital divide; the urgent need to channel effective and sustainable technical assistance and capacity-building that is tailored to the specific needs and constraints of developing countries; and to develop, disseminate and diffuse and transfer environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favorable terms.

Oceans, seas, islands and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth's ecosystem and are critical for global food security and for sustaining economic prosperity and the well-being of many national economies, particularly in developing countries.

Mr. President,

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda depends on enabling an international environment for development, facilitating the necessary means of implementation, in particular in the areas of finance, international trade, technology and capacity-building to developing countries. In this regard, we call once again for a sincere and effective follow-up to the global commitments of all actors, in particular developed countries. We call on ODA providers to fulfill their respective commitments; stress the importance of South-South Cooperation as a collective endeavor of developing countries and as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation; call for a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system; and emphasize the potential of science, technology and innovation to achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The Group commends the 44 country-led Voluntary National Reviews at the 2017 High-Level Political Forum, which share valuable lessons learned and challenges encountered. We stress the importance of building national capacities for follow-up and review, and the usefulness of making assistance available for developing countries, upon request, for preparing Voluntary National Reviews.

Finally, with regard to the Ministerial Declaration for the 2017 HLPF and the ECOSOC high-level segment, the Group reiterates its appreciation to the co-facilitators, and also wishes to note that since the beginning of the negotiations, the Group has exerted a positive attitude and engaged constructively throughout with a view to reaching a meaningful outcome worthy of the importance we and all our stakeholders attach to the 2030 Agenda. Although the compromise text circulated on 10 July 2017 by the co-facilitators falls below the expectations of the Group, we exerted an even greater flexibility to go along with the text as its currently stands. The Group restates its view that the outcome of the spirit of multilateralism and common benefits should prevail and we encourage all member states to join consensus on the text. Any call for reopening the text is not welcomed by the Group, as this might risk unraveling a wide array of requests by other parties for new inclusions and amendments, even of agreed language, driving away the possibility to reach consensus on the entire Declaration, and representing a setback from the spirit of consensus that we greatly prized less than two years ago when our Heads of State and Government adopted the 2030 Agenda.

The Group of 77 and China highlights once again the fundamental dignity of the human person and the need to reach the furthest behind and the most vulnerable first.

Thank you.
 

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