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The annual January gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos is usually a placid affair: a place for well-heeled participants to exchange notes on global business opportunities, or powder conditions on the local ski slopes, while cradling champagne and canapes. This January, the ultra-rich and the sparkling wine returned, but by all reports the mood was one of anxiety, defensiveness and self-reproach.

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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:

The strangest aspect of the G20 communiqué, and the part that has dominated media coverage, is the section on the Paris climate agreement.  The strangeness arises not because of the topic – the G20 has always played second fiddle to the UN on climate issues – but because, for the first time, a whole paragraph is devoted solely to one member, the USA, explaining why it doesn’t agree with the others, followed by a paragraph by the others explaining why they will go ahead without the USA anyway, including through agreeing a “G19” action plan on energy and climate for growth.

The climate change issue is a jarring symbol of the G20’s difficulty in reaching agreement. However, the Trump administration’s ‘America first’ stance and resulting lack of movement on economic issues – the raison d’etre of the G20 – is evident throughout the document.

Will national partnerships with private sector accelerate implementation if global obstacles remain?

On Monday, 17 July, the sponsors of the High-Level Panel report on Women’s Economic Empowerment are presenting a panel on “Accelerating women’s economic empowerment to achieve the 2030 Agenda”, head-lined by the Secretary-General. They will be joined by a diverse Member State ‘group of champions for women’s economic empowerment’. Given the knowledge and expertise of the High-Level Panel and the national level experience of the group of champions, they will have many examples of opportunities, but will they highlight the risks? 

The rules, institutions and operations of global markets, unchanged since the end of formal colonialism, are among the greatest obstacles to the development of individual African countries.
Global market rules are either in favour of, or are frequently bent to benefit industrial countries.

Often, different, more restrictive market rules are applied to African countries, while industrial countries are accorded more leeway to implement rules in ways that will benefit their companies, labour forces and economies.
Industrial countries have more power to determine the rules of the market than African or developing countries.


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