United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam

5 – 9th May, 2014, New York
Intervention by Viet Nam on behalf of Troika Bhutan/Thailand/Viet Nam on Focus Area 7 “Energy” and 8 “Economic growth, employment and infrastructure”

Thank you Mr. Co-chair,
I am speaking on behalf of the Troika consisting of Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam. We associate ourselves with the statements delivered by Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.
Let me start by emphasizing that for targets set in this focus area to be achievable it is absolutely critical that they are accompanied by appropriate Means of Implementation, especially transfer of clean and environmentally sound technologies and capacity building, and research and development of such technologies for developing countries.
Secondly, while we can have aspirational global goals, targets shall be set by national governments in accordance with national conditions and circumstances, with developed countries leading the course.
With that in mind we thank the Co-chair for incorporating our suggestion to target (a). We support the overall thrust of targets (b) on increasing the share of renewable energy in global energy mix, and (c) increase the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
At the same time, it may be useful to indicate how much each group of countries at different levels of development must achieve to contribute to the achievement of these global targets. Specifying the roles of different groups of countries as indicated by the G77 is useful.
We also support target (d) but would prefer not to single out a certain clean energy technology over others.
On target (e), we would like to caution that for many developing countries, energy subsidies may be necessary to ensure access to energy for the poor, thus improving inclusion and also in line with target a) ensuring universal access to sustainable modern energy services.

We note that Focus Area 8 is the result of clustering together three previously standalone focus areas, which as we have noted create an imbalance among the three pillars.
There is also an imbalance within the Focus Area, with a heavy emphasis on employment and much less on economic growth and infrastructure. The focus area seems to focus more on inclusion, which we fully support, but in absence of sustained economic growth. It is important to underline that sustained economic growth, though not sufficient, is the necessary condition for job creation as well as generation of resources for the realization of other goals and targets.
Therefore, we would like to reiterate the targets we proposed in the previous session, namely:
+ sustain economic growth of at least x% per annum (with x% being set at levels appropriate to the varying levels of national development). This should be in conjunction with other targets and goals including those on energy and resources efficiency.
+ At the global level, within the target period, a certain proportion of developing countries reach the next stage of economic development level, e.g. from low income to lower middle income, from lower middle income to upper middle income country. This is to ensure the international equality dimension of this goal.
We support targets (a), (b), (c), (e) without any further comment.
On target (d), we propose to remove energy since this is dealt with under Focus Area 7.
On (f), we propose to add after “value addition” the phrase “product diversification”, which is important to reduce reliance of the economy on a limited number of products, thus improving its resilience to external shocks.
We would welcome more attention to infrastructure in addition to target (g), possibly to be considered as a sub-focus area similar to the way Focus area 16 is currently structured, by including the relevant items from the infrastructure focus area in the previous Co-Chairs’ document as follows:
- Develop sustainable transport and communications, including roads and rail links, ports and ICT connectivity
- Addressing trans-border infrastructure needs for trade and related challenges facing developing countries.
As for targets (h) and (i) on workers’ rights and child labour, while we do not object to the inclusion of these ideas which are both extremely important, we believe that there are other appropriate mechanisms to address these issues, such as the relevant human rights treaty bodies and ILO conventions.
As for Means of Implementation, we believe three key issues have to be included:
(i) transfer of technology, including environmentally friendly technologies, waste treatment technologies;
(ii) foster an enabling international trade, financial and investment environment for sustained and inclusive economic growth, preventing economic shocks for developing countries;
(iii) access to adequate financing from all sources to promote sustainable development, including official development assistance as committed.
I thank you Mr. Co-chair.