United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Brazil and Nicaragua

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
VI Meeting
Dec 11th and 12th
Countries in Special Situations

Statement by Brazil and Nicarágua

Africa and developing countries most in need should be a priority in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Member States should reaffirm the overarching goal of eradication of poverty and prioritizing the most vulnerable. We should have a strong sense of solidarity, in order to strengthen the overall international cooperation framework and to make the international economy more supportive of developing countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development with social justice.

As we said yesterday, the Post-2015 Development Agenda should be based on the agreed Rio Principles, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. In our view, such principle should be reflected in the design of goals in a simple, straightforward fashion. The vision, the aspired goals should be universal indeed, but commitments and responsibilities differentiated in accordance with the respective capacities, social challenges and accumulated emissions responsibilities of respective countries.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda should carry forward unmet MDGs together with the associated ODA commitments by OECD countries. South-South cooperation should play a strong, supplementary role in cooperation for sustainable development under the Post-2015 framework, based on the principles of solidarity and mutual benefit, and through sharing of solutions of the South to common development challenges.

The implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the fulfillment of international commitments related to official development assistance, including the target of 0.7% of GNP, is crucial, as is the target of 0.15 to 0.20% per cent of GNP for ODA to the least developed countries. International trade and access to and the transfer of technology are also central.

The timely and effective implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), including those aspects pertaining to the duty-free and quota free market access, are indispensable tools for the sustainable development of the LDCs.

The SDG on the “Global Partnership for Sustainable Development” could also acknowledge the need for a “smooth transition” for countries that have recently graduated from Least Developed Country (LDC) status. Once they graduate and lose their access to concessionary financing, commercial loans become their main financing option as they seek to diversify and strengthen their economies. As a result, many have fallen heavily into debt.

For this reason, in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, we should consider to extend the transition period until the vulnerability of the graduating country has been adequately addressed. We should also ensure timely debt relief for critically indebted developing countries in order not to impede their progress toward sustainable development.

SIDS face specific and unique challenges, especially with regards to climate change, in view of their particular vulnerabilities. The promotion of sustainable development is a collective responsibility. Reducing the vulnerability of SIDS and strengthening their resilience is a urgent matter that concerns us all.

Efforts in this regard were presented in the Barbados and Mauritius meetings and outcomes, as well as in Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and, more recently, in the Rio+20 outcome, “The Future We Want”. While some advances have been made, progress has been uneven and insufficient. Serious and pressing challenges remain.

The Rio+20 outcome document contains the decision to convene, in 2014, the third international SIDS conference. We supported that decision and encourage all Member States to engage and support the conference’s preparatory process.

In this context, the General Assembly declared 2014 the International Year of SIDS. We hope that the opportunity will be used to raise awareness of SIDS issues and to promote actions, including through international, regional and subregional cooperation, aimed at achieving the sustainable development of the small island developing states.

Although the African continent has experienced remarkable growth over the past decade, the continent is still striving to translate economic growth into a persistent sustainable development cycle, in particular with a view to poverty eradication.

With a fast growing population, which is currently the youngest in the world, the eradication of poverty in Africa would have systemic and long-term effects for African societies. Poverty and inequality is the root cause of hunger, conflicts, urban crime and other scourges that affect the continent.

From 2011 to 2012 ODA for Africa fell 9.9%, a figure that underlines the need for strengthening commitments made by OECD members as a means of implementation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, together with mechanisms for technology transfer and capacity-building.

The Rio+20 outcome document recognized the specific challenges that "middle income countries" face in their effort to eradicate poverty. However, aggregated data on “Middle Income Countries” conceal specificities within and among those countries, which are a very diverse group by level of development and social, economic and environmental challenges.

The diversity among developing countries must recognized and addressed in a manner that will not undermine the unity of the South with respect to our common overarching development challenges. Creating additional levels of graduation among developing countries can help to find customized development cooperation solutions but should not lead to a fragmentation and thereby the weakening of the political voice of the South in expressing a common position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda process.

Many poor populations still live in those countries that could be labeled "middle income" and, of course, these countries need to continue to access ODA flows and international cooperation to support their development efforts. A sensible assessment of the needs of those countries is crucial in order to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development worldwide. This should be clearly stated in our agreement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Africa and developing countries most in need everywhere need to be at the center of our considerations.