United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Group of 77 and China

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E.
MR. SACHA LLORENTI, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA TO
THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE 11TH
SESSION OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) ON "ENERGY, ECONOMIC GROWTH,
EMPLOYMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE" (New York, 7 May 2014)
1.I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Distinguished Co-Chairs.
2. Before getting into the focus areas, the group would like to call for your attention since today is
Wednesday, which means that almost half of the current session of the 11th Open Working Group
has already passed, in this regard we would like to reiterate that the Group of 77 called for
clarification regarding not only the present procedure of work but how the Co-Chairs project the
following sessions. We remind you of our call for a more direct engagement among member states
as a way forward on this Working Group. We would appreciate if you could kindly explain how you
intend to proceed in response to the call made by the Group of 77 and China.
3. With regard to economic growth in Focus Area 8, the Group is concerned that three important
themes of economic growth, employment and infrastructure have been merged into one goal. With
specific regard to economic growth, the Group reiterates its position from OWG consultations in
2013 that despite its crucial role in providing sustainable domestic resources to enable economic,
social and environmental goals to be met, the economic pillar has been neglected. Therefore, the
Group believes that the economic dimension must be reinforced.
4. The Group underscores that a sustainable development goal of economic growth will require
adequate Means of Implementation, including a supportive, fair and enabling global partnership for
development and the consideration of national policy space. International cooperation in many
forms is required if developing countries are to make progress on economic growth and full
employment objectives.
The Means of Implementation must include international financing, Official Development
Assistance, debt relief, trade preferences, technology transfer, and adequate policy space for
development policies. We intend to provide proposals for concrete means of implementation for
the goals in this cluster at a later date.
5. The Group also wishes to highlight that although sustained economic growth is a goal, there is
no mention of sustained economic growth in the targets. Developing countries in particular must be
able to climb up the economic ladder within a target period of time in order to realistically achieve
sustainable development. We would also like to stress that in order to achieve inclusive growth, the
income of the bottom 40% of society must increase more than the average income growth of the
country.
Employment
6. The Group stresses that the title of the employment goal include "achieve full employment" and
not only decent jobs. The rationale being that the goal of full employment is a very important one in
economic policy, and this full employment goal must be stressed in the goal itself and not just in the
targets.
7. The Group believes that developing countries must have the Means of Implementation and
global international cooperation to complement domestic efforts to enable them to implement the
goal of full employment.
In order for employment objectives to become central to global actions and mechanisms, the
Means of Implementation must support developing countries through: (1) actions at the level of
international economic, financial, trade, technology and social systems, to support and enable
developing countries' efforts; and (2) refrain from actions by developed countries that create
barriers to developing countries' efforts and progress.
8. The Means of Implementation for full employment must also require developed countries to fully
take into account the impacts on employment in developing countries when formulating their
national policies. Similarly, international institutions and aid agencies should also consider the
impact on employment in their policies and policy advice to developing countries.
9. As the G77 and China has previously stated in 2013, the principles underpinning the SDG
agenda should reflect the urgency of addressing youth employment, and more broadly, the right to
employment as a key social and economic right.
10. As previously stated, the Group also calls for the prioritisation of the development of small and
medium enterprises and small farmers as key providers of employment in the developing world.
Energy
11. With regard to energy, the Group would like to emphasize the importance of achieving
universal access to modern energy services. The aim of providing universal access should be to
create improved conditions for economic take-off, and to contribute to enable the poorest
segments of society to exit poverty.
12. We underscore that all countries have a role to play: developed countries need to contribute by
making this goal a development assistance priority and by catalysing financing; middle-income
developing countries can contribute by sharing relevant expertise, experience and replicable good
practices; and low-income countries can promote the right local policy environment for investments
to be made respecting national interests and sovereignty over national resources.
13. The Group reiterates its position on the importance of reducing energy waste and emissions
per unit of output, and urges developed countries to take the lead role in ensuring a sustainable
and fair consumption of limited energy resources.
14. We also urge effective measures to be included in the Means of Implementation for energy in
order to improve the energy efficiency, both at the national and international levels, to address
national energy deficits through the development of new energy sources, especially renewable
energies; and through the development of appropriate technologies relating to energy. Increased
institutional and system capacities of developing countries, particularly LDCs and energy-poor
countries, are crucial to enable their access to and benefits from financing, technology, knowledge
and partnerships in the field of energy.
15. Furthermore, we stress our previously stated position that investing in renewable sources of
energy creates employment, fosters economic growth, and improves energy accessibility for
countries that lack domestic fossil fuel resources. Increasing the share of energy from renewable
sources can increase access to modern energy services.
Infrastructure
16. The Group affirms the necessity of placing a high emphasis on developing sustainable
infrastructure, which highlights the needs of countries in special situations, and the provision of
access for 100% of rural populations to basic infrastructure and services. The manner in which the
SDGs address the multi-dimensional challenges of infrastructure development in order to improve
the lives of both the urban and rural poor, provide access to basic services, protect local and
regional ecosystems, and strengthen urban resilience and adaptation is of paramount importance
to sustainable development.
17. To this end, the Group stresses that infrastructure development must be promoted through
relevant national and international policy instruments. Infrastructure investments across various
areas, including energy, hydro, transportation and communications, among others, require a long
time horizon. International efforts must support developing countries to achieve this objective.
I thank you
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