Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said, in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global South must continue to reflect on 'how' development is done, not just 'what' is done.
He made this observation, when in his capacity as and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of G-15 , together with Executive Director of the South Centre Dr. Martin Khor, he initiated a joint consultation by the South Centre and the Group of Fifteen (G-15) on 'The state of play of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and potential opportunities for the Global South'.
Ambassador Aryasinha emphasized that developing countries must remain engaged even more actively in this final phase of the finalizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda, to prevent it from being imposed on them as a fait accompli. He said, the G-15 believes all countries must adhere to the criteria agreed upon in Rio+20, namely that the operationalization of the SDGs must be based on the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’, and should not place additional restrictions or burdens on Developing countries. He also stressed that true development requires a genuine global partnership and called on developed countries to honour their international commitments, especially those related to financial resources, technology transfer and capacity. Ambassador Aryasinha said the consultation would help both the G-15 and the South Centre to consider various options on the way forward and to prepare possible actionable recommendations to improve the Post-2015 Development Agenda process, which could be shared with G-15 capitals, as well as with like-minded countries who will be negotiating the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Dr. Khor detailed the state of play of the Development Agenda at the New York level. He said although there was much focus on New York, the 'real development agenda' was being negotiated in Geneva - within UNCTAD, WTO, WHO, ILO, WIPO and other institutions, given that the agreements they negotiate are legally enforced. Dr. Khor said South-South cooperation is becoming even more important today, and called on the G-15 to “reclaim its initial central role” by providing a non-UN platform where South-South dialogue can expand. He recalled that the G-15 was historically created as a counter Group to the G-7 to protest the unilateral decisions taken by developed countries and imposed on the rest of the globe. He said as the Development Agenda is being negotiated, the G-15 should play a leading role. However, Dr. Khor stressed that North-South cooperation must continue, as Western countries bore a postcolonial responsibility to developing countries.
Dr. Mariama Williams, Senior Programme Officer, Global Governance for Development Programme; Dr. Montes Manuel, Senior Advisor, Finance and Development; and Mr. Vicente Paolo B. Yu III, Head of Administration and Coordinator, Global Governance for Development Programme delivered presentations on the topic. Ambassador Amr Ahmed Ramadan, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN in Geneva and delegates from other G-15 countries participated in the discussion.
Opening comments made by Ambassador Aryasinha
Sri Lanka Mission
12 December 2014