13 Sep 2017
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. MR. VIRACHAI PLASAI, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE SEVENTY-FIRST SESSION FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION UNDER AGENDA ITEM 25: "AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION" (New York, 13 December 2016)
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. The Group of 77 and China wish to express our appreciation for the excellent work by the facilitator from Indonesia, and to the Group's coordinators from Guatemala and Jamaica for their hard work and efforts in collaboration with the partner countries, to achieve this consensual draft resolution under Agenda Item 25 on Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition.
3. The Group have tirelessly worked towards consensus on this resolution due to the critical importance of agriculture, food security and nutrition for sustainable development. Progress towards sustainable agricultural practices everywhere is critical for eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, as well as to promote economic growth, foster social inclusion and preserve the environment.
4. In this context, the Group wish to explain our positions on two significant issues in this draft resolution. First, the transfer of environmentally sound technology for sustainable agriculture on favorable terms, including concessional and preferential terms, is critical. Developing countries require facilitated access to new and clean technologies in order to continue providing nutritious food to both local and global markets. According to the FAO, for every one farmer in the developed world, there are nineteen farmers in the developing world. This is because technology enhances potential and productivity in agricultural sector which allow developed countries to be able to produce more food despite fewer workers. Farmers in the developing world, especially small-scale farmers, are among the poorest and most vulnerable groups. Yet, if supported with adequate capacity and technology, they will have the potential to transform production patterns towards large-scale and commercial operations, and integrate production with food processing, marketing and distribution in a complete agribusiness system.
5. G77 and China consider that the issue of the transfer of environmentally sound technology for sustainable agriculture on favorable terms, including concessional and preferential terms, cannot continue to be ignored and excluded from this important resolution. We have worked very hard and in good faith, using agreed language that has been included in major consensus intergovernmental outcome documents, including the most recent ones: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Agenda 2030, and The Future We Want. Yet, to our great disappointment, our proposals have been systematically rejected in this resolution.
6. A clarification is required from those who rejected this language in this resolution why an agreement on this same language in relation to the comprehensive sustainable development agenda and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could not be translated to a reference to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies in the context of agriculture, a sector that lies at the heart of sustainability worldwide.
7. Second, despite the engagement and longstanding compromise expressed by the Group, the Group of 77 and China are deeply disappointed by the lack of commitment and the clear opposition of some partner countries, in trying to arrive at more concrete or stronger language on Doha outstanding issues.
8. In this regard, the Group wish to reiterate and express serious concern about the lack of progress in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, and stress the necessity of their timely conclusion, which must fully respect its development mandate and take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries. A successful development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round will help to ensure growth in global trade and create new market access opportunities for developing countries. The Doha Round can only be concluded when its development mandate is fulfilled.
9. In conclusion, the Group express our deep concerns over the exclusion of references to the transfer of environmentally sound technology for sustainable agriculture on favourable terms, including concessional and preferential terms, as well as the Doha outstanding issues. We wish to reiterate that the above-mentioned terms in this resolution do not set any precedent for any future resolutions on this or other related issues, where these matters are essential and should be explicitly included, to address the needs of developing countries and the agricultural sector.
10. Mr. Chairman, I request that this statement be placed on the record of this meeting. I thank you.