I join other distinguished colleagues in expressing our sincerest congratulations to the Government of Fiji on assuming the leadership of the Group of 77 and China. It is a pleasure to see you Ambassador chairing the Groupís meeting. We have confidence that with your wisdom and professionalism, you will navigate this Group towards higher standards that have been ably established by Ambassador Mourad Benmehidi and his successive predecessors. We look forward to working closely with you and your team. We assure you of our full support, cooperation and assistance.
I would like to express our deep gratitude to Algeria, in particular Ambassador Mourad Benmehidi and his team for successfully steering the Group of 77 and China in 2012. Under his able guidance, his team competently helped the Group promote its interests. I congratulate them on this excellent work.
2013 is an important year. During the year, we will review our progress on the Millennium Development Goals. We will deliberate on shaping the post-2015 development agenda. We will also begin a number of significant processes that were agreed at Rio last June. The agenda before us is enormous and important from the point of view of placing the collective interests of the developing countries at the heart of these processes that will shape both institutional and substantive aspect of our work in future. I will, therefore, underscore the imperative of working together with our Groupís characteristic unity.
Furthermore, Pakistan is convinced that in todayís interdependent and interconnected world only strong, inclusive, and accountable multilateral institutions will enable us meet our aspirations. The UN, we believe, is the only institution that guarantees such a setting. It should, therefore, be the centre of our efforts to find solutions to global problems.
Looking at the year ahead, I will like to make five points.
First,the global development agenda directly relates to us, the developing countries. While we await the report of the Secretary Generalís High-level Panel, the Group shall, at the soonest possible, start working on what development agenda it wishes to see in the post 2015 period to ensure that all efforts towards its formulation take into account our aspirations. To this end, we would propose that we should consider establishing a Group of eminent persons from the South to develop conceptual and substantive basis for an agenda that would conform to our interests. We are pleased to see that you have already planned a meeting of eminent personalities of the South. Pakistan would also propose making use of the expertise existing in the Geneva based South Centre to undertake such a study.
Second,the primary focus of development agenda shall remain on addressing the needs and priorities of developing countries. Off course, we recognize the importance of peace and security and human rights with regard to development. Nevertheless, it is essential that the development imperatives drive the development agenda. In this context, we would also propose that Group of 77 and China formally seeks engagement with the High Level panel at its next meting. Perhaps a Group of Ambassadors could be invited by the High Level Panel to share the perspective of the Group of 77 and China with the High Level Panel.
Third,we will soon begin our work on sustainable development goals. We believe that the Sustainable Development Goals serve as the main implementing modality in the evolution and implementation of the post 2015 development agenda. In this regard, I would like to make three proposals. One, we should request the Under-Secretary-General of DESA to establish an Inter-agency Task Force by inviting secondment from other international agencies and programmes. The task force should be made responsible for providing support as well as necessary input into the process. Second, Pakistan would also propose that you Mr. Chairman establish an internal Task Force of the Group comprising Ambassadors to initiate deliberations on the nature of sustainable development goals that the Group would like to propose. Finally, we would also urge you to explore possibilities of interacting with various think tanks and Universities from the South and secure their views and assistance in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals.
Fourth,the Financing for Development agenda, agreed at Monterrey in 2002, though looked at the subject in a holistic manner, yet regrettably has not delivered as efficiently as we had wished. It, however, shall remain relevant in our discussions pursuant to the Rio+20 decision to assess financing needs and propose a new financing strategy. It is important that like one UN development agenda, we agree on one framework for financing that agenda. Pakistan believes that this is an exceedingly important work and one, which requires enormous technical resources than perhaps available within the New York setting of the United Nations. I would, therefore, propose that we also request the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to establish an Inter-agency task force. This Task force should also invite representatives from the civil society as well as from the private sector. This Task Force, which could be led by the Assistant Secretary, would provide substantive and secretarial support to developing and discussing the Sustainable Development Financing Strategy.
Fifth,Climate Change is the biggest development emergency. As with the development agenda, our negotiations on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to implement the Durban Platform of Action would also culminate in 2015. It is important that we do not lose sight of this critical object. I would emphasize the need for this Group to redouble its efforts to bridge gaps within the Group to present a united front at climate change negotiations. It is important to underline that while the Doha Conference has adopted the Second Commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the level of mitigation efforts especially by the developed countries clearly indicate that we are heading towards a world in which global temperature would be more than the agreed 2 degrees. This scenario must be averted, especially if we wish to avert the existential threat that it poses to the Small Island Countries.
The scale of challenge that the developing countries face today clearly demand an extremely robust and sustained partnership amongst the developing countries led ably by the Chair of the Group of 77 and China. My delegation can equally recount several other important areas that would levy significant demand on your leadership. Indeed we stand ready to support you. However, Pakistan also believes that the scale and enormity of task demands that we look for every opportunity to make use of disperse but significant available resources within South. On behalf of my country, I have made some proposal. I would also propose that you undertake consultations at the Ambassadorial level to evaluate these and other proposals being made by other Ambassadors and define ways for implementing them. I am confident that these would help us shape a cohesive, strong and integrated strategy that is need of the hour and for you to led this Group effectively.
Finally, I wish to assure you that under your leadership and in close collaboration with the entire membership, Pakistan will continue contributing to our joint efforts to promote the interest of all developing countries.
I thank you.