General comments made by Mr. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, Deputy Permanent of Sri Lanka
at the informal consultations on the Summit of the Future, 6 July 2023
Thank you Chair for giving me the floor.
My delegation joins the statement made by Cuba on behalf of the G77 and China and the statement delivered by Pakistan on behalf of the Like-minded Group. We would like to however submit the following observations in our national capacity:
1. We thank the co-facilitators for convening this meeting and for circulating the zero draft on the scope and elements of the Summit of the Future as well as the revised timetable for consultations. As requested by the G77 and China as well as the Like-minded group, we request that further time be provided for submission of amendments to the zero draft. You would appreciate that it is essential to accommodate the views of all delegations and be as inclusive as possible in this important exercise as these amendments and comments would form the basis of our future work.
2. As observed during the consultations on 13 June, my delegation would like to reiterate that with regard to the process, a GA resolution rather than a procedural decision, would be preferred methodology as it would give both validity and place emphasis on the scope and elements that we agree to during our discussions. Given the integral nature that the realization of the sustainable development goals and Agenda 2030 is for all purposes a pact for the future, it is only fair that we do not finalize the resolution on the elements before the outcome of the SDG summit.
3. We are of the view that the chapeau and the four chapters broadly capture the elements that we should deliberate upon in elaborating a Pact for the Future. However, we also see that there are elements that might need to be added to make the final outcome comprehensive in nature and pragmatic in finding solutions to current and future challenges.
4. We are of the considered view that certain elements should be included in Chapter 2, which are a sine qua non to ensuring peace and security, such as strengthening the UN response on matters relating to counter-terrorism as well as disarmament and the need to adhere to the UN Charter which prescribes the principles on the Pacific settlement of disputes.
5. We agree with the suggestion by the Like-minded group that a separate chapter on digital cooperation narrows the scope and therefore would need to have a wider sweep to include science, technology as well as digital cooperation. This would then enable us to engage in a substantive discussion later when we come to it, on bridging the technology divide as well as on emerging challenges in the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
6. We would also need to have a separate chapter, perhaps by reconfiguring chapter 4 as mentioned by the LMG, on the strengthening of international institutions including the United Nations, as the means of reinvigorating multilateralism to find solutions to current and emerging challenges, which form the fulcrum of this exercise. Our respectful view is that any unilateral embargoes or sanctions go beyond the letter and the spirit of this exercise.
7. Finally, it may be necessary at some point that we as a collective body arrive at an agreement on the negotiation processes of the Summit of the Future. We must proceed on the basis that the process should support the topics for discussion as it has a direct bearing on the outcome.
8. My delegation stands ready to engage constructively in this process.
Thank you, Chair.