Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank you on behalf of the Group of 77 and China for having convened this meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Integrated and Coordinated Implementation of and Follow-up to the Outcomes of the Major United Nations Conferences and Summits in the Economic and Social Fields. I would also like to thank you for the document you were kind enough, with the assistance of the Secretariat, to submit for our consideration.

Regarding Annex I of the document, the Group of 77 and China are flexible regarding the calendar for meetings of the Working Group. We have no problem with adopting it as such.

Concerning Annex II of the document, a praiseworthy effort has been made to draft it. However, this Annex does not reflect precisely resolution 57/270, adopted last year on this matter. This resolution defined the mandate of the Ad Hoc Working Group and the items under consideration.

Therefore, in the view of the Group of 77 and China we should exhaust the list of questions to discuss within that same resolution. Such an approach would make it possible for us to avoid lengthy discussions and to devote the time available to us to a discussion of questions of substance.

The success of this Working Group requires, in our view, that we remain faithful to the mandate of the Group and that we, from the outset, make a distinction between what is attainable and what is not. Therefore, we believe that our work must take into account the six fundamental elements, namely:

First element: the integrated and coordinated implementation and follow up covers all UN conferences and summits organized under the auspices of the United nations and not just the Millennium Declaration, the results of the Johannesburg Summit and the Monterrey Conference.

Secondly, major conferences and summits organized under the auspices of the UN should be considered as interdependent and aimed at attaining the objectives agreed upon at the international level.

Thirdly, the thematic unity of each conference or summit must be preserved. The question of the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits is extremely important but should in no way call into question the specific features and identity of each process. Each conference has, if there is any need to repeat, a specific process for follow up.

Fourthly, the integrated and coordinated follow up does not imply renegotiation of the results of these conferences, in particular, renegotiation of their follow-up mechanisms explicitly provided for.

Fifthly, any mechanism discussed or set up subsequently for the integrated and coordinated follow up at the level of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council must not replace existing mechanisms.

Finally, the process of brainstorming on the implementation and integrated and coordinated follow up cannot replace or integrate the processes already under way regarding the reform of the Secretariat and the revitalization of the General Assembly.

Now, in general terms, Mr. President, these are the principles and guidelines which in the view of our Group must guide our work within this Working Group. With respect now to the list of elements contained in Annex II, in our view, they must reflect the essential distinction between the concepts of follow up and implementation. We must not lose sight of the fact that the entire exercise that we are undertaking within this Working Group must be basically aimed at the real and effective implementation of the objectives of the various United Nations conferences and summits.

Now what are we really talking about? What is really involved is the implementation as such at the national, regional and international levels by Member States, the United Nations system, international financial institutions, with the involvement of civil society and the private sector which, for their part, have responsibilities regarding the implementation.

The objective remains: to assess the impact of measures taken regarding implementation on local communities. We must try to see how each party carries out its obligations at these different levels and how to make the evaluation of the progress achieved in the application of the undertakings made. The main objective remains the mobilization of financial resources for the application of the commitments agreed upon.

In that respect, particular attention must be paid to the consideration of progress achieved by the developed countries in the implementation or realization of their obligations with respect to ODA, access to markets, cancellation or reduction of debt, transfer of technology and encouragement of foreign investment. We must see whether the developed countries have taken measures to correct the impact of their domestic policies on developing countries and whether their domestic policies are consistent with the attainment of the objectives of the Millennium Declaration and other internationally agreed objectives.

Mr. President,

The international financial institutions have a major responsibility in the implementation of international commitments and in the attainment of the objectives of the Millennium Declaration. In that regard, the consistency of financial monetary and trade policies at the international level is a sine qua non condition for the attainment of the objectives of development at the national level.

We must also highlight how the various stakeholders cooperate to honour their commitments. Our job will be to reflect on the way in which we can improve the functioning and coordination between the different stakeholders, the agencies, funds, programmes and regional commissions of the United Nations, the international financial institutions and regional institutions and the World Trade Organization.

The question of the integrated and coordinated follow-up regards mainly institutional arrangements which could be established to assure the consideration and evaluation of the implementation in a horizontal manner, aware that the different conferences and summits are interdependent and are aimed at attaining the same objectives, in particular, the elimination of poverty, the attainment of sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the improvement of living conditions for human beings. In our view, this should not raise any major problems.

What is involved in examining the existing mechanisms and seeing whether they can carry out this follow-up function. It should involved proposing possible adjustments and envisaging of the establishment, if there is any need for this, of new mechanisms to guarantee a balanced and effective follow up to the major conferences.

We should try to see how we can strengthen the present structure of the General Assembly, on the one hand, and the Economic and Social Council, on the other, in order to make it possible for them to ensure the examination and implementation and follow up in a coordinated and integrated way of the commitments undertaken within the context of the various conferences and summits.

The Group of 77 believes that the General Assembly remains the appropriate intergovernmental body to play the leading role in terms of integrated and coordinated follow up.

The Economic and Social Council for its part and in accordance with the Charter, has its own role to play in the economic and social fields.

Now I would like to turn to the structure of Annex II, it does not reflect the distinction which we have pointed out before, the distinction between the implementation and follow up. Thus, we feel in the first section, the initial section, we should take up the question of implementation. This section will be reserved for discussions on the primary objective of this exercise which is the examination and evaluation of progress achieved in the implementation.

In a separate section we would take up the integrated and coordinated follow-up. This involves institutional arrangements to be devoted to the integrated and coordinated follow up of the results of the conferences within the context of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

The third section should be reserved for an exploration of the appropriate ways to take up the review of the implementation of the results of these conferences, in particular, the modalities and the periodicity of this review. We would like to reaffirm once more that each conference has established its own process or its own mechanism for examination and evaluation and that our discussion, within the context of the Working Group, cannot call into question this reality.

The added value of our work will be to bring in a horizontal dimension to the examination of the implementation in parallel to the individual processes established.

Mr. President,

I turn to the fourth section which, in our view, should be reserved for the consideration of the work. In the minds of the Group of 77 the reform is not an end in itself. The objective remains the implementation and the concretization of the commitments undertaken. The improvement of reports of various bodies and those of the various secretariats is also linked to the question of implementation. But it is clear that you cannot limit yourself to factual reports.

We must, within the context of this Working Group, prepare guidelines or modalities for the preparation of the report submitted to the General Assembly.

Finally, concerning paragraph 7 of the General Assembly resolution on the examination of the appropriate means to ensure that the results of the major conferences are integrated into the work of bodies, organs, organizations of the United Nations, we feel that this dimension of implementation should be dealt with in the first section. This involves thinking about the guidelines and the overall policy to be followed by the various partners in the field for the implementation of international commitments.

In conclusion, Mr. President, we would like to reiterate that the Group of 77 and China believes that the primary objective of this exercise is the effective implementation of the commitments undertaken in international terms within the context of the various United Nations conferences and summits. Any adjustments or recommendations that this Working Group might propose to the General Assembly must be along these lines. That is our conviction.

These, Mr. President, are the comments and observations on the exercise we have just begun and mainly on the list of questions to be discussed by the Working Group.

Now, Mr President, you suggested modalities for continuing this exercise in the days to come. The Group of 77 and China believes that for the requirements of transparency that we might continue this discussion - an extremely useful and instructive one - within the context of the Plenary of this Working Group.

I thank you Mr. President.