Mr. President,
Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs,
Honourable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Group of 77 appreciates the opportunity to participate in the special high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference and Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Group in particular welcomes the participation of UNCTAD as a full-fledged stakeholder.

I wish to thank the Co-Chairs of the Round Tables for the comprehensive summaries provided of the discussions held this morning. It is clear that there are many issues which require urgent attention if we are to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. I therefore would wish to briefly highlight some of the issues of particular importance to the G77 as we bring our discussions to a close.

A. Global Governance and Systemic Issues

1. Globalization, and the increasing interdependence that it engenders, requires effective governance that focuses primarily on four key elements:

(i) the democratization of international economic decision-making;
(ii) the integrated consideration of trade, finance and developmental issues by international institutions;
(iii) the reform of the international financial architecture; and
(iv) the establishment of a strong mechanism for surveillance and regulation.

2. Policies and strategies for attaining the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals must uphold the principles of good governance at both the national and international levels. They must also take account of the fact that there is no single sustainable model for development and that developing countries need the policy space to select their own options in development policy.

B. Resources and Debt

3. The effective mobilisation of financial resources for development as well as the creation of a conducive international environment poses the greatest challenge to developing countries. We therefore require urgent action in the area of trade, investment and financial flows through:

(i) The creation of an open, rule-based multilateral trading system for the promotion of global trade and the eradication of poverty. This must be reciprocated by developed countries adopting policies that allow us to participate in and fully benefit from world trade. I draw attention to the particular need to address the supply side constraints to increase productive capacity and export competitiveness in developing countries and the need for improved market access and entry conditions in developed countries for agriculture, manufactures and services exports of developing countries. Special attention has to be given to the large number of developing countries, particularly LDCs and commodity-dependent countries, which continue to be marginalised in international trade and are extremely vulnerable to external shocks; and

(ii) the development of mechanisms, which do not impose additional burdens or conditionalities on developing countries, to encourage and promote private direct investment in developing countries. In the same vein, it will be crucial for developed countries to create measures to facilitate the promotion of Foreign Direct Investment to developing countries.

4. The 0.7 per cent target for ODA should be fulfilled as a matter of priority. In this regard, we look forward to more concrete proposals, as we prepare for the High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development in June and the High Level Event in September, on this and other issues.

5. The importance of generating additional resources for development to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs as well as other development goals is of particular importance. In particular, we endorse efforts underway concerning the identification of new and alternative sources of funding, to be channeled to developing countries in a stable, transparent and predictable manner. It is important, however, to reiterate the following:

(i) the identification of new and innovative sources of financing for development must be additional and complementary to ODA; and

(ii) they should not impose additional burdens on developing countries.

Additionally, there is an urgent need to improve the effectiveness, not just the volume, of assistance to developing countries by improving the process and delivery mechanisms for assistance and reducing transaction costs. Harmonisation must incorporate the voices of the developing world.

6. With respect to the issue of debt, we look forward to further action to:

(i) adopt an effective, comprehensive, equitable, durable, and development-oriented solution to the debt problems of all developing countries, including middle-income countries, particularly through debt cancellation and increased concessional financial flows, as well as through the provision of grants and debt for sustainable development swaps; and

(ii) to greater attention being given to the impact of public sector debt on the absorptive capacity of developing countries to utilise development assistance and on their capacity to mobilise resources on the private capital market.

7. Another important issue which has quite rightly been highlighted is the relationship between growth and employment. There is urgent need for greater focus on the phenomenon of jobless growth, as growth without employment constitutes a hollow victory. We must find more innovative ways of engaging our people in productive activities, including those in the informal sector, if we are to effectively address the challenges of attaining the MDGS and other development goals. The informal economy poses significant fiscal and social challenges for all developing countries and directly impacts the ability to achieve sustainable development. A critical component which also needs to be addressed to restore some balance to global policies for the liberalisation of capital, goods and services is policies for the movement of labour, in particular semi and unskilled labour. As globalisation accentuates inequalities especially in employment opportunities, the need arises for addressing these largely neglected areas in global economic relations.

C. The way forward

8. Finally, Mr President, I wish to reiterate the importance of implementation. It is clear from the discussions that significant progress on many of the issues raised can only be achieved through the necessary political will to implement the commitments which we have collectively endorsed. It is the hope of the G77 and China that we will be able to achieve this objective in the months to come.

Thank you Mr President.