Mr. President,
Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates,

On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for comprehensive and useful reports provided under agenda items 45 and 55, which are contained in documents A/59/282, A/59/224 and A/59/545 respectively.

The issues dealt with in the two substantive reports highlight the main aspirations of all nations in the areas of development, the environment, peace and security, the humanitarian needs, human rights and special concerns of various countries. Our leaders agreed upon some common goals which have been clearly articulated in the outcome documents of various UN conferences and summits including the Millennium Summit. And all our leaders agreed that those common goals must be achieved.

Regrettably, the report on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration points out that many of us are being left far behind and to those countries, these common goals are becoming increasingly distant. These goals include the objectives defined in the areas of development, peace and security and reform of the international system. To address and reverse this trend, the Group would like to emphasize the following points.

First, the Millennium Declaration must be implemented in its entirety. All its goals are equally important and should be given equal priority. The goals as they stand do not negate one another. For example, development and peace and security are inextricably interlinked. Security without Sustainable development is inconceivable and there cannot be sustainable development without sustainable peace.

We have seen the erosion of multilateralism in these areas. Our first and foremost concern is that the issues of peace and security should be addressed through strengthened multilateral policies and actions. The borderless problems of our times require collective action, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and reaffirmed in the Millennium Declaration.

Second, realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals require greater collaborative efforts by the international community. The Millennium Declaration highlighted not only our goals, but also our responsibilities which will help fulfill our aspirations. Whereas developed nations were urged to honour their commitment towards 0.7 per cent of their GNP towards ODA; developing nations were urged to improve governance. We continue to improve our governance systems and procedures, and expect developed countries to live up to their commitments in ODA.

The simultaneous implementation of our goals will be possible only if vital resources are made available. While some countries have met their commitment to provide 0.7 per cent of their GNP as ODA, a large number of developed countries have fallen far short of meeting this target. At the same time debt relief remains inadequate as do access to the markets of developed countries, especially in areas of export interest to developing countries. Trade is now a main avenue of financial resources that can help developing nation achieve their goals in development and yet we continue to lack resources despite the promises. As a consequence, we continue to lack the basic resources that can empower us to participate fully in the global trading system.

Such trade policies have also contributed in denying the large number of developing countries the benefits of globalization. Globalization has brought with it many opportunities as well as challenges that are unique to the current phase of this phenomenon. The lack of liberalization in labour movement as compared to the significant progress in finical liberalization are asymmetries that are contradictory and unacceptable in a world that is becoming increasingly borderless in economic transactions. To be able to address these challenges and help nations seize the opportunities offered by globalization, the United Nations itself must be strengthened. The United Nations has a strong role in identifying the challenges that developing countries face and in supporting their enforce to design policies to respond to the challenges. We therefore call on the international community to provide the United Nations with resources that can enable it to execute this role effectively, be it in the area of development, peace- keeping, peace building or humanitarian affairs.

Mr. President,
Excellencies and distinguished delegates,

The Millennium Declaration is no doubt important, but equally important are the outcomes of other UN conferences and summits. These conferences have addressed diverse issues such as social development, sustainable development, advancement of women, financing for development, human rights and advancing the rights of children. These conferences have provided a rich global policy consensus in areas that impact various aspects of our lives. It was the outcomes of these conferences that also laid the foundation for the adoption of such a historic document like the Millennium Declaration. The goals of conferences are intimately linked with the objectives of the Declaration. For this reason, implementing these outcomes is crucial to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. They are the foundation on which the MDGs can be achieved. Therefore we, the international community should try our very best to ensure that the implementation and follow-up processes are pursued coherently through a comprehensive framework.

We believe that in pursuing the implementation of the Millennium declaration and the outcome of the major international conferences and summits, their distinct identities should be maintained, while at the same time recognizing the need for thematic coherence in the process. This will not only help in promoting synergies and ensuring efficient utilization of resources, but also lead to an optimal process of integrating the goals through themes that are common to the outcomes of the summits and conferences.

Mr. President,
Excellencies and distinguished delegates,

The 2005 high level plenary will be critical to furthering our common purpose. Therefore, at this meeting we should clearly identify those obstacles that are impediments to implementing the outcomes of our conferences and summits. At the same time we should recommend some concrete steps that could overcome those challenges, and renew our commitment to achieving our common goals.

While the Group of 77 and China will address the substantive issues related to the 2005 meeting at the appropriate time, at this stage we would like to comment on the modalities of the meeting.

The GA resolution 58/291 already states that the participation in the high level plenary will be at the summit level. The Group also stresses the importance of the participation of UN agencies, funds and programmes as well as the international monetary, financial and trade institutions. The Group supports the active participation of civil society including NGOs and the business sector. Such participation should help in the process of intergovernmental decision-making, in accordance with the relevant General Assembly rules and procedures.

The Group would like to emphasize that a clear focus and priority should be given to development issues and is of the view that there should be a mix of plenary and interactive debates. Moreover, the preparatory process should be inclusive, open-ended and transparent and; should benefit from inputs coming in from different UN system-wide processes.

The Group feels that the outcome should be inter-governmentally negotiated. The outcome should be all encompassing, emphasizing the implementation of commitments of major UN conferences and Summits and the MDGs. It should be action oriented and should have full ownership of the Member States. The outcome should also reaffirm previous commitments and agreements and not seek to renegotiate outcomes of previous conferences and summits.

As far as the timing of the High-level dialogue on financing for development is concerned, the Group is of the view that this should have the high level of participation from all stakeholders, it should be visible and send a message of strong political commitment to this issue. We would like to see the issue of financing closely interlinked with the development agenda and for this purpose the dialogue should receive maximum attention from our leaders and policy makers.

The suggestions made by the Secretary-General in his report in modalities provide a good basis for further work in clarifying these details and the Group looks forward to working on these issues under your leadership. We are confident that the facilitators appointed by you, Mr. President, will take into account the concerns of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. President,

Excellencies and distinguished delegates,

The realization of the goals of the Millennium Declaration have gained increasing importance in the wake of the new realities that have emerged over the last years, which were so eloquently defined by the Secretary-General in his seminal address to the 57 th session of the General Assembly. He said that we have come to a “fork in the road”, and there is a need for action to address the challenges that confront humanity. He also announced the establishment of a high level panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and while doing so he said, “The United Nations must confront all these threats and challenges – new and old, “hard” and “soft”. It must be fully engaged in the struggle for development and poverty eradication, starting with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; in the common struggle to protect our common environment; and in the struggle for human rights, democracy and good governance.” We are looking forward to the report of the panel, which we are confident will provide us with concrete suggestions to address these challenges.

The Group believes that the 2005 meeting provides us with a historic opportunity to strengthen multilateralism and to provide even stronger basis for collective action against the threats to security and the menace of poverty and underdevelopment. It is our duty to realize the dream of the founders of this organization and that is to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to raise living standards of humanity.

I thank you, Mr. President.