Thirty-First Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77
United Nations Headquarters, New York, 27 September 2007
Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Riaz Muhammad Khan, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, at the 31st Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77
New York, 27 September 2007
His Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General United Nations:
Mr. Kemal Dervis,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
At the time of assuming the G-77 Chairmanship early this year, Pakistan had expressed its determination to work in close concert with the Group members to push the development agenda to the forefront of international relations especially within the UN.
- Happily, with your support and cooperation, we have been able to advance our common interests on vital issues that are fundamental to the establishment of an equitable world economic order. But most importantly, we have been able to preserve the solidarity and unity of the Group through, if I may add, some testing times.
- The challenges that we face today are complex and daunting. The situation, clearly calls for redoubling of our efforts to highlight the inextricable linkages between peace and development, the central role which the UN can and must play in advancing the broad development agenda and in promoting a genuine and enhanced global partnership for development. Let me outline a few for further discussion today:
- First, securing the early, effective and full implementation of the agreed goals and commitments, which remains the most difficult and intractable dimension of the global development agenda, must be one of our highest priorities. The development follow up resolution 60/265, provided a good legislative framework for pursuing a more structured and coherent approach to implementation of the MDGs and the IADGs. Building on that we should continue with our efforts to develop, within the UN, an intergovernmental consensus for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to track and encourage the implementation of MDGs and IADGs.
- In this context, convening of the first Annual Ministerial Review and the launch of the Development Cooperation Forum during the 2007 ECOSOC Substantive Session in Geneva are important developments. We are convinced that, if developed in a balanced manner consistent with Resolution 61/16, the two mechanisms should also usefully contribute to reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation and for monitoring the broader implementation of the Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including MDGs. The DCF, in particular, can review and further develop guidelines for aid effectiveness and thus more objectively measure the results of development cooperation.
- Importantly, we as a Group should continue to insist that the developed countries also make presentations on their MDGs strategies, particularly on Goal 8, during the AMR. It would help to know as to how far their policies are in conformity with guidelines of aid effectiveness as well as status of implementation of the commitments undertaken under the IADGs, including MDGs.
- Second, the continuing decline in global ODA, despite the commitments made and promises of 50 billion $ in additional assistance and its heavy reliance on debt cancellation and restructuring, is also a source of serious concern for the Group of 77 and China. As is the ever increasing outflow of resources from developing to the developed countries. We are confident that the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, scheduled to be held in Doha in the Second half of 2008 would provide the platform to meaningfully address these challenges based on the lessons learnt and experiences gained.
- Third, we are concerned over the stalemate in the Doha Round of trade negotiations which jeopardizes the delivery on the development promises for the developing countries. The developed countries must demonstrate the flexibility and political will required to break the current impasse in the negotiations and to work towards a successful and timely completion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations, with the fullest realization of the development dimensions of the Doha Work Programme.
- Fourth, we also need to adopt appropriate measures that are essential to overcome the technological gap between the developing and developed countries and to work towards arrangements that facilitate the process of technology transfer. In this regard, the global IPR regime also needs to be reviewed to make it development oriented and to eliminate and or streamline the restraints imposed on access to technology, especially advanced technologies and certain aspects of TRIPS, which are adversely affecting the developmental needs of developing countries, particularly in sectors such as health and education.
- In advancing the global agenda, the international community will also have to be particularly mindful of the special needs of and challenges faced by Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States. The international community and the UN system must address those needs and vulnerabilities and take urgent and concrete actions to fulfill their commitments.
- As we get ready for the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, a number of complex and difficult issues are expected to be taken up during this session, including climate change, financing for development and the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of UN Operational Activities.
- Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Group of 77 and China will be to develop and sustain a common vision on the important but complex issue of climate change in the period leading up to the Bali Meeting on Climate Change in December 2007. The Group should maintain the unity displayed at CSD-15 and Secretary General’s High Level Event on Climate Change. To this end, we should address Climate Change within the context of Sustainable Development and seek simultaneous realization of its three pillars: (1) Economic growth, (2) Social development and (3) Environmental protection on the basis of the agreed Rio Principles, specially the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between the developed and the developing countries. We will need to agree at Bali and a subsequent dialogue within the UN on specific strategy, negotiating frameworks, instruments and implementation mechanisms to address climate change in an equitable and comprehensive manner compatible with sustainable development.
- The Sixty-Second Session would also oversee the culmination of the preparations for the Mid-term Review of the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) which we commenced during the 61st Session. The developing countries see the forthcoming Review Conference as a valuable opportunity to secure support for our vision and views on the deepening global financial volatility and inequity faced by most developing countries.
- On the Report of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence there is need to focus on the essential objectives we seek from this exercise – an effective and coherent UN development cooperation system that is responsive to the national development plans and strategies of the developing countries.
- In response to the common positions of the Group of 77, the UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2008-2011 has been partly revised and will, we are assured, be further modified to reflect the Group’s position on those aspects of the Strategic Plan that have a fundamental bearing on the UN’s Operational Activities at the country level and on the future role of UNDP.
- Also the 2007 Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of the UN Operational Activities offers the UN General Assembly an opportunity to provide system wide policy orientation and guidance to the development cooperation and country level modalities of the UN system. We will work with the Group to ensure that the TCPR determines the course of action for the UN’s Operational Activities and that this process is not superceded or preempted by other processes.
- During its Chairmanship, Pakistan has focused on promoting South-South Cooperation, whose significance has enlarged exponentially. The South’s expanding role in global growth, trade and investments, largely due to emerging dynamic economies, have opened up new opportunities as well as new challenges for developing countries. We need to make use of this potential optimally. In this regard, we believe that the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation has a special role to play and should be strengthened as called for by the Second South Summit.
- The Second South Summit mandated the formulation of the South Development Platform. A first meeting was held in Kingston, Jamaica in 2005 by the then G-77 Chair. As the current Chair, we have taken the initiative to convene the second meeting of the Panel of Eminent Experts to complete the elaboration of the Development Platform. The meeting has been scheduled for 18-19 October 2007. The meeting would seek to refine and elaborate the South’s Development Platform and to analyze and evolve suggestions for G-77 position on key issues; the multilateral trading system; the architecture of a new financial system; technology acquisition and access; climate change and energy. The analysis and recommendations of the Experts Panel could constitute the basis for the formulation of our strategies and decisions by the Members of the Group of 77.
- Another area that would need our immediate attention is the early operationalization of the South Fund for Humanitarian Assistance and Development established by the Second South Summit in Doha. We have been working with Qatar to finalize the draft and hope to hear from Qatar soon on some of the suggestions forwarded to them.
- I would also like to thank the members of the Group of 77 & China for demonstrating strong unity and solidarity during the difficult and often protracted negotiations on number of reform and administrative and budgetary issues over the last several months. We achieved a good outcome in restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, reform of the UN internal Justice system, Governance and Oversight reforms, and in defining broad administrative and budgetary policies for the peacekeeping operations.
- We have extended support to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s reform proposals. We hope that the current trend of seeking additional resources for peace and security and human rights would also reach the development and international cooperation related aspects of the United Nations. We urge the Secretary General to initiate a dialogue with Member States to this effect.
- In the current session, the Group of 77 & China would focus on the approval of the biennial budget for 2008-09 that ensures sufficient allocation of resources to our priorities. We note with concern that the resource allocation for development and regional cooperation have registered the least increase. We would seek significant increase in the development related resources and appropriate reform of the United Nations economic and development machinery. We would safeguard the principle of sovereign equality of Member States in administrative and budgetary decisions to be reached through open and inclusive negotiations.
- I will be remiss if I fail to acknowledge with great appreciation and thank the valuable support and cooperation that we have received from the member states of G-77 and China as well as from our small but efficient Secretariat.