G-77 calls for global partneship to resolve Third World problems

UNITED NATIONS, February -- The Group of 77 has called for a "true partnership" among members of the international community to resolve some of the ongoing Third World problems: trade deficits, mounting foreign debt payments, economic slowdowns and drastic currency volatility.

Addressing the Commission for Social Development, Ambassador Arizal Effendi, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN, said these ongoing problems have had a "devastating impact" on many developing countries, and also undermined their efforts to alleviate the burdens of vulnerable and marginalised groups in society.

"In effect, these factors have greatly increased vulnerability of entire nations and risks the permanent marginalisation of some," he added.

He argued that external forces and the negative consequences of globalisation present a very real and serious obstacle that require international cooperation and assistance if the international community is to meet the challenges ahead.

The Indonesian envoy specifically called for a partnership involving multilateral development agencies, donor countries, governments, civil society and grassroots and community organisations.

"We also hold the view that promoting empowerment of people and social groups is essential to reducing their vulnerability. The need to develop projects which create employment opportunities for such groups must be realised, as well as the need to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable and marginalised groups to interact with all sectors of society," he added.

Ambassador Effendi also brought to the attention of the Commission the role of microcredit in the eradication of poverty. "It is important and relevant for us to benefit from the experiences of as many as 60 countries where microcredit programmes have contributed to the empowerment of particularly of women, as well as to the enhancement of employment opportunities for the poorest segment of their societies."