UN development assistance should only be on request, says G-77

UNITED NATIONS, July -- The Group of 77 has warned that UN operational activities for development should be designed to benefit developing countries, and should be conducted only at their request and in accordance with their own policies and initiatives.

The warning comes at a time when donors are increasingly channelling their bilateral aid through the UN system and reducing their commitments to multilateral assistance.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Herijanto Soeprapto of Indonesia told ECOSOC that operational activities for development were critically important for enabling developing countries to take the lead in advancing and managing their own development processes.

Globalization had eroded multilateralism and resulted in many complex and negative effects on developing countries, he said.

"It is important to remember that operational activities were for the benefit of developing countries and should be conducted at their request," he added.

Soeprapto told delegates that the central dilemma facing the development cooperation process was the tragic shortfall between the demands of the UN system, on the one hand, and the diminishing level of available resources, on the other.

The growing range and complexities of the UN system went far beyond what the system could provide due to declining financial resources.

The proposals for arresting and reversing the declining of core resources, made by the boards of UN Funds and Programmes, served as a foundation work for the future.
"Unless the bleak situation was turned around, there could be no choice but to drastically reduce the goals and objectives of UN development programmes," he warned. (IPS)