Lack of funds hamper TCDC programmes

UNITED NATIONS, March 10 (G-77/IPS) -- The Chairman of the Group of 77 has complained that the main stumbling block in operationalizing and implementing country and regional programmes is the lack of technical and financial resources.

''We have witnessed drastic cuts in funds in agreed programmes leaving them unimplemented,'' Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago of Tanzania told the Executive Board of the U.N. Development Programme/U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).

The G-77 chairman pointed out that while the total programmed resources for the first Regional Cooperation Framework for Africa was set at $300 million for 1997-2001, to date only $91 million have been made available leaving a unfinanced gap of $209 million.

"We thus call upon the donor and international community to make more efforts in providing the needed resources for TCDC programmes. If these resources are not made available, the objectives of the regional framework shall not be attained,'' he warned.

He also emphasized the overriding importance the Group of 77 and China attach to technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) in the context of South-South cooperation in general. This is both a strategy in support of the development efforts of the developing countries and a means to ensure their effective participation in the emerging global economy, he added.

''I believe that South-South cooperation is important in ensuring that the countries of the South intensify cooperation among themselves, particularly in those areas with comparative advantage,'' he added.

While recognizing the tremendous potential of South-South cooperation, he said that this should not be seen as a substitute for North-South cooperation. ''As an integral part of international development cooperation and a catalyst for promoting international economic growth and development, South-South cooperation should thus complement North-South cooperation,'' he added.

The G-77 chairman also said that the Group fully supports the 1997 TCDC Cooperation Framework which will enable the Special Unit for TCDC to strengthen its activities as a separate entity within UNDP.

He stressed that it was essential to strengthen TCDC as an important instrument for implementing country-based programmes in developing countries. ''Any attempts to reduce TCDC's current mandate and structure will weaken rather than strengthen TCDC,'' he added.