Ambassador Daudi N. Mwakawago
Chairman of the Group of 77

Supporting and consolidating the South Centre

by Ambassador Daudi N. Mwakawago
Chairman of the Group of 77

One year ago, the Chairman of the South Centre Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere addressed the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 on the issue of financing the South Centre. He informed Ministers of the progress made in consolidating the Centre and of the work undertaken, and made a plea for financial contributions so that the target for the Capital Fund could be reached and the Centre financed during the period before the Fund yielded an income sufficient to pay for the core costs of the Centre. Governments have been relatively slow to respond and, while progress in fund raising has been made and some informal pledges have been secured, much remains to be done.

In my capacity as Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York, I have been reminding my Permanent Representative colleagues of Mwalimu’s plea and of the Centre’s needs. I am glad to report that as a result, at least one contribution has materialized so far, and I expect that more will be forthcoming in the near future.

In my capacity as Chairman of the Group of 77 I have been able to rely on the Centre’s assistance on a number of occasions at no cost to Group of 77. I therefore consider it the Chairman’s task to encourage the governments — both of those 46 countries that are members of the Agreement to Establish the South Centre and of the other Group of 77 member States — to make a more determined effort to contribute to fund raising for the Centre. The sooner the target of US$ 30 million is reached the better, because the Centre will then be able to reach its planned strength and thus able to better fulfil the many demands for its services.

I would also like to recall that the Council of Representatives of the South Centre decided that every effort should be made to raise financial resources for the Capital Fund from the countries of the South. It is therefore imperative for all that the target be reached through our own contributions, that of the governments primarily, but also of business, foundations, individuals, and possibly other innovative ways from the South.

A further matter of importance with respect to the consolidation of the Centre concerns the ratification by the member states of the Agreement to Establish the Centre. So far 25 countries have ratified or acceded to the agreement. These are as follows: Algeria, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

A number of other countries have signed the Agreement, but so far have not ratified it. They are as follows: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mali, Federal States of Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, and Suriname.

The Centre is very invaluable to the work of the Group of 77. It can only do the requisite if it has the necessary resources. I appeal to member countries to give generously to the Centre.