UNITED NATIONS, (G77/IPS) — Speaking at the handover ceremony of the chairmanship of the Group of 77, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said it was his great personal privilege to accept on behalf of Pakistan, the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for the year 2007.
This was the third time that Pakistan has been elected as the G-77 Chair in New York, he added.
“This expression of trust and confidence in Pakistan reinforces our deep commitment to the ideals and objectives of the Group of 77 and China,” he said.
The minister also said that despite the individual and collective achievements of Member States, developing countries continue to face imposing and complex challenges in their quest to bring prosperity and sustained development to their peoples.
“The world economy has continued to grow, in large measure driven by the dynamic economies of our Group. But, the future is uncertain, due to global economic imbalances and inequity, among and within nations. Prosperity has enlarged, but so has poverty.”
“Our collective search for universal growth and prosperity must be further invigorated as we enter this New Year.”
There is, however, reason for hope and optimism. Firstly, the Group of 77 and China now accounts for a significant share of the world’s GDP and trade.
Secondly, some of the major South economies, especially but not only in Asia, are growing rapidly, enhancing our ability to influence the decisions and direction of world economic relations.
Thirdly, the goals and objectives which we must promote are already set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the other Internationally Agreed Development Goals.
“It is clear that a first priority for our Group must be to secure the full and timely implementation of the MDGs and IADGs. Our governments have accepted the national responsibilities entailed in the realization of these goals”.
He also said: “Most of us are formulating the national development strategies designed to achieve these goals. Our performance is, often critically evaluated by development institutions and our partners.”
What is missing, he declared, is an international mechanism to evaluate the implementation of the development commitments of our partners e.g. to provide the financial transfers, trade openings and technology access to enable the developing countries to successfully implement their national development strategies.
“We should, therefore, press for the early creation of a development monitoring mechanism within the UN.”
In many cases, he said, the economic and trade policies of our partners work at cross purposes to their development commitments.
The impasse in the Doha Round of trade negotiations is a visible and vital case in point. The Doha Development Agenda should not be held hostage to securing further trade and other concessions from the developing countries.
He said the target must remain the removal of the unequal subsidies, high escalating and discriminatory tariffs, and other policies that perpetuate the systemic inequality of the multilateral trading system against the developing countries.
Similarly, the promises of larger development assistance, and debt relief, announced with much fanfare last year, have yet to be realized.
These promises, moreover, need to be supplemented with other measures such as compensating financing for trade losses and measures to enlarge foreign investment flows to developing countries.
Without such enlarged and adequate financial support, he said, it will be impossible for most developing countries particularly the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS to implement their MDG-based development strategies and launch an effective attack against poverty.