Journal of the Group of 77 - Volume 19/2 (2007) (Summer Edition)


UNITED NATIONS, (G77/IPS)— Addressing the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during its annual ministerial review, the chairman of the G77 Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan said that although the level of extreme poverty is projected to fall from 29% in 1990 to 12% in 2015, progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals has been limited in many part of the world, especially among the Least Developed Countries and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Not a single country in Sub-Saharan Africa is on track to achieve the internationally agreed targets of halving extreme poverty by 2015 and approximately 40% of all developing countries are considered to be off-track,” he told delegates.

Similarly, on the implementation of the other MDGs, the level of performance and of expectation is decidedly mixed.

The global partnership for development as set out in Millennium Declaration, the Consensus and the Johannesburg Conference is essential for the realization of the MDGs as well as the Internationally Agreed Development Goals.

“The present is a good opportunity when the international economy is growing to press for the fulfillment of the promises of the partnership for development”.

Unfortunately, “the level of implementation of the commitments undertaken by our partners in all fields indicates that the glass is less full than it is empty.”

This was very visible, he said, “in the restricted participation by our partners in the open discussions which took place.”

“I hope that next year there will be presentations voluntarily made by both developing and developed countries since this is consistent with the sprit and substance of the General Assembly Resolution 61/16 which provides for participation by both partners.”

The Group of 77 and China have consistently called for effective monitoring of the implementation of the MDGs and the IADGs.

Notably there are some indicators to measure progress achieved with regard to the first seven MDGs but specific benchmarks and targets are not so far available to measure the implementation of MDG 8 that is on global partnerships or on the other internationally agreed development goals.

“We have been calling on the United Nations specifically the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as well as on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to contribute to the elaboration of such specific benchmarks to facilitate of the monitoring of the implementation of MDG 8 and the IADGs.”

“As the first step, we believe that the United Nations and other concerned organizations should help in preparing a comprehensive matrix of the commitments that have been undertaken under MDG 8 and the other internationally agreed development goals”.

Thereafter, specific benchmarks could be indicated and developed, for example, through the committee on development policy as well as the Statistical Commission.

Ambassador Akram said the current ECOSOC session was historic because it not only held the first Annual Ministerial Review but also launched the Development Cooperation Forum.

“The first few days do confirm our hope that ECOSOC will become revitalized and an active player in international economic relations,” he added.

On offical development assistance (ODA), there is a decided decline of 5% and indications to further decline. The calculation of ODA flows incorporates debt cancellation to two large countries while financial flows to the rest of the developing countries have remained stagnant.

Innovative financing has made a small contribution but foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are restricted to a few emerging markets.

There is in fact a growing net outflow of resources from developing to the developed countries which amounted to $700 billion last year. At the same time, the global financial situation remains imbalanced and fragile and could have a serious negative turn, if not managed appropriately, he noted.