FOR IMMEDIATE WORLDWIDE RELEASE IN THE G-77 CHAPTERS:
GENEVA - NAIROBI - PARIS - VIENNA - WASHINGTON, D.C.
1. We, the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Chapters of the Group of 77, meeting in Geneva, from 1 – 2 March 2005, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Stafford O. Neil, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations and Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York, declare our full commitment to the Havana Programme of Action and the South Summit Declaration as the two guiding documents of the South, reflecting the interests and concerns of the developing countries.
2. We strongly believe that the year 2005 presents a formidable challenge for the developing countries as we prepare for the follow-up and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other issues to be considered at the special event of the 60 th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Second South Summit would therefore be an opportune occasion to advance the development agenda for developing countries and strengthen South-South cooperation.
3. We recognize that if we are to realize the full potential of the Group of 77 in working together towards the realization of our common goals and objectives, we must fully enhance coordination between Chapters. This is particularly important as each Chapter of the Group of 77 has its own expertise and experience, which, if fully exploited, can reap significant dividends for the group and for the cause of development.
4. We welcome the reports on the activities and works of the Chapters in 2004 and agree to provide more information for the G77 website and to communicate regularly among ourselves with a view to further enhancing coordination. A revised programme of work of the Group of 77 for the year 2005 will be issued and sent to the chapters a week after this 38 th Chapters' meeting.
5. We therefore agreed on specific measures to improve coordination between chapters including:
6. As we are meeting following the commemoration of the 40 th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, we strongly reaffirm our commitment to the strengthening of the solidarity among the membership of the Group. Our group strove and struggled to build a just and equitable world economic system.
7. In this context, we welcome the generous offer by the Government of the State of Qatar to host the Group of 77 Second South Summit in Doha from 12 – 16 June 2005, as well as the generous offer by the Government of Cuba to host the Eleventh Session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (IFCC-XI) from 21 to 23 March 2005 as a part of the preparatory process of the Summit, including the focus on the follow-up of the First South Summit outcome, as well as the review of the implementation of the Havana Programme of Action, particularly in the area of South-South cooperation. In this context, we stress the importance of the active participation of the Chairmen of the Chapters in the preparatory process of the Second South Summit to be held in Doha from 12 to 16 June 2005.
8. Since the Second South Summit will convene on the eve of the high-level plenary meeting of the 60 th Session of the General Assembly, it is our sincere hope that at the Second South Summit, we should elaborate a common position aimed at advancing our common aspirations through collective action during the High-level Event.
9. In view of the broad nature of the agenda at the South Summit, and the importance of its outcome, it is indispensable for all members of the Group of 77 to participate in the South Summit at the level of Head of State or Government. In order to make full use of the collective wisdom and experience of the Group of 77, we look forward to the participation of experts from all of the Group of 77 Chapters in the substantive preparatory process for the South Summit, as well as at the Summit itself.
10. We commit ourselves to make a substantive input for the preparation of the final documents of the second South Summit, each within its own area of competence. The Geneva Chapter emphasizes that their contribution will cover issues including the concept of policy space, the multilateral trading system and multilateral trade negotiations, investment, debt and technology, the international financial architecture, and the emerging new geography of international economic relations.
11. We commend the overall quality of the Millennium Project Report as it concludes that the MDGs are achievable within the time frame of 2015, through a more intensified programme of economic cooperation in the global partnership. We support the Report’s emphasis on the principle of national ownership with regard to establishing the priorities and strategies in country programmes. This will ensure that programmes are tailored to meet the needs of each country’s socio-economic situation and are not the result of the imposition of economic models based on ideological and theoretical prescriptions.
12. We reaffirm our support to the United Nations in its efforts to develop its full potential and address urgent and serious economic and social problems faced by developing countries. We therefore reiterate the importance of the United Nations as the central forum for dialogue and negotiation on issues relating to international cooperation for development. We attach great political importance to the strengthening of the role of the United Nations in promoting international cooperation for economic and social development. Indeed, development is a prerequisite for lasting peace. The realization of the right to development as a basic human right should be given utmost priority.
13. In this regard, the efforts undertaken in the General Assembly in preparation for the Millennium plus 5 present an excellent opportunity for developing countries to make clear their views and priorities. In this regard, we thank Chair of the Group of 77 for his efforts in ensuring that these views and perspectives were conveyed, and for continuing to articulate these ideas.
14. We reiterate our firm commitment to further strengthening South-South cooperation. This modality of cooperation is increasingly important both as a strategy in support of development and as a means of ensuring the effective participation of developing countries in the emerging global economic order. In this context, we welcome the commemoration of the “United Nations day for South-South Cooperation” last December and request the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to publish on regular basis a report on the status of South-South cooperation as mandated by the South Summit.
15. We also agreed that it is essential to expand South-South Cooperation by encouraging members of the Group of 77 to accede to the Generalized System of Trade preferences (GSTP). In that regard, we believe that it would send a very positive signal for those members of the G77 &China that are not member of GSTP to indicate interest at the South Summit in acceding to the GSTP, and for GSTP member countries to signal their participation in the Third Round.
16. We reaffirm the importance of strengthening South-South cooperation in the field of industrial development.
17. We acknowledge the role of United Nations Environment Programme as the main body of the United Nations in the field of environment in accordance with relevant General Assembly resolutions, and the outcome of the 23 rd session of the Governing Council/GMEF of UNEP, and in particular the importance of the adoption of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building for developing countries. In this regard, we reaffirm the need for an effective and immediate implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building and the provision of new and additional financial resources for its implementation.
18. We also stress the importance of the next 20 th session of the Governing Council of UN-HABITAT and highlighted that the outcome of this session should serve to contribute to the High Level Review of the MDGs by the 60 th Session of the General Assembly.
19. Within the framework of its deliberations, we take note of the opening of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and warmly welcomed this remarkable initiative that would bring enormous benefits to the whole international community. The G-77 also expressed its wish that the international community take all necessary measures in support of the "Education For All" programme developed by UNESCO, the leading United Nations Education agency.
20. We further note the ongoing negotiation of UNESCO's "Draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions". Developing countries are culturally extremely rich and diverse, and for this reason our Group must play a active role in the negotiating process.
21. We take note of the preparations for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Tunis, from 16 – 18 November, 2005. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of the participation of Governments in the Working Groups and their efforts in continuing to explore the possible areas of common interests and positions among its members, especially in regard to the financing of a Digital Solidarity Fund, the Governance of the Internet and on efforts to reduce the digital divide.
22. We express and reiterate our preoccupation with the inadequate representation of developing countries in the Bretton Woods institutions. The share of basic votes fell from 11.3 per cent to 2.1 per cent of the total votes, whereas the number of member states of the IMF has increased from 45 to 184. This has led to a substantial shift in the balance of power in favour of countries with high quotas. We, therefore, stress the need for a more adequate balance in the decision-making process, especially when these decisions touch upon interests of developing countries.
23. We mandate the Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York to undertake necessary consultations with the Member States and the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding the designation of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD.
24. We agree to convene the 39 th meeting of the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Chapters of the Group of 77 in New York on the eve of the 60 th session of the UN General Assembly.
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