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 9 to 11 March 2004 under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar 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. As we are meeting on the eve of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, we believe that the tangible result to come out of this occasion is our contribution in strengthening solidarity and commitment of the membership of the Group to the principles of the founding fathers. The founding fathers of the Group of 77 strove to build a just and equitable world economic system based on shared perceptions of the need to redress the existing economic order. In this context, we welcome the holding of a G-77 Special Ministerial Meeting in Sao Paulo (Brazil) on 11 and 12 June on the eve of UNCTAD XI to mark this anniversary and we support the proposal of establishing a G-77 high-level advisory group of eminent personalities to reflect on the future role of the Group of 77 for this purpose.
3. We strongly support 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 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. We strongly believe that the United Nations should be allowed to develop its full potential in the field of international economic cooperation. 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.
4. We reaffirm our commitment to the Millennium Declaration and call upon the international community and the United Nations system to fully and speedily implement the provisions set out in that Declaration and in other major United Nations conferences and summits and their respective reviews, in particular those related to development of global partnerships for development and achieving the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger.
5. We call upon the developed countries to fulfil their commitments in respect of the implementation and follow-up of decisions and recommendations set forth in the Programmes of Action adopted at the major United Nations conferences and summits held in this decade. We express grave concern at the fact that commitments made by the developed countries at the highest levels are not being fully honoured. We also caution against any approach which seeks to implement the outcomes of the summits selectively. The focus cannot only be on governance aspects and social issues, while excluding the international community’s obligations in areas such as providing greater market access, easing the debt burden, and promoting financial flows, technology transfer and capacity-building for human resources.
6. Today, South-South cooperation is a prominent item on the agenda of the Group of 77. The Group of 77 will maintain and strengthen its unity and expand functional cooperation among the Chapters. We are well aware that there are no miraculous answers to the problems of international trade and development. We strongly believe that bringing about the solutions to the development problems is a process. In this context, we are very confident that the three major events in 2004 viz the Eleventh Session of the Intergovernmental Follow up and Coordination Committee (IFCC-XI) in Havana, the Special Ministerial Meeting commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77 in Sao Paulo, UNCTAD XI, as well as the Second G-77 South Summit to be held 2005, will provide an excellent opportunity to reassert developing countries' solidarity and their desire and ability to act together.
7. We welcome the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution declaring a “United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation” and reiterate the importance of convening a South-South Development Forum. In this regard, we request the United Nations Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative/Coordinator for South-South Cooperation and to make necessary arrangements through the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to mark the commemoration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation.
8. We stress the importance of a continued G-77/G-8 dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development through partnership as an essential mechanism for the discussion of emerging and urgent issues relevant to the strengthening of a global partnership for development to further strengthen the efforts of the international community in addressing development issues of international concern, including the implementation of the agreed commitments and outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits. In this context, we call on the forthcoming annual Summit of the G-8, to be held in Sea Island, Georgia, U.S.A. from 8 – 10 June 2004, to take into account the interests and concerns of developing countries and request the Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York, as mandated by the South Summit, to convey those interests and concerns to the Summit.
9. We note with appreciation the preparations for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Tunis, from 16 to 18 November 2005 and decide to continue to explore the possible areas of common interest and positions among its members, especially in regard to the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action, in particular those topics related to the financing of a Digital Solidarity Fund and the Governance of the Internet. We also support the understanding that the working group on Internet governance (WGIG) shall work on an intergovernmental basis.
10. We underline the necessity of the implementation of the outcome adopted by the G-77 High-Level Conference on Science and Technology, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 27 to 30 October 2002. In this context, we welcome the follow-up initiative to convene an exhibition and South-South forum on science and technology in 2006 in Trieste (Italy) with the support of the Trieste System, especially the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).
11. We believe that respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are important factors for the promotion of development, peace and solidarity among nations. The ongoing process of globalization, facilitated by the rapid development of new information and communication technologies, though representing a challenge for cultural diversity, creates the conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations. In this context, we reiterate the South Summit decision to convene a South-South cultural assembly before the second G-77 South Summit. Meanwhile, we call on UNESCO to continue to play its role in the fulfillment of its ideals which place moral and intellectual solidarity among its principal objectives. The major UNESCO programmes illustrate these objectives which aim at ensuring the preservation and promotion of science, information, technology, education, culture through the implementation of various innovative programmes and initiatives such as Dakar Forum “Education for All”. In this context, we express our satisfaction for the ongoing process for the elaboration of convention of cultural diversity and appeal to member States of the Secretariat of UNESCO to continue its efforts in order to conclude this convention within the proposed time frame by the latest 2005.
12. We note with appreciation the progress in the negotiations in the Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XI and note the timetable for the continuation of this work. We call upon all Chapters to strengthen coordinated action in order to ensure the success of UNCTAD XI as a global endeavour involving all actors and stakeholders in developing countries. The core themes of the Conference on “Enhancing coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes towards economic growth and development” will contribute to efforts to address future development challenges based on the competitiveness of developing countries and their growing productive capacity as well as the issues of coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes as an effective contribution to the implementation of the millennium development goals.
13. We note with satisfaction the progress made so far by the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (PGTF) in support of South-South cooperation projects and call upon all members of the Group of 77 as well as the United Nations system to support the expansion of the PGTF. We stress our strong support for an increase in the resources of the PGTF and, similarly, we urge member countries to contribute generously to the PGTF, in view of the positive results achieved in its 18 years of existence (1986-2004) and in order to respond to the growing needs and demands by developing countries for support in the area of South-South cooperation.
14. We consider the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) as an essential component of South-South Cooperation. In this context, we urge GSTP members to expedite the groundwork for the launching of a third round of GSTP negotiations in Sao Paolo on the occasion of UNCTAD XI, so as to expand the scope and depth of the system. We stress the crucial importance of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries as an instrument for promoting South-South cooperation and trade in this context and we recall the decision of the Havana Summit to consider further deepening and expansion of the GSTP in order to enhance its effectiveness, as well as to review the implementation and the performance and impact of the GSTP among developing countries. We note with appreciation the decision of the Committee of Participants of the GSTP to create the Ad Hoc Technical Working Group to study means to reinvigorate that mechanism and encourage all developing countries non-members of the GSTP to join the GSTP.
15. We welcome the ongoing efforts by the Chairman of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Developing Countries (G-77 CCI) aimed at convening the General Conference of the G-77 CCI and the Steering Committee in 2004 in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In this context, we share the concerns expressed in the report submitted by the Chairman of G-77 CCI to the Chapters’ meeting and support the proposal for the establishment of an ad hoc advisory group to review the performance of the Chamber, the operating modalities and its mandate as well as its subsidiary bodies.
16. We note developments concerning the Doha Round, and emphasize the important role of the G-77 in the pursuance of the objectives of developing countries in the negotiations as a whole. We note with concern the situation of commodity-dependent developing countries and call on the international community, especially in the context of the WTO negotiations, to support and promote initiatives to improve the situation of commodity exporting developing countries, and encourage the G-77 chapters to search for solutions for the problem in appropriate international fora.
17. We urge the developing countries to continue to strengthen their coordination and participation in the deliberations and negotiations at WIPO, with a view to ensuring that the international intellectual property system is respectful of and fully integrates the “development dimension”. Effective participation in the discussions on the harmonization of substantive patent law, the reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and the protection of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and folklore, was particularly emphasized in this regard.
18. We welcome the active role of the G-77 on WHO related issues, especially those related to the adequate, energy balanced and healthy diet within the framework of the WHO draft Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. We encourage continued cooperation in all areas of interest of developing countries in this field. We also note with appreciation the constructive initiative of establishing a high-level dialogue with the WHO and urge that such a dialogue be strengthened and that it involve all relevant stakeholders. We recognize the importance of better nutrition and health safety and we welcome proposals for changes in the prevailing diets, provided that such proposals are scientifically based, supportive of a better balance in total energy intake, undamaging to national food security, economically affordable, sensitive to cultural heritage and in accordance with prevailing food production, food processing and food trading practices, and with the support of a wide scientific community.
19. We recognize that international cooperation is an essential requirement
for the eradication of hunger and poverty in developing countries in
general and in the least developed countries in particular. We encourage
joint efforts of State and aid partners by directing development assistance
to the realization of the right to adequate food in developing countries.
We urge States to pursue external debt relief vigorously and expeditiously
in order to strengthen efforts towards combating hunger, alleviating
rural and urban poverty and in promoting sustainable development. Recognizing
the importance of trade for developing countries, we urge developed countries
to expand market access by allowing more imports from developing countries
in accordance with the Doha mandate
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