FOR IMMEDIATE WORLDWIDE RELEASE IN THE G-77 CHAPTERS:
GENEVA - NAIROBI - PARIS - VIENNA - WASHINGTON, D.C.
We, the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Chapters of the Group of 77, meeting in Geneva from 26 to 27 June 2003, 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.
Follow-up and implementation of major UN conferences and summits
1. 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 at other major United Nations conferences and summits and their respective reviews, in particular those related to development and achieving the goal of poverty eradication.
2. 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.
3. We welcome the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields on Monday, 23 June 2003, and commit ourselves to its implementation through the UN system-wide organizations in our respective chapters.
4. The holding of a summit on development in 2005 is a great achievement of this ad hoc working group. This summit will be an opportunity for Member States and the international community as a whole to take stock of progress made in the implementation of all the commitments, undertaken at various conferences and summits. It will also be an opportunity to take corrective actions and the necessary measures to advance the process of implementation.
5. The improvement of the role of the United Nations system in implementation and follow up, the reform of the methods of work of all functional commissions and follow-up mechanisms with a view to focusing on the review of implementation, and the compromise reached on indicators as a tool for monitoring and assessing the progress made in implementation, are all achievements which we welcome and which allow us to progress in the implementation process and thus to keep the attention of the international community on the development agenda. This is a result we welcome as long as it is in fact implemented and kept to and here we wish to appeal to the international community, to all the Member States and especially to our developed partners, to implement and respect the commitments contained and achieved at the various conferences and summits. The strengthening of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly as far as integrated follow-up is concerned is also an important and positive step. The same is true of their role in the consideration of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcomes of various conferences and summits.
6. We express concern at the erosion of development cooperation and note the need to reinvigorate it. Official concessional development assistance, special and differential treatment for developing countries and transfer of technology on concessional and preferential terms remain crucial if developing countries are to succeed in eradicating poverty and accelerating economic growth in a sustainable manner. In this context, we underline the vital role of financing for development in fostering the economic development of the developing countries and emphasize that the current lack of adequate financial resources is the most debilitating constraint on development. In this context, we also strongly support the ongoing dialogue between ECOSOC and the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI).
7. 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.
8. We believe that there is a need to consolidate ongoing efforts, to further increase resources, and to identify priority areas for South-South cooperation and to support the proposal for a UN High-level Coordinator for South-South Cooperation with the assistance of UNCTAD, UNDP and other UN institutions. In this context, we request the Bureau of the High-Level Committee on TCDC to review the issue and submit proposals and options for the implementation of such an initiative.
9. We support the preparatory process for the High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 16 to 19 December 2003, and we are confident that itwill be a major event in speeding the process of strengthening South-South cooperation. We consider the High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation an important landmark in our collective effort to increase the momentum and intensity of development cooperation. We commit ourselves to contribute to the High-level Conference and seek the full and active involvement of the UN system-wide organizations concerned in our respective chapters to make this conference a priority on the agenda.
10. We renew our efforts to promote South-South cooperation are increasing and need to be strongly supported. In this context, we warmly welcome the successful outcome of the thirteenth session of the High-Level Committee on TCDC, held in New York from 27 to 30 May 2003, and we call on the Administrator and the Executive Board of the UNDP to strengthen the Special Unit for South-South cooperation through the preservation of its separate identity and the provision of adequate resources.
11. We are convinced that subregional and regional integration are essential instruments of South-South cooperation, as they would stimulate trade and investment flows, increase coherence among members and play a crucial role in the transfer of technology among developing countries.
12. We regard the GSTP as an essential component of South-South Cooperation and we urge GSTP members to expedite the ratification of commitments negotiated during the second round in order to prepare the ground for the launching of a third round of GSTP negotiations, so as to expand the scope and depth of the system.
13. We stress our strong support for an increase in the resources of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF) for Technical and Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries and, similarly, we urge members countries to make the greatest possible efforts to maintain their current contribution level, and to try to increase them as soon as possible, in view of the positive results achieved by the Trust Fund in its 16 years of existence (1986-2002), with the purpose of maintaining the response capacity of the Fund vis-à-vis the growing demand by developing countries for support in the area of South-South cooperation.
14. We welcome the ongoing efforts by the Chairman of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Developing Countries (G-77 CCI) in order to convene the General Conference of the G-77 CCI and the Steering Committee in 2003 in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In this context, we endorse the report submitted by the Chairman of the Group of 77 to the 10th Session of IFCC regarding the review of the operational modalities of the G-77 CCI and request the Chairman of G-77 CCI to present a detailed assessment report on the functioning of the Chamber, in a spirit of accountability and transparency. The report should be submitted by the Chairman of the G-77 CCI to the 35th Chapters Meeting (New York, September 2003), which will recommend it for final decision and appropriate action by the Ministerial Meeting.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XI)
15. We commit ourselves to working together to make UNCTAD XI a global endeavour involving all actors and stakeholders in development. We consider that UNCTAD XI will enable us to address future development challenges based on the competitiveness of developing countries and their growing productive capacity and will enhance coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes for an effective contribution to implementing the millennium goals. We further welcome the agenda adopted by the Board for the Conference, together with its sub-themes. We extend our appreciation to Brazil for offering to host the Eleventh Conference on UNCTAD.
World Trade Organization (WTO Ministerial Conference)
16. We recall the Havana Summit Decision inviting the Group of 77 to consult and make efforts as necessary for coordinating the position of developing countries prior to UNCTAD and WTO meetings, including through Ministerial Meetings.
17. Aware of the decision of WTO to convene the 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancun, we urge member States of the Group of 77 to participate actively in the preparatory process for the Cancun Conference with a view to ensuring that their interests are fully reflected in the agenda.
18. We strongly support the efforts of the Geneva Chapter to formulate a common position and to adopt a declaration to be issued prior to the Cancun Conference reflecting the concerns and interest of developing countries.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
19. We commend the emerging role of the developing countries in striving towards a strengthened international intellectual property system that would meet the needs of developing countries, as well as the recognition of the need to rectify present imbalances in the international IP system. As the Beijing Summit on Intellectual Property and the Knowledge Economy has yet to be convened, we request member countries to continue to work towards reflecting the interests and priorities of the developing countries, especially on bio-piracy, theft of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
World Health Organization (WHO)
20. We welcome the active and emerging role of the G-77 on WHO matters and urge continued cooperation in the areas of interest to developing countries. We request member countries to continue to explore common positions, especially with regard to the issue of the Global Fund to assist developing countries to implement the FCTC. With regard to the Joint WHO/FAO Report, we urge the G-77 Chapters to continue to work with the different agencies to explain the position of the developing countries and the implications that may arise, taking into account the economic implications of the Report.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
21. In building the defenses of peace in the minds of men, we recognize the importance of including, as cross-cutting themes in UNESCO's programme of action, poverty eradication, globalization with a human face, the dialogue of civilizations and the culture of peace.
22. In the field of education, we recommend that priority should be accorded to the implementation of and follow-up to the Dakar Framework for Action, the proclamation of an International Year for Physical Education and Sports in the service of Development and Peace, education for peace, human rights and democracy, education for sustainable development and teachers' training to promote a culture of peace and tolerance, and an International Anti-dopping Convention in Sports.
23. As regards the UN Decade for Literacy (2003-2012) and its promotion, we believe that UNESCO should now move towards greater visibility and more action on the ground. In the negotiations leading to the proclamation of a UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), we support the idea that UNESCO should play a leading role.
24. On culture, we urge the adoption of a Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the forthcoming UNESCO 32nd General Conference as a matter of the greatest urgency. The issue of drafting an International Convention on Cultural Diversity is another priority concern.
25. In the area of natural sciences, we support the proposal for the elaboration of an education programme for the sustainable management of freshwater resources and the finalizing of the draft international declaration on human genetic data. On communications and information, we would like express the hope that UNESCO's concerns will be reflected in the World Summit on Information Society (Geneva, 2003 and Tunisia, 2005), with emphasis laid not so much on the establishment of information as on knowledge societies.
Science and Technology
26. The importance of science and technology for the transformation, development and competitiveness of countries is well recognized. However, many hurdles still remain, especially in developing countries, in such areas as technology and knowledge transfer, mastery and development. Many developing countries are trying to improve their technological systems and seeking international support for these efforts. The United Nations should play a more active and visible role in promoting technology for development and in helping developing countries integrate technology into their national development policies as part of the Millennium Development Goals.
27. New and emerging technologies play a vital role in raising the productive capacity and competitiveness of nations. They offer good opportunities for developing countries to "leapfrog" stages of development gap with the industrialized countries.
28. We underline the necessity of the implementation of the decisions and proposals adopted at the Dubai High-Level Conference of the Group of 77 as regards South-South Cooperation on Science and Technology, with special emphasis on the action programmes in the areas of Biotechnology, Information Technology and use of safe drinking water. In this context, we call on the high-level advisory group set up by the Dubai Conference to meet as soon as possible in order to formulate a concrete timetable for the implementation of the outcome of the Conference.
29. We will continue to explore positive areas of cooperation and joint
positions on the various issues that will be included in the Draft Summit
Declaration and Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information
Society in December 2003.
30. We recognize that UNIDO can bring about a positive change in the international economic order through industrial-led economic growth and capacity building in the developing countries. This may be achieved by focusing on emerging interests and concerns of developing countries facing changing conditions in international trade, bridging the technological chasms, and providing guidelines for quality control, standardization and methodology to make the industrial products of developing countries competitive in the international market. UNIDO can also be instrumental in supporting various regional and sub-regional trade liberalization and integration processes, as well as in furthering various exchange and cooperation schemes among developing countries on an intercontinental basis, in addition to trilateral or plurilateral schemes involving also developed countries supportive of initiatives by members of the Group.
31. We attribute special significance to UNIDO's initiative, in partnership with the Government of Chile, to organise in early 2004 in that country a Global Forum on Biotechnology. The Group is following with interest the ongoing process of preparation of the Forum through various regional meetings, and looks forward to supporting an enhanced role by UNIDO in the efforts to put biotechnology at the service of the sustainable development of developing countries.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
32. We emphasized the importance we attach to the principle of balance among the statutory activities of the Agency, whose credibility requires an even distribution of resources among the various major Programmes, as well as between the Regular Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF). In the present circumstances, special attention is required to ensure that any eventual increase in the Regular Budget be made so as to minimize to the widest possible extent the financial burden accruing to developing Member States, including through an adequate postponement of the application of the so-called "deshielding" mechanisms and the early abolition of Assessed Programme Costs. Likewise, any increases in the Regular Budget must from now on be matched by an increase to at least in the same proportional amount in the resources of the TCF.
33. We stress the very high level of importance we attach to the promotional aspects of the Agency's activities, both through some of its Major Programmes in the Regular Budget and through the Technical Cooperation Programme, with the resources of the TCF. Those activities are of great significance to the promotion of sustainable development.
34. We urge the IAEA to engage in a more active way in the implementation of the follow-up of the Millennium Declaration and other major UN Conferences, as well in support for South-South Cooperation. In this regard, we call on the IAEA's Secretariat to be duly involved in the preparation of the High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation, to be held in Morocco in December 2003, and in the fullfillment of its decisions.
35. While reiterating its full support for the verification and safety-related activities of the Agency, we will continue to act so that any current and future deliberations and decisions on the Agency's Programme Budget and overall financing are taken in a way that ensures the preservation of the Agency's profile as defined by its Statutes, with special attention being given to the concerns and interests of developing member States.
Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption
36. We welcome the fact that the Group has developed a common position on issues of central significance to the negotiation of a Convention against Corruption and is actively involved in the negotiation process. We consider that those negotiations should lead to the elaboration of a convention which is comprehensive, strong and effective in providing for unfettered international cooperation in the struggle against corruption, including through adequate measures as regards mutual legal assistance, extradition, prevention, seizure and recovery of assets illicitly acquired.
37. We reiterate our support for the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee
and for the position that the timetable for negotiations should not be
interpreted as a time/financial constraint to the detriment of the quality
and substance of the Convention.
38. We welcome the progress that is being achieved in various important activities regarding the issues of the combat against the illicit trafficking of drugs and its linkages to terrorism, money laundering, illicit traffic or arms and other forms of transnational organized crime. We also attach great importance to the activities of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the CICP (Center for International Crime Prevention) in strengthening international cooperation in the fight against crime in all its forms, including urban criminality, and we welcome the General Assembly's decision to strengthen the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the CICP.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Band Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
39. While reiterating the Group's support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, we follow with interest the activities of the Preparatory Commission and its Provisional Secretariat and Working Groups.
40. We reiterate that the establishment of the International Monitoring System (IMS) should be conducted on the basis of a clear correlation between the actual prospect of the entry into force of the Treaty and the establishment of the verification system, and on the premise that the operation of IMS stations before the entry into force of the Treaty is provisional and testing is neutral, and only for the purpose of testing and evaluating the performance and data of IMS stations.
41. We reaffirm the importance of the non-career policy of the Commission and of the practice of equitable representation of regional groups in staff positions.
42. We fully support the convening in early September 2003, in Vienna, of an Article-14 Conference for the facilitation of the entry into force of the CTBT.
International Labour Organization (ILO)
43. We welcome the expanding role of the Group in the ILO and look forward to progress in the recent initiatives launched to bring more equitable results to developing countries as a result of globalization.
United Nations Environment Programme and human settlements (UNEP/HABITAT)
44. We strongly support the reaffirmation by the international community, through the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, of the importance of economic development, social development and environmental protection as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development.
45. We welcome the outcome of the 22nd Session of the Governing Council of UNEP/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GC/GMEF) and commend the effective contribution made by the G-77 Nairobi Chapter to the satisfactory outcome of the said conference. In this context we would like to highlight the progress made in the areas of chemicals and post-conflict assessment. We call upon UNEP to implement as soon as possible the recommendations of the study of the environmental situation in Palestinian occupied territories, as adopted by the UNEP Governing Council. We highly appreciate UNEP's work programme for the biennium 2004-2005 and expect that UNEP will be able to carry out its mandate as outlined in this work programme.
46. We expect that UNEP will be able to take effective steps to fully implement the GC/GMEF decisions and that it will address vigorously the environmental aspects of sustainable development and collaborate with all actors in the United Nations and other stakeholders in their collective efforts to implement the outcomes of World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
47. We reiterate our concern that the effective participation of developing countries in international efforts to address environmental issues is hampered by the lack of new and additional financial resources, genuine transfer of technology and capacity-building, especially through technical cooperation.
48. We are gratified by the UN General Assembly decision upgrading the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (UNCHS) to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). In this respect, we trust that UN-HABITAT, with its enhanced mandate, will be able to address the Habitant Agenda more effectively.
49. We emphasize that UN-HABITAT, as the leading agency in the implementation of HABITAT Agenda, needs to give as much impetus as possible to the Global Campaigns on Security of Tenure and Urban Governance as an ongoing process of consultation with national Governments and in accordance with the spirit of Istanbul + 5. We would also expect that UN-HABITAT will further focus on the implementation of development goals of the Millennium Declaration and the WSSD Plan of Implementation related to Water, Sanitation and Slum Upgrading and on capacity-building in support of sustainable urbanization policies and programmes. We also support the establishment of the proposed Human Settlement Fund for the Palestinian People.
50. We are cognisant of the fact that despite continuously increasing prices paid by consumers, prices received by developing country commodity exporters have been declining steadily in real terms and, for many commodities, even in nominal terms over the past several years. The declining price trends have combined with other adverse conditions, including unfavourable market access or market entry conditions and competition from subsidized production in developed countries, to place a heavy burden on developing commodity exporting countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs). Many of these countries have not succeeded in generating sufficient revenue from their commodity exports to allow diversification and growth, and as a result they are caught in a poverty trap where declining prices lead to further dependence on a small number of commodities. The catastrophic price falls for some commodities, including coffee and cotton, in recent years has led to widespread hardship in the countries concerned and to a dramatic increase in poverty.
51. We commit ourselves to pressure UN system-wide organizations in our
respective chapters to support and promote all initiatives that could
improve the situation for commodity exporting countries, including radical
reductions in developed country subsidies and improvement of market access
for developing country commodity exports, financial and technical support
for diversification efforts, consideration of new compensatory financing
mechanisms, and support for projects aiming to improve product quality
52. We reiterate the commitment of our countries to eradicate poverty and raise the standard of living of their people, including through their right to food security. We recognize that poverty is a major cause of food insecurity and instability in developing countries. In this context, we call for decisive and concrete action by the international community to assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce poverty globally during the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.
Coordination among Chapters
53. We express our determination and commitment to bring the action of the Group of 77 to a new level of commitment, and to strengthen its institutional effectiveness with a view to consolidating common positions of our Group on all the issues and activities of the United Nations system. In this context, we believe that streamlining the flow of information among chapters will increase awareness of the key issues being dealt with by each chapter. Information flows should be facilitated though more regular meetings between chapters, including a coordinating meeting early in the year (end January) to formulate a consolidated programme of work. Regular video conferences should be organized, information related to activities of all chapters should be posted on the website of the G-77 in New York, and the journal of the Group of 77 should published on a regular basis. Efforts should also be made to strengthen institutional support for the Group of 77 Chapters including enhancement and diversification of ad hoc institutional support to the chapters where many UN organizations are present.
54. We decide to hold the 35th Meeting of the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Group of 77 at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September 2003, prior to the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly.
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