Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Chairman

G-77 Chairman on Forthcoming Major International Events: WTO Conference, Climate Change, and Financing for Development

UNITED NATIONS (24 October 2001) - Today, Ambasador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Chairman of the Group of 77, gave a press briefing (AUDIO) on the forthcoming seventh session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-7), the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, and the International Conference on Financing for Development.

Recalling the political agreement reached in Bonn in late July, which he termed honourable, he reiterated that the developing countries were determined to remain faithful to that agreement and complete in Marrakesh the work left unfinished in resumed COP-6. He called on all other partners – EU, the Umbrella Group and others - to preserve the political integrity of that agreement. He emphasized the need for the international community to complete that process “in time for the Kyoto Protocol to go into force by the time the Johannesburg Summit meets in September 2002.”

While expressing satisfaction that the fourth WTO Ministerial Conference is going to be held in Doha, as previously agreed, Ambassador Asadi referred to the Declaration adopted in this regard by the Group of 77 and China in Geneva just two days earlier. He said that the Declaration “contains the political outlook of the developing world – 133 developing states – on WTO and its work.” He further added that the Declaration spells out the demands and expectations of the collectivity of the developing world. He stressed that the success of the WTO meeting will depend, in the final analysis, on how the legitimate concerns and interests of developing countries are addressed. He expressed hope that the Fourth Ministerial Meeting will be able to make up for the past shortcomings and imbalances of previous trade rounds.

Turning to the International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in mid-March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, the G-77 Chairman emphasized the historical significance of this much-sought-after international gathering. He expressed satisfaction with the work of the preparatory process thus far, including the general tenor of the draft outcome of the Conference (Facilitator’s Paper) and the inclusive participation of all relevant stakeholders in the just concluded deliberations of the Preparatory Committee last week. He underlined that the six major themes on the substantive agenda of the Conference include all the subjects related to the question of development financing. He underscored that the globalization process has failed the poor and emphasized the imperative of success in Mexico. Drawing on recent and on-going events at the international level, Ambassador Asadi reckoned that the future of multilateral will depend, to a large measure, on the success or failure of the Monterrey Conference, and called on the developed partners to come to the table with a positive attitude and be well-prepared and disposed to negotiate in good faith.

Responding to questions raised by correspondents on the impact of the events of September 11 and their aftermath, he stressed that the negative impact had already been felt in the world economy in various sectors and also that the burden would inevitably fall on the more vulnerable developing countries. He recognized the rather complex nature of the process and the tough negotiations ahead. Emphasizing the realistic and flexible approach of the Group of 77 to future negotiations, Chairman Asadi warned that the developed world should realize the strategic importance of the success of this Conference to four-fifths of the world population and called on them not to jeopardize the multilateral framework of dialogue and negotiations as an instrument for development and prosperity.



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