GROUP OF 77 SOUTH SUMMIT
DECLARATION OF THE SOUTH SUMMIT
1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Group of 77 and China, fully convinced of the imperative need to act in close unity for the primary purpose of working for a peaceful and prosperous world, have gathered here in Havana, for the first-ever South Summit, from 12 to 14 April 2000.
2. We remain fully committed to the spirit of the Group of 77 and China, which has helped our countries since the inception of the Group in the early 1960s to pursue a common and constructive course of action for the protection and promotion of our collective interests and genuine international cooperation for development. At this historic event, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles and objectives that have guided the Group from the start. We also rededicate ourselves to strengthening the unity and solidarity of the Group in pursuit of its declared objectives and to reinforcing the role it is called-upon to play in international economic relations.
3. We are fully convinced that it is indeed imperative to gather here at the start of the new millennium, a critical juncture in contemporary human history, to reflect on the rapidly changing world economic situation and to discuss the emerging challenges facing the South in the economic and social spheres and seek a solution to them. We have also been brought together fully convinced that at the dawn of the 21st century, we need to act decisively to map out a better future for our countries and peoples and to work towards the establishment of an international economic system which will be just and democratic.
4. We reaffirm that in our endeavours we are guided by all the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and by full respect for the principles of international law. To this end we uphold the principles of sovereignty and sovereign equality of States, territorial integrity and non intervention in the internal affairs of any State; take effective measures for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered; refrain in international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations; develop friendly relations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples; achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
5. We emphasize that the process of globalization and interdependence must not be used to weaken or re-interpret the above-mentioned principles, which continue to be the foundation for friendly and peaceful relations among States and for the solution of disputes and conflicts by peaceful means. Furthermore, we stress that those principles inspire us to be fully committed to creating a more just and equitable international economic system that offers security for all people and growing opportunities to raise their standard of living.
6. We are committed to a global system based on the rule of law, democracy in decision-making and full respect for the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. The new global system must reflect these principles.
7. We emphasize that development is the best contribution to peace, and that both are built together. Development is a continuing process, without arbitrary limits, through which we work for the prosperity and well-being of our peoples. Our highest priority is to overcome underdevelopment, which implies the eradication of hunger, illiteracy, disease and poverty. Although this is primarily our responsibility, we urge the international community to adopt urgent and resolute actions, with a comprehensive and multidimensional approach, to assist in overcoming these scourges, and to establish international economic relations based on justice and equity. Development for the well-being of our peoples will always remain the focus of action of the Group of 77, and in this respect we rededicate ourselves to that goal. We recognize the right of developing countries, in exercise of their sovereignty and without any interference in their internal affairs, to choose the path of development in accordance with their national priorities and objectives. We are, however, deeply concerned that international cooperation for development has been downplayed on the agenda of the international community, including the United Nations system. In view of our declared goal, we therefore call on the international community at the dawn of the new millennium to give priority to the development agenda of developing countries and adopt urgent and resolute actions which will help them to overcome the obstacles to their development objectives.
8. In this context, and noting the interdependence of nations and the varying levels of human development worldwide, we stress the need for a new global human order aimed at reversing the growing disparities between rich and poor, both among and within countries, through the promotion of growth with equity, the eradication of poverty, the expansion of productive employment and the promotion of gender equality and social integration. We therefore, pledge to work together to confront these challenges for the benefits of all our people.
9. We note that in recent decades, external factors have constrained the realization of the economic potential of the South. This has adversely affected external trade and the flow of foreign direct investments (FDI) and other forms of investments. It is thus, imperative to promote a North-South dialogue based on a spirit of partnership, mutual benefit and genuine interdependence in order to expedite the removal of these constraints.
10. We are deeply convinced of the need to create a new spirit of international cooperation based on the principle of achieving shared benefits, but also based on common but differentiated responsibilities, between the developing and industrialized countries. We concur that in order to do this, it is imperative to develop collective and peaceful solutions for the global problems affecting the world today, and this demands a search for concrete mechanisms that will guarantee full and effective participation by the South in international decision-making, on an equal basis. In this regard, the international machinery through which global norms are developed and actions taken must therefore ensure that the countries of the South can participate on an equal footing in decisions which affect them most of all. In particular, the international economic governance institutions must promote broad based decision-making which is essential if we are to have a more equitable global political economy. In the context of interdependence we underline the need for expeditions measures to make the existing mechanisms more transparent, inclusive, participatory, interactive and broad based. Similarly at the national level, we also note that the efforts to promote development require a true partnership that is more inclusive and participatory and which involves all stakeholders, including the private sector and NGOs.
11. We note with concern that the countries of the South have not been able to share in the benefits of globalization on an equal footing with the developed countries and have been excluded from the benefits of this process. Asymmetries and imbalances have intensified in international economic relations, particularly with regard to international cooperation, even further widening the gap between the developing countries and the industrialized countries. We are also concerned that, in the context of widening North-South gap, the social and economic conditions of the least developed countries (LDCs) have been deteriorating. Furthermore, the income gap within countries remains wide; social exclusion and inequalities are widespread; and the number of people living in poverty has increased. Urgent measures should be taken to address the needs of the large majorities of the population, in particular women and children, who are forced to live in extreme poverty, if this is not done, globalization will provide no lasting solutions to the essential problems of developing countries. For most of us, agriculture remains the mainstay of our economies, and the majority of our population still lives in rural areas; globalization has passed them by, but must address their needs.
12. We are concerned by the serious financial problems faced by many of our countries, with the systemic aspect of financial instability, the problems associated with excessive volatility in short-term capital flows, and the absence of an appropriate mechanism to regulate and monitor such flows, as well as hedge funds, and highly leveraged financial institutions. This situation urgently requires a fundamental reform of the international financial architecture, making it more democratic, more transparent and better attuned to solving the problems of development. It also requires the establishment of a clear programme that goes beyond the mere prevention of crises and includes actions addressing the interrelated problems of finance, trade, technology and development at the international level. The return to apparent normalcy of capital markets after the last crises should not lull us into complacency.
13. Even developing countries with limited or no financial markets suffer badly from financial volatility and contagion through lower commodity prices brought about by declining commodity demand, cross-instability in financial and commodity markets, and the postponement of investment, which seriously weaken their overall economic situation and growth potential. Although financial contagion in these countries does not have systemic consequences, their economies are severely affected, and we therefore call on the multilateral financial institutions to take appropriate and timely supportive action to assist them.
14. As the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, UNCTAD should continue to examine these issues and to build a consensus for the reformulation of policies and options on globalization from a development perspective. We strongly reaffirm our commitment to the mandate given to UNCTAD at Bangkok to contribute to the ongoing process of reforms of the international financial institutions.
15. We recognize the need for our countries to continue with their efforts towards economic reforms to enhance sustained economic growth and sustainable development. We also urge the developed countries to take into account the possible negative impact of their domestic economic, monetary and fiscal policies on developing countries and to apply measures that are sensitive to the needs and interests of the South.
16. The world has become more interdependent than ever before. The persistence of endemic poverty and deprivation in the South constitutes a potential threat to the security and prosperity of the world. In this context we welcome the initiative launched for the creation of the World Solidarity Fund and encourage efforts by member States for its establishment. We underline the importance of this Fund in contributing to the efforts in the eradication of poverty.
17. We advocate the restoration of confidence in the multilateral trading system, which should contribute to the economic growth and development of the countries of the South. We insist on the need for the developed countries to fulfil their commitments fully and immediately to implement the provisions for special and differential treatment for the products and services exported by the developing countries, and for the strengthening of the system of trade preferences, which should also address the needs of LDCs and the specificities of a number of small developing countries, while taking into consideration their problems of vulnerability and the risk of marginalization in the global economy. We urge that priority should be given to the liberalization of those service sectors where developing countries have the comparative advantage. In this respect, the key issue of the free movement of natural persons should be adequately addressed.
18. We note with concern that the liberalization of international trade has not provided benefits for all developing countries. There is a need to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system through full participation of developing countries, full and faithful implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements in their true spirit, and effective attention to the implementation concerns of developing countries. We stress the principle of universal membership of the WTO and call for acceleration of the accession process without political conditionalities.. We urge all WTO members to refrain from placing excessive demands on developing countries seeking accession to WTO. We recognize that there is a need for consultations among developing countries to promote effective participation in the WTO.
19. We welcome the invitation extended by the State of Qatar to host the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the WTO, and we call for an effective participation in this conference so as to achieve the goals and promote the interests of the countries of the South.
20. We underline the urgent need to redress the imbalances in the present WTO Agreements, and in particular, with regard to the right of developing countries to promote their exports, which have been curtailed by the abuse of such protectionist measures as anti-dumping actions and countervailing duties, as well as tariff peaks and escalation. Meaningful and expedited liberalization of the textiles sector, which is of particular interest to developing countries, is another important market access issue which should be addressed by the multilateral trading system as a matter of priority. We also call for the mandated negotiations on agriculture in accordance with the provisions of article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture. In agriculture the objectives should be to incorporate the sector within normal WTO rules. We also call for the full and prompt implementation of the WTO Marrakech decision on measures related to the possible negative effects of the reform programme on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and net food importing developing countries. The WTO Agreements should be implemented taking into consideration the need to extend the implementation period of particular Agreements that pose problems to developing countries. The review of Trade-related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) as mandated in articles 27 and 71 should make them more responsive to the needs of the South and to ensure access of developing countries to knowledge and technology on preferential terms. We will work towards harmonizing the TRIPS Agreement with the provisions of the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in the Convention on Biological Diversity.
21. We also call upon developed countries fully to implement special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries, to strengthen the system of preferences and to give the products and services of special export interest to developing countries free and fair access to their markets. In this connection, we urge all WTO members to grant the request of the European Union and the ACP Group for a waiver for the provisions of article 1, paragraph 1, of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). We call upon the developed partners also to recognize the need to formulate appropriate measures to address the concerns of other eligible countries through strengthening the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Future multilateral trade negotiations should be based on a positive agenda and should take full consideration of the development dimension of trade and of the specific needs and concerns of developing countries. We call on all countries to support the mandate of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to assist developing countries in multilateral trade negotiations by providing sufficient resources. While recognizing the value of environmental protection, labour standards, intellectual property protection, indigenous innovation and local community, sound macroeconomic management and promotion and protection of all universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, and the treatment of each issue in its competent international organization, we reject all attempts to use these issues as conditionalities for restricting market access or aid and technology flows to developing countries.
22. We have assessed the successful results of the recently held UNCTAD X Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and request all countries duly to support the organization in its efforts to contribute to the promotion of the development dimensions of trade in the context of globalization and of the liberalization of the world economy.
23. We further believe that the member countries of the Group of 77 should coordinate their priorities and negotiating strategies effectively to promote their common interests by shaping and directing multilateral trade negotiations to take into account the needs of developing countries so that trade policies serve the objectives of development, and also provide enhanced market access to developing countries.
24. We note with deep concern the continuing decline of official development assistance, (ODA) which has adversely affected development activities in the developing countries, in particular the LDCs, and we therefore urge developed countries that have not yet done so to act immediately to honour their commitment of directing 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Product (GNP) to ODA, and within that target, to earmark 0.15 per cent to 0.20 per cent for the LDCs. We also urge that the provision of official aid should respect the national development priorities of developing countries, and that conditions attached to ODA should be brought to an end.
25. We support the holding of a high-level United Nations conference on financing for development in the year 2001, which should address national, international and systemic issues relating to financing for development in a holistic manner. We call on all countries and relevant stakeholders, particularly the World Bank, IMF and WTO, to attach the greatest urgency and importance and to participate actively in the preparatory process and in the conference itself. We also welcome the offers by Indonesia and Colombia to holding regional intergovernmental meetings in order to provide inputs for the preparatory process for the event. In this regard, we invite the member States of the Group of 77 to consider offering to host the conference.
26. We note with concern the persistence of the external debt problem and its unfortunate consequences in the South, where the vicious cycle of debt and underdevelopment has become even further entrenched. We are alarmed at the fact that debt servicing has grown at a much greater rate than the debt itself, and that the burden of debt payments has become heavier in many countries of the South, including countries with low and middle incomes. We therefore underline the need collectively to pursue a durable solution for the external debt problem of developing countries, including middle-income developing countries, which also addresses the structural causes of indebtedness. We further call for debt reduction arrangements for middle-income developing countries in order to expedite the release of resources for development.
27. We welcome the expanded initiative in favour of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), but consider that it should be extended, expedited and made more flexible, and that new and supplementary resources should be contributed. Debt relief or cancellation should not be at the expense of official development assistance. We advocate seeking renegotiation formulas applicable to middle-income countries, and promote the design of a global strategy for external debt, which addresses the interrelated problems of finance, the economy and development.
28. We note with grave concern the debt burden, which has put the least developed countries in a more vulnerable position, and urge the developed countries to write off their debt so as to relieve the LDCs of the burden and thereby strengthen their capacity to develop and to escape from the vicious circle of poverty.
29. We view with alarm the recent unilateral moves by some developed countries to question the use of fiscal policy as a development tool and to impose their own definition of so-called harmful tax competition. We reiterate the fundamental right of each State to determine its own fiscal policies and in this regard sovereignty of States must be respected. We subscribe to the view that the legitimate struggle against money laundering should not be used as a pretext to discredit genuine offshore financial centres because of their fiscal policies and incentives.
30. The contribution of the transnational corporations (TNCs) to sustained economic growth and sustainable development is determined by their global strategies, characterized by the search for increased competitiveness and ever-higher profits. Such a situation is not necessarily consistent with job creation and the realization of development objectives in many developing countries. Hence, we invite the relevant international institutions to address this dilemma with a view to attaining the proper balance between both objectives. In this context, we request UNCTAD and ILO, within their respective mandates, to study the merger trend among the TNCs and its impact on unemployment as well as its competitiveness impact on Small and Medium-sized (SMEs) in developing countries. We also call on the TNCs to integrate development objectives of the host developing countries into their business strategies.
31. We recognize that within the South, there are a group of countries, categorized as LDCs, which are at a particular disadvantage in the current phase of globalization and liberalization. Despite the efforts they are making and the attempts being made to help them, they continue to be marginalized in the world economy. We urge the international community to take special initiatives for them, particularly in regard to the eradication of poverty, equitable implementation of the WTO Agreements, free access to their exports in the world markets, debt cancellation, increased ODA, and incentives for FDI flows to the LDCs.
32. We reiterate our support for the initiative of the Group of 77 on the resolution entitled “Prevention of corrupt practices and illegal transfer of funds”, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 54th session. We support the demands in that resolution on the need for increasing cooperation at various levels, including the United Nations system, to devise ways and means of preventing and addressing the illegal transfer of funds and repatriation of illegally transferred funds to countries of origin. We also endorse the decision of the African and European leaders who, at the end of their recent summit in Cairo, resolved to take the necessary measures to combat corruption at both the national and international levels and to ensure that illegally acquired and transferred monies deposited in foreign banks are investigated and returned to countries of origin. We call on all countries and entities concerned to cooperate in this regard. We also call on the United Nations to commence preparatory work for the elaboration of a convention on this matter, to be submitted to the Millennium Assembly for adoption.
33. We recognize the special problems of small and vulnerable economies and encourage the relevant international institutions to take into account differences in the level of development and size of the economies of developing countries in order to create opportunities for full participation of the small economies and to increase their level of development. We insist that SDT for all developing countries, including small and vulnerable economies, should be recognized as a fundamental principle of the multilateral trading system.
34. We have recognized the handicaps faced by landlocked developing countries due to unfavorable geographic circumstances, and the concerns of transit developing countries. In the global economy the landlocked developing countries are being increasingly marginalized despite efforts on their part to devise appropriate national strategies. This is resulting in the further deterioration of their economies and already low living standards. We urge bilateral and multilateral donors to grant preferential treatment to landlocked and transit developing countries.
35. We are concerned by the special problems and vulnerabilities of small island developing states (SIDS), in particular the lack of market access and absence of special and differential treatment, which continue to create barriers for these countries to participate effectively in a rapidly globalizing world economy. We express concern that, although great efforts have been undertaken by the SIDS at the national level, there has not been commensurate support at the international level. We call for the strengthening of efforts at the international level in the implementation and follow-up of the Barbados Programme of Action. We emphasize the urgent need to maximize international support through, inter alia, strengthening the existing institutional agreements, mobilizing new, additional and external resources, and improving coordination mechanisms so as to focus and harmonize support for SIDS priorities. We note the regular incidence of natural disasters and their deleterious effects on the development of small and vulnerable economies and call for increasing international assistance for setting up and strengthening national, subregional, regional and international disaster prevention, preparedness and management mechanisms, including early warning systems, taking into account particularly the work accomplished during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
36. We express our deep concern over the unprecedented floods in Southern Africa, and Mozambique in particular, that have caused loss of life, extensive destruction of infrastructures, deterioration of the socioeconomic situation and dislodgment and scattering of landmines. The unfolding humanitarian disaster is a further cause of concern. We commend the efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to address the devastating effects of the floods and thank the international community for the support, solidarity and humanitarian assistance rendered to Mozambique. We urge the international community to participate in the International Donors Conference to be held in Rome on 3-4 May 2000, aimed at mobilizing financial resources for the reconstruction of socioeconomic infrastructures and rehabilitation of the victims in Mozambique. We also urge the developed countries to write off the external debt of Mozambique in the light of its current critical socioeconomic situation. We further urge the international community to increase its assistance to mine clearance programmes, taking into account the far-reaching effects of the floods.
37. We are deeply alarmed about the persistent critical economic situation in Africa, exacerbated inter alia by a heavy debt burden, low levels of savings and investment, depressed commodity prices, declining levels of ODA, and insufficient levels of FDI. In particular we note with dismay that poverty in Africa has now reached intolerable levels, with negative consequences for the stability of most countries and regions of the continent. In order to reach internationally agreed targets of reducing poverty by half by the year 2015, African economies must grow at a rate of 7 per cent per annum. Present trends must therefore be reversed, starting with the writing off of bilateral and multilateral debts and a substantial increase in financial flows, including ODA. This would enable African countries to resume much-needed investment in human and physical infrastructure, a sine qua non for putting the continent back on the road to growth and development. In this context, we welcome the initiatives taken by some developed countries to write off the debts of LDCs and also welcome the Declaration and Plan of Action which emanated from the first Africa-Europe Summit, held in Cairo from 3 to 4 April 2000, and which examined ways and means to increase the integration of Africa into the world economy by elaborating a comprehensive solution to its debt problem, improving its productive and financial capacities, removing market access and supply-side obstacles to the flow of its exports to the international markets, and assisting its efforts to attract a larger share of world investment. We therefore urge the speedy implementation of measures supporting the development efforts of African countries.
38. We are deeply concerned about the spread of HIV/AIDS and of parasitic diseases in developing countries in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. The scourge threatens to undermine great advances achieved in the social and economic fields in developing countries over the past decade. We urge the international community to adopt concrete measures to mitigate the disastrous effects of HIV/AIDS, including by encouraging local production and ensuring access to drugs at affordable costs. Urgent assistance is needed, particularly to intensify information and awareness campaigns to make the causes of the disease and preventive measures well known to the masses. We call for the support of the international community to assist in addressing the challenge posed by HIV/AIDS in particular, but by all diseases in general, such as lack of adequate access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics. Policies to realize gender equality must be implemented with greater urgency in order to help combat one of the root causes of the spread of the disease. We also call for international cooperation, including South-South cooperation, and the establishment of multi-disciplinary mechanisms at regional and subregional levels to address these challenges.
39. We call for the design of investment promotion policies that correspond to national priorities for development, including capacity-building, technology transfer, infrastructure, the expansion of production facilities, job creation, and the diversification of exports and markets. The international community should support the efforts of developing countries to define FDI strategies for the creation of a favourable climate for investment.
40. We are convinced that South-South cooperation is an effective instrument for optimizing our potential to promote development through, among other things, mobilization and sharing of existing resources and expertise in our countries, as well as complementing cooperation programme with donor countries. We therefore commit ourselves to overcoming whatever factors that have limited this cooperation. We believe such cooperation is imperative in the context of globalization and that it should therefore it should be pursued with determination and political will. We also believe that South-South cooperation is an essential mechanism for promoting sustained economic growth and sustainable development and that it constitutes a vital element in promoting constructive South-South relations and in achieving self-reliance. In view of the foregoing we reiterate our determination to take necessary measures, including the identification of resources and the design of appropriate follow-up mechanisms to exploit its potential fully.
41. In this regard, we commend and support recent initiatives taken by our countries to promote cooperation between Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as between Africa and Asia, as contained in cooperation agreements, to address issues of desertification, drought and land degradation in joint efforts to implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa. We reaffirm our commitment for the full implementation of all the provisions of the Convention and call on developed countries and the international community to fulfil their financial commitments in this regard. We also support the decisions adopted at the African Ministerial Conference on Environment, held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 4-6 April 2000, and welcome the recent establishment in Tunisia of the observatory of the Sahel and Sahara.
42. We recognize that regional cooperation and integration is the most meaningful approach for the South to face the challenges of globalization and take full advantage of its opportunities. We also commend and support the work of the regional and subregional groupings established among developing countries to promote the sustainable socioeconomic development of their respective member States through regional integration and the harmonization of their economic and social policies. We further welcome and encourage the establishment of appropriate structures at the regional and subregional levels in the developing countries aimed at removing barriers to the free movement of goods, services and capital.
43. We note that the prevailing gap between the North and South in the scientific and technological field is still growing, and that the process of rapid accumulation of knowledge and technologies has not reached the hundreds of millions of people who continue to live in absolute poverty. It is essential to adopt appropriate measures to overcome the technological gap between the developing and industrialized countries and to work towards arrangements that facilitate the processes of technology transfer. While we are committed to promoting the development of science and technology by strengthening our political will, increasing the allocation of resources to that end, developing an appropriate institutional framework, and promoting technology and innovation through advanced, quality education, we urge developed countries to facilitate the transfer of technology, easing the costs and collateral conditions that presently stand in its way.
44. We believe that the prevailing modes of production and consumption in the industrialized countries are unsustainable and should be changed, for they threaten the very survival of the planet. We firmly believe that technological innovations should be systematically evaluated in terms of their economic, social and environmental impact, with the participation of all the social sectors involved, including the business community, Governments, the scientific community, and other groups that have not traditionally been part of this process. We call on the developed countries to fulfil their commitment to provide developing countries with financial resources and environmentally sound technologies on a preferential basis.
45. We advocate a solution for the serious global, regional and local environmental problems facing humanity, based on the recognition of the North’s ecological debt and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities of the developed and developing countries.
46. We recognize that information technology constitutes one of the pillars of technological revolution and represents one of the most powerful development tools of our time. We should take full advantage of this unique opportunity to use information technology for development and to ensure that its benefits reach our people, as the future of the South depends on the inclusion of information technology in its economic and social development programmes. In this context, we underline the need to establish global knowledge partnerships that include encourage to developed countries to provide developing countries with the necessary assistance.
47. While we believe it is urgent to enhance our access to global information networks and to improve the benefits derived therefrom, we also emphasize the need to preserve our national and regional diversity of traditions, identities and cultures which may be affected by the globalization process, and to achieve a connection to contemporary international information and knowledge that does not entail sacrificing our national and regional cultures and identities. It is thus, it is necessary to pay special attention to the homogenizing tendencies that may threaten this diversity. In this context, we welcome the proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly of the year 2001 as the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations and stress the importance of this initiative as a means of enhancing understanding of diverse cultures and promoting North-South and South-South cooperation in a globalized world.
48. We firmly reject the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries, and reiterate the urgent need to eliminate them immediately. We emphasize that such actions not only undermine the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and international law, but also severely threaten the freedom of trade and investment. We therefore, we call on the international community neither to recognize these measures nor apply them.
49. We are committed to promoting democracy and strengthening the rule of law. We will promote respect for all universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development. We pledge ourselves to provide transparent, effective and accountable governance, responsive to the needs of our peoples, which is necessary for economic growth, peace and prosperity. We reaffirm that every State has the inalienable right to choose political, economic, social and cultural systems of its own, without interference in any form by other States.
50. We express grave concern over the impact of economic sanctions on the development capacity in the targeted countries, in this context noting that Libya has now fulfilled all its obligations in terms of pertinent Security Council resolutions, and we urge the Security Council to adopt a resolution completely lifting the sanctions against Libya. We also call for the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions imposed against Libya outside of the United Nations system.
51. We affirm that bringing an end to the Israeli occupation and establishing a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for economic and social development in the region. We reaffirm our support for the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the principle of land for peace. Peace demands complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the achievement of a final settlement by the agreed-upon deadline of September 2000, as well as the establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. It also demands complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan and the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line, as well as the unconditional withdrawal from South Lebanon and Western Bekaa to the internationally recognized boundaries. We affirm that measures taken by Israel aimed at changing the legal status and the demographic composition of Jerusalem are null and void.
52. We call on all States in areas of conflict to refrain from attacks against civilian infrastructures, and consider the attacks on such targets as contrary to international law and detrimental to the pursuit of national economic and social development and to international trade.
53. We also express our deep concern over the air attack against the El-Shifa Pharmaceuticals Factory in the Sudan on 20 August 1998, and its negative impact on that country’s economic and social development. We express our support and solidarity with the Sudan for its demand for a just and fair consideration of the matter by the United Nations on the basis of international law.54. We stress the need to maintain a clear distinction between humanitarian assistance and other activities of the United Nations. We reject the so-called “right” of humanitarian intervention, which has no legal basis in the United Nations Charter or in the general principles of international law. In this context, we request the Chairman of the Group of 77, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), through the Joint Coordinating Committee, (JCC), to coordinate consideration of the concept of humanitarian intervention and other related matters as contained in the 1999 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the work of the Organization. We further stress the need for scrupulously respecting the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 46/182, and emphasize that these principles are valid, time-tested and must continue to be fully observed. Furthermore, we stress that humanitarian assistance should be conducted in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of host countries, and should be initiated in response to a request or with the approval of these States.
55. We call upon the international community to provide the necessary assistance to landmine clearance operations, as well as to the rehabilitation of the victims and their social and economic integration into the landmine affected countries. We express concern over the residues of the Second World War, in particular in the form of landmines which cause human and material damage and obstruct development plans in some developing countries. We demand that the States responsible for laying the mines outside of their territories assume responsibility for the landmines, cooperate with the affected countries to get rid of them, and contribute defraying the costs of clearance and provide compensation for any ensuing losses and for reclaiming the affected areas for productive purposes.
56. We also express dismay at the increasing number of children involved in and affected by armed conflict. We call upon the international community to take concerted action to prevent and stop the use of children in armed conflicts and to assist in the rehabilitation of those affected children, as they are the future generation who would otherwise be able to contribute meaningfully to development.
57. We note with deep concern the increase of all kinds of criminal activities, including illicit traffic of arms, drugs and other products which are used to foster and finance organized crimes and all types of transnational crimes which continue to be a major factor of instability and a threat to development. In this context we are also deeply concerned by the trafficking of women and children, which is not only an offense against human dignity, but also a violation of International Law. We call upon all countries to join the multilateral effort of the international community to develop mechanisms that will strengthen cooperation in terms of prevention and elimination of these activities, so that the stability and prosperity of all economies and societies can be guaranteed.
58. We have appraised the importance of the Millennium Summit, and reaffirm the need for the Group of 77 and the NAM to duly coordinate their positions. In this regard, we endorse the proposal of the Joint Coordinating Committee that within the overall theme of the interactive debate being held at the South Summit on the role of the United Nations in the 21st century, there should be two subthemes, namely, “Peace, security and disarmament” and “ Development and poverty eradication”, and emphasize the need for developing countries to coordinate their positions to ensure, that their common interests and positions on every aspect of the two subthemes are fully reflected in the outcome of the Summit.
59. We welcome the decision to convene a special session of the General Assembly in the year 2001 to review the implementation of the Programme of Action of the World Children Summit, and express our commitment to participate fully in the preparatory process for the special session with a view to improving the lives of children in our countries. We are concerned that economic and social marginalization of developing countries, especially the poorest nations, is having a deleterious impact on children.
60. In this context, we express our deep concern over the insufficient level of resources for development at the disposal of the United Nations, thus hindering its capacity to fulfil its main economic and social objectives in a manner commensurate with the needs and aspirations of the developing countries. We note with concern the increasing erosion of the role and the contribution of the United Nations to the promotion of genuine international cooperation for development. In this regard, we reiterate that the United Nations has a central role to play in world economic matters by promoting a vital boost to the development of the South and by transforming international economic relations, making them more fair and equitably and pledge our full support and determination to working towards its strengthening in this regard.
61. We believe that in order to realize the goal of universal peace and prosperity, we will need to promote international cooperation that is just and equitable, giving high priority to integrated and comprehensive development, which can be achieved only by working together, both among ourselves and with the developed countries. We can make ourselves heard as a single voice, with the courage, perseverance, boldness and political will needed for the major and urgent transformations of the international economic system to which we all aspire.62. In adopting this Declaration, we recognize the need for an action-oriented programme of practical solutions to be implemented within a specific timeframe. To guide us in this process, we adopt the Havana Programme of Action. The Chairman of the Group of 77 is requested to forward this Declaration and the Programme of Action to the President of United Nations General Assembly in order to be circulated as official documents of the Millennium Summit and the Millennium Assembly.