During the year 2005 the Vienna Chapter serviced a total of 134 meetings 43 on UNIDO matters, 44 on IAEA, 27 on UNOV and 20 on CTBTO matters.
During the year 2005 the G-77 held 134 meetings out of which 44 on IAEA,
43 on UNIDO, 27 on UNOV and 20 on CTBTO matters (including Plenary, Task
Force and Working Group Meetings).
One of the main objectives of UNIDO is poverty alleviation for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through sustainable industrial development and technical cooperation. South-South cooperation is considered by the Group as an essential mean and a very valuable tool of contributing to the national efforts of developing countries to strengthen their economic development within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals.
The G-77 covered the following Policy Making Organs meetings of UNIDO during 2005: (a) Programme and Budget Committee, (b) Industrial Development Board and the (c) General Conference:
During this meeting the main focus of the Group was on the budget and the financial statements of the Organization and the statement by the External Auditor, which expressed that UNIDO was being well run.
The Group expressed concern on the outstanding assessed contributions and called on Member States and former Member States in arrears to take advantage of payment plans of UNIDO to fulfill their financial obligations.
The Group also noted with concern that Major Programmes C, D, E and F had been reduced by 2%, as compared to 2004-2005.
The Group called upon the Secretariat to continue innovative funds mobilization efforts through voluntary and additional sources.
During this meeting the main issues of relevance to the Group were as follows:
The Group commended the Secretariat for the increased volume of technical cooperation delivery of 2004, which was higher than levels reached in 1997 when the regular budget was 20% more than the present level.
The Group noted the potential of the cooperation agreement between UNIDO and UNDP in increasing field representation and improved inter-agency cooperation at the national level within the context of the UN reform process.
The Group participated in the negotiations on the budget and reached consensus on the ceiling.
The Group welcomed and encouraged UNIDO to continue to undertake projects that promote South-South cooperation.
The Group acknowledged the vast potential investment and technology promotion activities of UNIDO have in boosting technical cooperation through enhanced national capacities to attract Direct Foreign Investment.
The Group appreciated the draft Long-term Vision Statement the Secretariat had prepared and called upon the Secretariat to continue consultations with Member States on its finalization.
The Group encouraged the Secretariat to continue to improve its Human Resource Management Framework for a leaner institution with management excellence and greater professionalism.
After the recommendation of a candidate for the post of Director-General, the Group welcomed and congratulated Dr. Kandeh Yumkella for having been elected as the new Director-General of UNIDO. The Group was confident that the excellent qualifications and long-term commitment to UNIDO, Dr. K. Yumkella deserved this prestigious position.
The Group expressed its appreciation to the outgoing Director-General Mr. Carlos Magariños and took note of his annual report for 2004, indicating an increase of technical cooperation delivery of US$ 98.8 million which was the highest at all times in UNIDO.
The Group expressed itself on the Reports of the PBC and IDB and requested the Secretariat to implement the recommendations of the External as well as those of the Evaluation Group.
The Group welcomed the holding of the Industrial Development Forum with focus on Industrial Development, Trade and Poverty Alleviation through South-South Cooperation and requested the results of the Forum to be translated into a comprehensive strategy.
The Group further urged Member States and former Member States to pay their outstanding contributions in full and on time.
The Group actively participated in informal consultations to finalize the Strategic Long term vision statement which was endorsed by the General Conference. The Group requested the Secretariat to continue its dialogue with Member States in its implementation.
The Group adopted the revised Programme and Budget for 2006-2007 and requested that the adjustments took into account the need to allocate appropriate resources to major programmes C, D, E and F.
With regard to the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement with the UNDP, the Group noted that for the purpose of identifying locations of UNIDO desks during the pilot phase of the Agreement, the Secretariat had applied the criteria defined and the indicators developed in November 2004. The Group requested that future criteria should include improvements suggested by the G-77 and China as well as the experience gained so far in this field. The Group was of the view that the location/conversion of UNIDO Country Office to a UNIDO Desk, should take place in close consultation with the concerned country.
The Group expressed its heartiest congratulations and warmest welcome to Mr. Kandeh Yumkella on his appointment as new Director-General of UNIDO.
The Group of 77 and China remained active during the year 2005 in pursuing the Member States' collective interests in the three pillars of the Agency's activities, i.e., technology, safety and verification.
The Group continued to pursue the achievement of better results in technical cooperation, which remained a major interest, by stressing the importance of having a sound and financially viable TC programme and by promoting proactive interaction with the IAEA's Secretariat. In this regard, special briefings were arranged with the TC department, including at the DDG level. In the same context, special meetings were conducted inter alia with the Department of Nuclear Science and Applications.
In addition, the Group participated in several working level meetings with different Agency departments. As the Member States of the Group mainly comprise the developing and the least developed countries of the world, the application of nuclear energy for the socio-economic uplift of these Member States has always been a major priority of the Group. To this end the Group has endeavored vigorously in 2005 to strengthen the TC programme ties among the recipient and donor countries by maintaining a consistent policy in the sense that there must be a balance among TC and other statutory activities of the Agency and that there should be sufficient, assured and predictable provision of funds for the sustainability of TC programmes.
During 2005, the Group made 27 statements in the various Board meetings on the subjects closely related to the interests of the Group's membership. The Group also sponsored General Conference resolutions on Strengthening the Agency's Technical Cooperation Activities (GC(49/RES/11); Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications GC(49/RES 12.A); Use of isotope hydrology for water resources management GC(49/RES 12.B); Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy GC(49/RES/12.C); Support to the African Union's Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC) GC(49/RES/12.D); Plan for producing potable water economically using small and medium-sized nuclear reactors GC(49/RES/12.E); Personnel (a) Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat and (b) Women in the Secretariat GC(49/RES/16). These resolutions were adopted by consensus after intensive consultations and negotiations with donor countries. These activities have provided the policy-making organs of the Agency with some clear guidelines for future planning and implementation of various Agency activities having a direct bearing on the welfare of the Group's Member States.
The Group's activities were strongly backed by a total of 44 meetings (Friends of Chair, Task Force and Plenary) on various issues tackled during 2005.
During the IAEA Board of Governors in June 2005, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was reappointed as Director-General for another 4-year's term. Since the beginning of the selection process, the Group always expressed its full support for Dr. ElBaradei due to his credentials and the fact that he was the sole candidate for this position, enjoying the broad and strong support from Member States. The Group reiterated its appreciation for the valuable work carried out to promote, and enhance Agency activities as well as for the impartial, effective and professional manner in which Dr. ElBaradei has discharged his responsibilities as DG of the IAEA. It was the Groups view that Dr. ElBaradei would therefore ensure the continuation of the Agency's activities in a stable and professional way.
The Group of 77 in a joint statement with the Non-Aligned Movement has welcomed the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. The outstanding achievement of the Agency and its Director General have been pointed out and it was mentioned that the award was a testimony and recognition of the great efforts carried out in ensuring the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear technologies. It was also an acknowledgement of the Agency's role in promoting atomic energy towards peace, health and prosperity. It should be an impetus in drawing more support and in strengthening the Agency and its DG to further carry out their mandate and objectives in promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
The members of the Group of 77 and China consider the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) important because it will provide a total ban on nuclear weapon test explosions in any environment and constrain the development and qualitative improvement of existing nuclear weapons thus ending the development of new advanced nuclear weapons. The Group met on CTBTO issues in 20 coordination meetings.
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) was established on 19 November 1996 to prepare for the Treaty's entry into force (EIF). The CTBTO PrepCom consists of a plenary body composed of all the States Signatories (also know as the Preparatory Commission) and the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS).
Since the Group of 77 and China attach great importance to the total ban on nuclear testing, it has supported the activities of the PTS and actively participated in the meetings of the Preparatory Commission and its subsidiary bodies.
The Group of 77 and China actively raised, pursued and supported the following positions:
1. Urged Working Group B (WGB) to adjust the pace of its work to the principles of the Group of 77 and China on budgetary matters; asking the PTS to refrain from overall programmatic increases in the budget for 2005.
2. Closely followed the restructuring activities of the PTS and raised a detailed position on the issue of restructuring. This included support for the mandate of the PrepCom, maintaining the balance between the political and technical tasks of the PTS, and fair geographical representation on the External Review Team.
3. That the operation of IMS stations before the EIF of the Treaty is provisional in nature. As such, IMS station activity is only for the purpose of evaluating the performance and data quality of IMS stations, and the proposed system-wide performance test (SPT1) only be conducted within a limited timeframe.
4. Welcomed the establishment of joint theme task of NDC (National Data Centers) within the framework of Working Group B, and asked the PTS to play a more active role in promoting the NDCs of developing countries especially in the context of providing hardware, software, and more training courses for NDCs.
5. Supported a balanced approach dealing with all elements of the verification system including the IMS, IDC, GCI and OSI, and encouraged the active participation of all State Signatories in the OSI.
6. Raised the point of adopting a Confidentiality Policy for the PTS as a real and urgent need, and asked WGB to devote more time to this issue.
7. That human resource issues in the PTS should continue being created according to the existing staff rules and regulations; the PTS' 7-year service limit and the administrative directive on recruitment, appointment, re-appointment and tenure, and Administrative Directive No. 20 (Rev.2).
8. Notwithstanding the CTBTO PrepCom Executive Secretary's prerogative under Administrative Directive No. 20 (Rev.2), the Group of 77 and China requested that the PTS take due care in ensuring that current and future staff contracts duly meet the ruling of the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT).
In 2005, members of the G-77 and China have continued to coordinate and harmonize their positions on the following UNOV matters in 27 coordination meetings of the Group:
The Group considers that international cooperation should be strengthened to tackle the problems transit countries are facing as they constitute the main link between producers and consumers countries. We note with deep concern the dramatic increase in the abuse of various types of drugs that has developed along transit trafficking routes, thereby creating lucrative markets in transit countries. This development has led to the increase of transnational organized crime and terrorism in transit countries and along the trafficking routes.
The Group notes the decline of opium poppy cultivation in some countries. However, the Group is concerned about the growth in the illicit cultivation, production and trafficking of opiates in Afghanistan. Adequate support should be provided to that country as well as the neighbouring and transit states in their fight against drug production and trafficking originating from Afghanistan.
The G-77 and China is concerned about the drug liberalization policies of some Member States contrary to the three Narcotic Conventions, which could promote drug abuse and fuel supply and trafficking of illicit drugs. We note with concern the report of INCB about public incitement to drug abuse in some member states. The Group, therefore, calls on all States to adhere strictly to the provisions of the three conventions. We believe that the judgment of the INCB as an independent monitoring and evaluation mechanism should be respected.
The Group 77 and China notes with concern that the abuse of ATS is rapidly spreading, regardless of nationality, age, gender or income with the attendant health problems and hazards. The Group calls on Member States to urgently develop their supply reduction programmes for ATS, to complement and ensure the effectiveness of demand reduction initiatives.
In this regard we would also like to point out that the priorities led down by CND sometimes differ from the priorities of major donor countries and therefore we would like to encourage more dialogue among the UNODC, and all stakeholders especially those countries where projects are implemented to ensure that UNODC has sufficient funds to carry out projects in all the regions in accordance with priorities set by the CND. Therefore, the Group calls for the establishment of an intergovernmental, open-ended informal consultative group.
The Group wishes to indicate its preference for a five days, Monday to Friday duration for the 49th session of the CND. We would like to stress the importance of advance preparations and consultations, between the Member States and the Secretariat to ensure the successful outcome of the five days' session of the Commission. As for the thematic debate for the 49th session, the preference of the Group is for the theme on "alternative development, including preventive alternative development", which we believe is essential to the success of the world wide drug control strategy. The Group is of the view of establishing an open ended working group with interpretation to structure the content of the thematic debate, recalling the importance of the establishment of such group during the last sessions of the previous CND.
The Group appreciates the work of the regional preparatory meetings for the 11th United Nations Congress, and holds the view that, the recommendations and conclusions made by the regional preparatory meetings should be reflected in the outcome of the Congress. The Congress should further continue to provide advice to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Group also recommends that "follow up of the UN Congress" should be included as a separate agenda item in every annual session of the CCPCJ.
The Group further believes that, effective implementation of the obligations set forth in existing international crime prevention instruments requires international cooperation, technical assistance and capacity-building. Therefore, the Group of 77 and China urges donor countries and financing institutions to make adequate regular voluntary contributions to enable developing countries and countries with economies in transition to become parties to and/or implement those treaties, namely TOC Convention and its three protocols, Convention against Corruption, as well as the 12 UN anti-terrorism instruments.
The Group of 77 and China is concerned about the increased involvement of organized criminal groups in trafficking in looted, stolen or smuggled cultural property as well as illicit trafficking in protected species of flora and fauna and their by products. Therefore, the Group calls upon Member States to continue adopting effective measures, strengthening their international cooperation and joining efforts with relevant regional and international organizations and networks in order to prevent, combat, punish and eradicate these forms of crime more effectively.
The G-77 and China is of the view that an open-ended Expert Group should be established to examine the feasibility of an international convention for facilitating international cooperation in areas such as money laundering, trafficking in and theft of cultural properties, kidnapping and cybercrime.
The Group further believes that a broad and sustained strategy to combat terrorism must include increased Inter-agency cooperation and capacity building, both at the national, regional and international levels. Sufficient training and other forms of technical assistance, transfer of technology and also more adequate donor assistance to developing countries are needed to facilitate implementation of international instruments relating to terrorism. In this context, we urge the Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC within its mandate and on request of the Member States to continue to provide all necessary assistance and provision of expertise needed to strengthen the rule of law and to build national capacities to implement the Conventions and Protocols relevant to terrorism.
The Group is convinced that it is imperative that any effective crime prevention strategy should adequately address the breeding grounds and risk factors of crime such as, injustice, poverty, unemployment, marginalization of vulnerable people, lack of education, as well as double standards.
The G-77 and China is of the view that the United Nations Congress remains a unique forum for the meeting and exchange of views on various fields of crime prevention and Criminal Justice. The Eleventh United Nations Congresses held in Bangkok, has provided valuable advice and suggestions to the United Nations and the Member States in formulating policies and strategies for crime prevention in different areas of criminal justice systems. Therefore the G-77 and China welcomes the Bangkok Declaration, and wishes to urge all Member States to implement its recommendations.
The Group is convinced that it is imperative that any effective crime prevention strategy should adequately address the root causes of crime including injustice, poverty, unemployment, marginalization of vulnerable people and lack of education.
The G-77 and China is pleased to know that 118 States have signed to date the United Nations Convention against Corruption and that the number of its ratifications is growing progressively. We urge all countries that have not done so to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Group is also encouraged by the measures implemented by the Secretariat to promote the wider signature and ratification of this instrument and prepare its future implementation. The vigor which marked the UNODC endeavors to promote the ratification and implementation of the TOC Convention or the international instruments on terrorism is also required in pursuing technical assistance activities in relation to the Convention against Corruption.
The G-77 and China firmly believes that asset recovery is a fundamental principle of the Convention against Corruption. For that very reason, the Group emphasizes the importance of adopting measures to facilitate asset recovery through international cooperation. Also, for the Convention to achieve the required number of ratifications to enter into force, the G-77 and China calls upon Signatory States to extend mutual cooperation to discourage the continuation of transactions and transfers of assets originated through the Commission of corruption related crimes and to act in conformity with Chapter V of the Convention whenever such illicit assets are confiscated.
The Group of 77 and China highlights that the Draft Model Bilateral Agreement on Sharing of Confiscated Proceeds of Crime or Property should not prejudice the principles set forth in the United Nations Convention against Corruption or the development, at a later stage, of any appropriate mechanism to facilitate the implementation of that Convention.
The Group of 77 and China strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and deeply emphasizes that enhancing dialogue among civilization, promoting tolerance, preventing the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures and addressing development issues and unresolved conflicts will contribute to international cooperation, which is among the most important elements to combat terrorism. The Group underscores the central role of the United Nations in fight against terrorism and also strongly believes that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all obligations of states under international law and should adopt such measures in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law. The Group supports the ongoing negotiations in New York on the draft UN Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism, based on the determination of a universally accepted comprehensive definition of terrorism in conformity with the UN Charter and relevant United Nations resolutions. The Group further welcomes the adoption of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which reinforces the existing arsenal of international instruments against terrorism.
The G-77 and China believes that the main role of the COP is to enhance the implementation of the Convention and its protocols through the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate this aim. Therefore the Group attaches great importance to the agenda items of this session, especially agenda item 6 on technical assistance activities.
As regards the mechanisms to review periodically the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols which are already in force, the G-77 and China believes that such mechanisms must include technical assistance projects aimed at better implementation of the Convention by State parties. The process leading to the adoption of these mechanisms must be open to all Member States with a view to encourage the ratification and to ensure the universal character of the convention. Any reviewing process should aim at improving the implementation of technical assistance projects. In this context, the follow-up evaluation of the technical assistance projects would in effect be the review of the implementation of the Convention.
We would like to suggest that the mandate of an interim working group on technical assistance should be of general nature related to providing effective technical assistance. It should not go into specific details as contained in the non-paper under circulation. The mandate of the interim working group should flow from article 32.1 as well as articles 29 to 31 of the Convention, which could be discussed at the current session of the COP.