DETAILED REPORT OF ACTIVITIES OF THE G-77 VIENNA CHAPTER DURING
2011 CHAIRMANSHIP OF H.E. MR. ALI ASHGAR SOLTANIEH, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY
AND PLENIPOTENTIARY PERMAMENT REPRSENTATIVE OF THE I.R. IRAN
The activities of the Group of 77 during the year 2011 took place in a context of the occurrence of natural disasters in different regions of the world, as well as the international economic and financial crisis which resulted, among others, in the increase of prices, in particular of food commodities, a burden for the majority of developing countries. A total of 161 meetings were held during 2011 within the framework of the Group covering all VBOs.
UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANZIATION (UNIDO)
Task Force Leaders: Mr. Suleiman Dauda Umar, Minister, PM of Nigeria (1st half of 2011), Ms. Oluwatobi Osobukola-Abubu, Second Secretary, PM of Nigeria (2nd half of 2011)
During the year 2011 the G-77 held a total of 33 meetings on UNIDO matters (23 task force meetings and 10 plenary sessions). A total of 4 statements were delivered on behalf of the Group during the following policy-making organ meetings: the 14th session of the General Conference (November-December 2011), the LDC Ministerial Conference (November 2011), the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) (May 2011).
The G-77 actively participated in the deliberations of the 14th General Conference with the objective of fostering UNIDO's impact regarding international cooperation and technical assistance for enhancing capacity-building in developing countries within UNIDO's activities. In this context, the following draft resolutions were presented by the Group and have been adopted by the General Conference, namely: "UNIDO activities in the field of industrial policy with a view to promote social inclusion"; "Knowledge networking and knowledge sharing for achieving development goals"; "Regional programme for Latin America and the Caribbean"; "Youth employment", and "Multilateral diplomatic committee and relations between UNIDO and the host country". Furthermore, the G-77 candidate from Pakistan for the office of External Auditor had the appointment extended for a period of two years up to June 2014.
Establishment of UNIDO's Informal open-ended working group on the future, including programmes and resources, of UNIDO:
In this context, the Group requested that the working group be co-chaired by one representative of the G-77 and one representative coming from another group. The Group thus nominated H.E. Ambassador Ana Teresa Dengo Benavides, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, as one of the co-chairs. The working group is co-chaired by Mr. Alberto Groff, Counsellor from Switzerland. The G77 and China is of the view that the informal working group's central objective should be to evaluate the management of UNIDO and the needs of Member States in order to enhance the implementation of the mandate of the Organization, by providing programmatic guidance and strategic orientation for future UNIDO work. In response to the request by the Working Group for submission of terms of reference of this body, the G-77 submitted their inputs.
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)
Task Force Leaders: Mr. Rómulo Acurio, Minister Counsellor, PM of Peru (January - May 2011), Mr. Carlos García, Second Secretary, PM of Peru (May-December 2011)
In the year 2011, the Group of 77 held a total of 56 task force meetings, working group meetings and plenary meetings. A total of 9 statements were delivered on behalf of the G-77 during the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC), the Board of Governors (BoG), the Working Group on Financing the Agency Activities, the first and second Working Group Meeting on the Technical Cooperation Fund targets for 2012-2013 and Indicative Planning Figures for 2014-2015, the 1st and 3rd Informal Open-ended Consultations on the Preparations for the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, and the Programme and Budget Committee.
The G-77 actively participated in the deliberations of the Agency's Policy-Making Organs, with the view to achieving a more balanced approach among the three pillars of the IAEA: promotion of peaceful uses of the atom for socio-economic development; safety and security and application of safeguard agreements.
The Group presented the following resolutions during the 55th Regular Session of the General Conference: "Strengthening of the Agency's technical cooperation activities"; "Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications"; Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications "Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy"; "Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications"; "Support to the African Union's Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign [AU-PATTEC]";
"Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications"; "Plan for producing potable water economically using small and medium-sized nuclear reactors"; "Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications(Non-power nuclear applications/ Use of isotope hydrology for water resources management); Personnel Matter (Staffing of the Agency's Secretariat); Personnel Matter (Women in the Secretariat).
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME (UNODC)
G-77 Task Force Leaders: Mrs. Jeanne Mrad, First Secretary, PM of Lebanon (1st half of 2011), Mr. Asif Memon, Counsellor, PM of Pakistan (2nd half of 2011)
The G-77 Task Force for UNODC matters held a total of 34 meetings in 2011. It includes six plenary meetings and 28 Task Force level meetings. 7 statements were delivered on behalf of the Group in 2011. The statements were made at 20th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) and its 20th reconvened session, the 4thsession of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, the 54th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) as well the 54th reconvened session, the 5th Intersessional Meeting of Open-ended intergovernmental Working Group on Asset Recovery, and the 4th Session of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons. At all the forums, the Group actively participated in the deliberations with a constructive approach.
The Group reiterated its common positions at the two commissions on various fundamental issues like highlighting the importance of technical assistance for G-77 member countries, urgent need of sustainable and predictable funding for UNDOC and strengthening political ownership of the thematic and regional programmes as well as well as the extension of the FINGOV mandate. The positive and constructive approach that prevailed during the informal informals demonstrated that all members share a common goal or belief and that it is time for this working Group to look for concrete results.
The Group also continued to ensure a high priority to the strengthening of international regime of drug control and implementing a comprehensive and balanced approach towards world drug problem with equal focus on supply and demand reduction.
A positive interaction was maintained with the Secretariat on various issues.
COMMITTEE ON PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE (COPUOS)
G-77 Task Force Leader: Mr. Marco Castillo, Second Secretary, PM of Venezuela
During the year 2011 the Group of 77 held a total of 15 meetings on COPUOS matters (12 task force meetings and 3 plenary meetings). A total of 3 statements were delivered on behalf of the Group at the 48th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space: Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, the 50th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space: Legal Subcommittee, and the 54th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space.
The statements presented by the Group of 77 and China expressed high appreciation for the work that COPUOS, and its two legal Subcommittees, have carried out in promoting international cooperation on peaceful use of outer space through the elaboration of treaties governing outer space activities. The Group of 77 and China recalled the principle of exploration on a basis of equality and the principle of the non-appropriation of outer space including the moon and other celestial bodies and the peaceful use of outer space as stated in the article 3 & 4 of the Treaty on Principles Governing the activities of
States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
Furthermore, the following issues were of paramount importance to the Group in 2011: the protection of the environment; the creation and promotion of the technological capacities; transfer of technology; the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters; scientific-technological research in developing countries within the framework of international cooperation.
The Group of 77 and China also called upon OOSA and Member States to make available more opportunities for greater academic linkages, long term fellowships and further collaboration with National and Regional Laboratories, UN Centres of research and other national and international institutions on space matters with institutions in developing countries.
With regards to natural disasters, the Group believed that more efforts should be devoted to strengthen the strategy for the use of space technology in the area of disaster management and support. In this regard, the Group welcomed the signing of new cooperation agreements for the establishment of regional support offices in developing countries with the view to provide space based information to support relief effort. In particular, the Group notes with appreciation that the UN-SPIDER Beijing office has recently started its activities and believes that it will play an important role in the field of disaster management.
Regarding the geostationary orbit, and taking its limited resource into account, the Group of 77 and China expressed concern stressing that the utilization of this orbit spectrum must be rationalized and extended to all States in conditions of equality taking into account the necessities and interests of developing countries and the geographical location of certain countries in compliance with the established principles in the normative framework and the decisions made by both the ITU and other relevant bodies of the UN system; giving priority to the contributions of space activities to sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Group expressed its view that, with regards to Space Debris, the future of space activities largely depends on its mitigation and this topic should be treated as a priority. Therefore, the Group is of the view that the implementation of the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines is of the utmost importance.
The Group of 77 and China also referred to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, specifically the risks entailed to it regarding potential collisions and the incidents or emergencies that may be created by an accidental reentry in the Earth's atmosphere and impact on its surface by these objects. In the context of dangers emerging from Space Debris and nuclear powered space objects, the Group welcomed the establishment of the Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.
The Group also reached consensus on issues related to the Long Term Sustainability of Space Activities. In this regard the Group welcomed the establishment of the Working Group on this subject and expressed that, in order to ensure that all countries have equitable access to the limited resources of outer space, the Working Group it should give full consideration to the key concerns of developing countries and should avoid setting up overly high standards or thresholds that in a way may hinder the enhancement of capacity building.
In order to continue with the work of the Group in COPUOS, special attention should be given to the issue of the Long Term Sustainability of Space Activities. This subject is beginning to be discussed within the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and its outcomes could have a deep impact on how future space activities of developing countries will be carried out. Therefore it is recommended that the Group participates in the development of the Group of experts that will deliberate on the matters related to this agenda item of the STSC.
Concluding, the Group is of the view that interaction between the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee should be further strengthened in order to address issues of common interest of the two subcommittees.
COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION (CTBTO)
Task Force Leader: Ms. Cinthia Echavarria, Counsellor, PM of Argentina
During the year 2011 the Group of 77 held a total of 23 meetings on CTBTO matters (6 plenary meetings and 17 task force meetings). A total of 8 statements were delivered on behalf of the Group during the following meetings: the CTBTO PrepCom meetings (36th and 37th sessions), the 16th Joint session of Working Group A (WGA) and Working Group B (WGB), the 39th Session of Working Group A (WGA), the 17th Joint session of Working Group A (WGA) and Working Group B (WGB), the 40th session of Working Group A (WGA), 36th session of Working Group B (WGB), and the 37th session of Working Group B (WGB).
While expressing its appreciation for the work of the Provisional Technical Secretariat, in its statements the Group of 77 and China has conveyed its views on different issues falling under the purview of the different Policy-Making Organs of the CTBTO:
It has welcomed the Article XIV Conference held in New York on 23 September 2011 with the aim of facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT at the earliest possible date, and has endorsed the goals and ideas embodied in its Final Declaration.
It has continued to advocate for balance in the prioritization and distribution of resources across the three Major Programmes of the verification regime of the CTBT and, in this framework, for the need to further develop the on-site inspection (OSI) component. The Group has conveyed its view that further development of the OSI component of the verification regime remains a high priority for 2012.
It has welcomed the intensification of the work on the draft OSI Operational Manual during the past sessions of Working Group B, and has encouraged the continuation of discussions thereon.
It has expressed its view that the Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) scheduled for 2014 constitutes a key milestone in the development of OSI capabilities, emphasizing the need for the OSI Operational Manual to be sufficiently developed by the time IFE14 takes place, attaining a level of maturity and internal coherence that enables its effective testing.
It has reiterated the notion that the capacity building and training programmes are essential to improve the ability of States Signatories to participate fully in the verification regime of the CTBT. In this regard, the Group welcomed the work of the PTS on the Capacity Building Project, aimed at providing States Signatories with training courses and workshops, and expressed its appreciation for the continuing efforts of the PTS in ensuring the widest possible participation of developing countries in its capacity building and training programmes.
In the process of consideration of the financing of IFE14, the Group has repeatedly stressed the importance of considering the financing of this exercise in conjunction with the 2012 Programme and Budget, in terms of the actual extent and implications of the financial burden to be borne by States Signatories, the need for the PTS to seek efficiency gains and savings in the budgetary cycles, and the ongoing imperative that the PTS give further precision and content to the estimates in the Concept for the Preparation and Conduct of the Next IFE, as relevant information becomes available.. Throughout the discussions, the Group has adopted a stance of flexible and constructive engagement, cognizant of the importance of providing the PTS with the financial resources necessary to fulfill its mandate, while reiterating its position in favor of a zero real growth budget.
The Group has continued to call on the PTS to pay due regard to the importance of recruiting staff on a wide geographical basis.