The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77 and China met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 28 September 2010 on the occasion of their Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting to address the development challenges facing developing countries, and adopted the following Declaration:
The Ministers remained fully convinced of the imperative of continuing to act in solidarity and unity for a peaceful and prosperous world that responds to their countries’ developmental aspirations. They, therefore, reaffirmed their full commitment to the principles and objectives of the Group of 77, and to protect and promote their collective interests through genuine international cooperation for development.
The Ministers expressed their concern over the multiple inter-related and mutually exacerbating current global crises, in particular the world financial and economic crisis, the volatile energy prices, the food crisis and the challenges posed by climate change, which could further undermine the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High Level Plenary meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) held at the United Nation Headquarters in New York from 20 to 22 September 2010 that adopted the outcome document entitled “Keeping the promise – United to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”. While also welcoming the progress made in some areas since 2005 they expressed their deep concern that such progress falls far short of what is needed, and urged developed countries to allocate new and additional resources to support the efforts of developing countries in meeting the MDGs as well as to urgently fulfill their commitments, in particular under MDG8.
The Ministers reaffirmed the fact that the ongoing world financial and economic crisis has reversed many important developmental gains in developing countries and threatens to seriously undermine the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. They recalled that the crisis in the financial sector spread to the global economy, causing, inter alia, declines in GNP, a fall in world trade and a rapid rise in unemployment.
The Ministers stated in that regard that the global financial and economic crisis is not over and the recovery is uneven and uncertain, and there is no guarantee that the relapse will not occur. The systemic problems facing the global economy have to be resolved, including through the full accomplishment of the reform of the global financial system and architecture. There are still major and unfulfilled objectives, including the provision of development financing on a predictable manner to developing countries, the provision of funds to meet the urgent needs of developing countries arising from the effects of the crisis, and explore the possibility of the establishment of an international debt arbitration and debt workout mechanism.
The Ministers were of the view that the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group of the General Assembly to follow up on the issues contained in the Outcome of the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic and its Impact on Development will continue its work.
The Ministers further highlighted the urgent need for a substantive and comprehensive reform of the international economic and financial system and architecture, including policies, mandates, scope and governance, to better enable it to respond and prevent financial and economic emergencies, effectively promote development and equitably serve the needs of Member States, particularly developing countries. International Financial Institutions in particular must have a clear development orientation. The Ministers called on all Member States to participate in an open, inclusive and transparent dialogue for a new international economic and financial system and architecture.
The Ministers, having in mind the worst financial and economic crisis since the great depression that still remains and recognizing its severe impact that continues affecting developing countries, particularly the least developed, being also deeply worried of additional negative impacts as part of the second wave of the crisis happening now while signifying also a serious threat to developing countries in the years to come, recommended to hold a Follow-up Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development for 2012.
The Ministers emphasized that resorting to protectionism in any of its form, particularly by developed countries, endangers efforts towards global economic recovery, as well as the development prospects of developing countries.
The Ministers stated that the current crisis demonstrates the urgent need for introducing internationally harmonized norms and standards for financial regulation and supervision, so that financial leverage and regulatory arbitrage does not endanger the stability of the global system. In this regard, they strongly urged against the use of financial protectionism by developed countries.
The Ministers called for a new and significant, general SDR allocation, in the current basic period, to meet liquidity needs and promote development. Thus regular allocations of SDRs should also be undertaken.
The Ministers believed also in enhanced regional and sub-regional efforts as sub-regional development banks, regional and sub-regional reserve currency arrangements, and regional and sub-regional integration initiatives, which may have an important complementary role in liquidity provision and development.
The Ministers reaffirmed that appropriate measures must be taken to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on the indebtedness of developing countries and to avoid a new debt crisis. Those measures should not be limited to the full use of the existing mechanisms, but should also include the provision of increased funds for debt rollover, innovative debt swap criteria, and increased concessionalities. They added that the joint Debt Sustainability Framework of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should be put under continued review with a coordinated and cooperative approach and a full inclusion of the views of developing countries, in an open and transparent manner.
The Ministers stressed the critical importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA) as both a complement to other sources of financing and as a catalyst for development, facilitating the achievement of national development objectives, including the MDGs. The global crisis cannot be an excuse to avoid existing aid commitments. The Ministers stressed that an effective response to the current economic crisis requires timely implementation of existing aid commitments and that there is an urgent and unavoidable need for donors to fulfill them. Developed countries must meet and scale-up their existing bilateral and multilateral official development assistance commitments and targets.
The Ministers reaffirmed the need for developed countries to urgently fulfill all their official development assistance commitments in particular the commitment to reach the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for official development assistance to developing countries by 2015 and to reach the level of at least 0.5 per cent of gross national product for official development assistance by 2010, as well as a target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of gross national product for official development assistance to least developed countries.
In order to fully harness the potential of trade it is important to uphold a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system that contributes to growth, sustainable development and employment, particularly for developing countries. In this context, developed countries should resist all protectionist measures and tendencies, affecting developing countries, including agricultural subsidies and non-tariff barriers to trade, and to rectify any trade distorting measures already taken, recognizing the right for developing countries to fully utilize their policy space consistent with WTO commitments. Developed countries should also demonstrate the flexibility and political will necessary for breaking the current impasse in the negotiations, with a view to concluding the Round as soon as possible to achieve an early and development oriented outcome. The early conclusion of the Round would provide much needed impetus to international markets, contributing to consolidate the recovery and establish the foundations of sustained growth.
The Ministers stressed the importance of facilitating the accession of all developing countries, in particular the LDCs that apply for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), without political impediments, in an expeditious and transparent manner and with full observance of the principles of special and differential treatment for developing countries.
The Ministers recognized that innovative mechanisms of financing can make a positive contribution in assisting developing countries to mobilize additional resources for development on a stable, predictable and voluntary basis. They reiterated that such financing should be disbursed in accordance with the priorities of developing countries, should not unduly burden them, and should neither substitute nor negatively affect the level of traditional sources of development financing, including ODA. While highlighting the considerable progress in innovative sources of financing for development, they also considered it important to scale up present initiatives and develop new mechanisms. As work is expanded and new initiatives undertaken, they stressed that priorities should remain focused, namely, on providing additional, stable and supplementary resources to traditional development financing.
The Ministers stated that the United Nations is the only global body with universal membership and unquestioned legitimacy and is therefore well positioned to address global economic governance with the objective of reaching sustainable and socially balanced economic development. The role of the UN in global economic governance should thus be strengthened. For the United Nations to fulfill its role in global economic governance, the political will of all Member States to commit to the UN processes, to multilateralism and its underlying values is critical. Member States must commit to working in solidarity on coordinated and comprehensive global responses to global economic governance issues and to undertaking actions aimed at strengthening the role of the UN Development System in responding to global crises and their impact on development. For this the UN must also be equipped with the necessary resources and capabilities to effectively and quickly address global challenges.
The Ministers stated that there was a need for a more coherent, and effective response of the UN on issues related to global economic governance. In that regard, an appropriate follow-up mechanism should be established within the UN to bridge the gap between policy making and implementations of commitments in that area.
The Ministers recognized that addressing the root causes of persistent and increasing social and economic inequalities remains a significant challenge in fostering a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for approaches aimed at reversing growing disparities and inequalities between rich and poor, both among and within countries. In this regard, the Ministers looked forward to the report of the Secretary General based on resolution 62/213 assessing the implications of inequality for development during the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly.
The Ministers reaffirmed that economic and social development as well as environmental sustainability are the centerpieces of the objectives and operational activities of the United Nations. The achievement of the IADGs including the MDGs should continue to be the over-arching framework of the development activities of the UN system.
The Ministers reiterated the need to fully implement all agreed commitments from all the major United Nations summits and conferences in the economic, social and environmental fields. They further emphasized the need for a strengthened and scaled up global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development strategies.
The Ministers recognized the special needs of Africa, the only continent currently not on track to achieve the Internationally Agreed Development Goals including the Millennium Development Goals, and called for the full and timely implementation of all commitments made so as to enable African countries to achieve the MDGs by 2015. The Ministers recalled the commitment of all States to establish a monitoring mechanism to follow up on all commitments by the international community related to the development of Africa as contained in the political declaration on “Africa’s development needs” and stressed that all commitments to Africa should be effectively implemented and given appropriate follow-up by the international community and Africa itself. They underlined the importance of accelerating sustainable broad-based economic growth, which is pivotal to bringing Africa into the mainstream of the global economy. To this end, they underscored the urgency of addressing the special needs of Africa based on a partnership among equals, and underlined the need to provide new additional resources, technology transfer, as well as capacity building to African countries, and to support their sustainable development.
The Ministers recognized the special challenges and needs of the Least Developed Countries particularly in the face of new and emerging challenges. The Ministers expressed grave concern that, with just five years to go before 2015, the least developed countries are lagging behind in meeting many of the MDG targets. They therefore called on developed countries to honour the full, timely and effective implementation of all commitments related to the MDGs with special focus on accelerated delivery of existing MDG8 commitments to ensure that all the MDGs are attained by all LDCs by 2015. In this regard, the Ministers looked forward to a successful outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries to be held in Istanbul in 2011. The Ministers stressed that the Conference should make a thorough review of the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action and for defining a new generation of ambitious, comprehensive, targeted and results-oriented support measures to establish a new partnership between the least developed countries and their development partners for the next decade, with effective arrangements for follow-up, review and monitoring of the implementation of the new programme of action for the least developed countries.
The Ministers reiterated their recognition of the special needs of and challenges faced by the landlocked developing countries caused by their lack of territorial access to the sea, aggravated by the remoteness from world markets and also the concern that the economic growth and social well-being of land-locked developing countries remain very vulnerable to external shocks as well as the multiple challenges the international community faces including the financial and economic crisis, and climate changes, and stressed the need for the international community to enhance development assistance to landlocked developing countries to help them overcome their vulnerabilities, build resilience and set themselves on a path of sustainable social and economic development. They therefore reaffirmed the need to urgently address the special development needs of and challenges faced by the landlocked developing countries through the full, timely and effective implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action, as contained in the Declaration on the midterm review of the Almaty Programme of Action.
The Ministers welcomed the convening of the high-level meeting held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 24-25 September 2010 that adopted the political declaration, on progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States through the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action. The Ministers noted with concern that despite the acknowledged unique and particular vulnerabilities of SIDS insufficient steps have been taken at the international level to address these vulnerabilities and effectively support the sustainable development of SIDS. In this regard, the Ministers urged the international community, in particular developed countries, to honour and scale up their commitments to support the sustainable development of SIDS including those contained in the BPOA and MSI and further called on developed countries to provide new, additional and predictable financial resources, technology transfer on favorable terms and capacity building to SIDS.
The Ministers called for enhanced international support for the development efforts of middle-income developing countries, including through technical assistance, the promotion of new partnerships and cooperation arrangements, including bilateral arrangements, the provision of resources, the transfer technology and the creation of capacity-building, while taking into account their national priorities and development policies.
The Ministers also called for continued support for the development efforts of low-income developing countries in addressing their social, economic and developmental needs including through the provision of technical, financial and other forms of assistance, promotion of and strengthening of partnerships and cooperation arrangements at all levels.
The Ministers acknowledged that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities as well as their social and economic conditions. In this regard, the Ministers reiterated that UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol remains the central multilateral framework for cooperative action to address climate change. Ministers further stressed that the process of work under the UNFCCC must be open, party-driven, inclusive and transparent.
The Ministers urged developed countries to undertake ambitious and enhanced commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in subsequent commitment periods and to ensure that there is no gap between the first and subsequent commitment periods. They also urged the international community to assist developing countries to address the consequences of climate change, particularly through new, additional and predictable financial resources, capacity building, and access to and transfer of technology.
The Ministers looked forward to positive outcomes at the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP6) to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
The Ministers welcomed with appreciation South Africa’s commitment to host the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7) in 2011.
The Ministers took note of the offer made by the Government of the State of Qatar to host in 2012 the 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP18) and the eighth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8) while at the same time the Ministers will not be prejudging the final decision by the Asian group in the UNFCCC.
The Ministers expressed their concern over the increased frequency and scale of natural disasters in recent years which have resulted in massive loss of life and long term negative social, economic and environmental consequences for countries, particularly developing countries. They called upon the international community, particularly developed countries and the relevant international organizations to increase their assistance to the affected states, including by supporting efforts towards enhancing their national and regional capacities for implementation of plans and strategies for preparedness, rapid response, recovery and development on earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions, and extreme weather events such as heat waves, severe droughts and floods, sand and dust storms.
The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the International Year of Biodiversity on the 22nd of September 2010. They noted the urgent need to meet the three objectives of the Convention and their target of reducing biodiversity loss in the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the Period 2011-2020.
The Ministers looked forward to a successful and comprehensive outcome at the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10), including the adoption of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Protocol, which will be held from 18 to 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan.
The Ministers welcomed the ongoing efforts by the CBD Secretariat to finalize the draft Multi-Year Plan of Action for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development as mandated by COP-9 and looked forward to its adoption at the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10). In this context, they welcomed the convening of the First Forum on South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity to be held in Nagoya, Japan, on 17 October 2010, and commended the CBD Secretariat for establishing a strategic partnership with the Group of 77 in the field of South-South cooperation.
The Ministers recognized the challenge posed by desertification and land degradation and resolved to support and strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa to address causes of desertification and land degradation, as well as poverty resulting from land degradation.
The Ministers urged developed countries to provide new, adequate and predictable financial resources to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Convention and the ten year strategic Plan and Framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018). The Ministers also called for continued efforts to raising the awareness of desertification, land degradation and drought at all levels through the celebration of the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification 2010–2020.
The Ministers reiterated their support to strengthening political commitment and action at all levels to effectively implement the global objectives on forest and sustainable forest management of all types of forests in order to reduce the loss of forest cover and improve the livelihoods of those that depend on forests through the development of a comprehensive and more effective approach to financing activities including the establishing of a voluntary global forest fund. They looked forward to positive outcomes of the work of the open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc expert Group on Financing the sustainable forest management.
The Ministers called on the international community and the United Nations system to fully support Caribbean States in their efforts to gain international recognition of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context sustainable development, recognizing the importance of the Caribbean Sea to present and future generations and to the heritage and the continuing economic well-being and sustenance of people living in the area, and the urgent need for the countries of the region to take appropriate steps for its preservation and protection, with the support of the international community.
The Ministers stressed the need to cooperate at global and regional levels with a view to preventing and managing dust/sand storms including in sharing related information, forecasting and early warning system. The Ministers stressed that combating sand and dust storms demands financial support and the transfer of technology from developed countries to developing countries.
The Ministers emphasized the urgent need to increase efforts at the national, regional and international levels to address food security and agriculture development as an integral part of the international development agenda. They underlined the need for sustained funding and increased targeted investment to enhance world food production and called for new and additional financial resources from all sources to achieve sustainable agriculture development and food security.
The Ministers emphasized the importance of addressing energy issues, including access to affordable energy, energy efficiency, as well as sustainability of energy sources and use, as part of global efforts for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the promotion of sustainable development.
The Ministers supported the implementation of national policies and strategies to combine as appropriate the increased use of new and renewable energy sources and low emission technologies, more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, as well as promoting access to modern, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy services; and enhancing national capacities to meet the growing energy demand, as appropriate, supported by international cooperation in this field, and by promoting the development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable energy technology, as well as the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms.
The Ministers reiterated their support to the convening of a World Summit on Sustainable Development in Brazil in 2012 to review the 20-year progress achieved in the implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, on 3-14 June 1992, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002.
The Ministers welcomed the initiative of the UN General Assembly to proclaim the International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual understanding (12 August 2010-11 August 2011) and called on all countries and all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector and international cooperation agencies, to participate actively in all activities related to the year and the United Nations Conference on Youth.
The Ministers acknowledged the adoption by the General Assembly of its resolution 64/289 on the system-wide coherence, which provide a comprehensive review of the current status of the work of the UN regarding the operational activities for development. They reiterated the fact that the fundamental characteristics of the UN operational activities for development must remain, among others, their universal, voluntary and grant nature, their neutrality, their accountability and their multilateralism, and called on the UN development system to respond to the development needs of programme countries in a flexible and transparent manner.
The Ministers reaffirmed that the operational activities should be carried out for the benefit of recipient countries, at the request of those countries and in accordance with their own policies and priorities for development. Strengthening the role and capacity of the UN development system to assist countries in achieving their development goals requires continued improvement in its effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact, along with a significant increase in resources.
The Ministers also reaffirmed the key importance of national ownership and national leadership, and underscored the fact that there is no “one size fits all” approach to development and that development assistance by the United Nations development system should be able to respond to the varying demands of programme countries and should be in alignment with their national development plans and strategies in accordance with established mandates.
The Ministers welcomed the intergovernmental meetings of programme country pilots held in Kigali, from 19 to 21 October 2009, and in Hanoi, from 14 to 16 June 2010, took note with appreciation of the Kigali and Hanoi declarations, and in this regard also took note of the progress made by “delivering as one” countries in their own country led evaluations. The Ministers looked forward to receiving the outcome of the independent evaluation of lessons learned from the “delivering as one” pilots, covering all aspects of the initiative, at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, in accordance with GA resolution 64/289.
The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), through the adoption of General Assembly resolution 64/289 on system-wide coherence, and pledged their full support to its operationalization, based on the principle of universality, which will strengthen the United Nations’ ability to support the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women in the world.
The Ministers affirmed that the sovereign equality of Member States, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, must be respected, including throughout reform processes, irrespective of the contributions that individual Member States make to the budget of the Organization. Governance arrangements and decision-making process exercised through the General Assembly, its Main Committees and subsidiary bodies are the sole responsibility of the Member States in accordance with the United Nations Charter. They upheld the role of the Member States, through the relevant main committee of the General Assembly, in the consideration of budgetary and administrative matters.
The Ministers reaffirmed that the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly is the sole Main Committee of the organization entrusted with responsibilities for administrative, financial and budgetary matters. In this regard, the Ministers requested that any budgetary, financial, and administrative related matters including those being dealt with in connection with the establishment of a peacekeeping operation or a special political mission be discussed solely in the framework of the Fifth Committee, in conformity with the UN Charter.
The Ministers strongly supported the oversight role performed by the General Assembly, as well as its relevant intergovernmental and expert bodies, in the planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation. They reaffirmed that any Secretariat and management reform efforts, including on its budget process, must not intend to change the intergovernmental, multilateral and international nature of the organization, but must strengthen the ability of Member States to perform their oversight and monitoring role. They also reaffirmed the right of the entire membership of the United Nations to pronounce on the administration of the Organization, including on its budgetary matters.
The Ministers further reaffirmed the principle of “capacity to pay” as the fundamental criterion in the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations and, while recalling General Assembly resolution 64/248, rejected any change to the elements of the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments aimed at increasing the contributions of developing countries. In this regard, they emphasized that the core elements of the current methodology of the scale of assessment, such as base period, Gross National Income, conversion rates, low per capita income adjustment, gradient, floor, ceiling for Least Developed Countries and debt stock adjustment must be kept intact and are not negotiable.
The Ministers stressed that the current maximum assessment rate, or ceiling, had been fixed as a political compromise and is contrary to the principle of the capacity to pay and a fundamental source of distortion in the scale of assessments. In this context, they urged the General Assembly to undertake a review of this arrangement, in accordance with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 55/5 C.
The Ministers affirmed that the current principles and guidelines for the apportionment of the expenses of peacekeeping operations approved by the General Assembly in its relevant resolutions should constitute a basis for any discussion on the peacekeeping scale. In this regard, the Ministers stressed that the peacekeeping scale must clearly reflect the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security. The Ministers also recalled that the economically less developed countries have limited capacity to contribute towards the budgets of peacekeeping operations. In this context, the Ministers emphasized that any discussion on the system of discounts applied to the peacekeeping scale should take into account the conditions of developing countries whose current positions must not be negatively affected. The Ministers stressed, in this regard, that no member of the Group of 77 and China who is not a permanent member of the Security Council, should therefore be categorized above level C.
The Ministers reaffirmed that the financial stability of the United Nations should not be jeopardized by arbitrary measures. The Ministers stressed that any efforts to use financial contributions to push for the adoption of certain proposals are counterproductive and violate the obligations of the Member States to provide resources for the Organization, as enshrined in its Charter.
The Ministers, in this context, rejected all unilateral coercive measures contrary to the international law, which obstruct and sometimes impede payments of assessed contributions from Members of the Group of 77 and China to the budgets of the Organization.
The Ministers strongly reaffirmed the legal obligation of all member states to bear the financial expenses of the UN, in accordance with the Charter, and urged all Member States to pay their assessed contributions on time, in full and without conditions. They also stressed that the special and genuine difficulties faced by some developing countries that prevent them from meeting temporarily their financial obligations should be fully taken into account and that the decisions of the General Assembly on the agenda item “scale of assessments” must be responsive to such difficulties.
The Ministers stressed that the level of resources to be approved by the General Assembly must be commensurate with all mandated programmes and activities in order to ensure their full and effective implementation. They also reaffirmed the priorities of the Organization as approved by the General Assembly and the need for the Secretary-General to reflect these priorities when presenting proposed programme budgets.
The Ministers reiterated that there is a need to strike a balance in reflecting the agreed priorities of the Organization in the allocation of resources to the United Nations regular budget, which is persistently to the detriment of the development activities.
In this context, the Ministers stressed that the strengthening of the United Nations and its role in international cooperation for development is essential to respond to current and future challenges and opportunities emanating from the process of globalization. They recognized that the United Nations needs to improve its capabilities and capacities to fully implement its mandates and to ensure the effective delivery of its programmes in the social and economic development field. In this regard, they urge the Secretary-General to further strengthen the development pillar of the whole organization, including its development account.
The Ministers stressed the importance of ensuring that the Secretariat meets the highest standards of accountability, transparency, integrity and ethical conduct. The Ministers, therefore, urged the Secretary-General, as a matter of priority, to fully implement General Assembly resolution 64/259.
The Ministers expressed concern at the inadequate share of the developing countries in the United Nations system of procurement. They emphasized that the United Nations procurement should be on as wide a geographical basis as possible with preferential treatment for the developing countries. They further underlined that the United Nations supplier roster should be representative of the membership of the Organization and underscored the need to implement concrete measures to ensure greater market access by businesses from developing countries in United Nations procurement.
The Ministers stressed the need to increase the representation of developing countries, in particular at the senior levels, and to improve geographic distribution in the Secretariat and more transparency in recruitment process.
The Ministers firmly rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries, and reiterated the urgent need to eliminate them immediately. They emphasized 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. They, therefore, called on the international community neither to recognize these measures nor apply them.
The Ministers reiterated their call for the immediate and full withdrawal of Israel, the occupying Power, from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 and from the remaining Lebanese occupied land. They reaffirmed their support for a Middle East peace process aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978) and 1850(2008) and the principle of land for peace. In this context, they also reaffirmed their support for the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by the Arab Summit since March 2002.
The Ministers condemned the ongoing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which has resulted in the loss of civilian lives and the vast destruction of Palestinian properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the further decline of the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, as a result of the illegal Israeli practices, including construction of settlements and the Wall and the imposition of blockade and hundreds of checkpoints. They called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately all illegal measures impairing the Palestinian economy and development, including, in particular, the inhumane and illegal blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including commercial trade throughout, into and out of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to make reparation for all damages caused to Palestinian properties, institutions and infrastructure. They reiterated their call upon the international community to continue providing much needed developmental and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people during this critical period particularly for the reconstruction and economic recovery in the Gaza Strip.
The Ministers expressed support for the assistance in the demining efforts and cluster bombs clearance in the south of Lebanon. They further expressed their deep concern about the lack of financial resources for carrying out the remaining demining and clearance of mines and cluster munitions in the south of Lebanon, and called upon the international donors and the United Nations system to provide the appropriate and adequate financial resources to the Mine Action Coordination Center South Lebanon in order to allow it to perform its task. The Ministers reiterated their call on Israel to complete the submission to the United Nations of adequate information on these mines and cluster munitions, as well as all remaining maps related to their locations, which are hindering the development and rehabilitation of the south of Lebanon and preventing the agricultural exploitation of vast areas of rich agrarian land. The Ministers requested Israel to assume responsibility for the landmines laying and cluster bombs usage in the south of Lebanon and assume defraying the cost of clearance as well as providing compensation for Lebanon for any ensuing losses and for reclaiming the affected areas in the south of Lebanon for productive purposes.
The Ministers supported the inalienable right of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with international law, in particular to ensure the social and economic needs of its population in the liberated areas and villages. They called on Israel to end its air violations of Lebanese sovereignty and other violations that severely damage the security situation which is a critical factor in promoting the economy and tourism industries.
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening South-South Cooperation especially in the current international economic environment and reiterated their support for South-South Cooperation as a strategy to sustain the development efforts of developing countries as a means of enhancing their participation in the emerging global economy. They reiterated the principles of South-South Cooperation as adopted by the Twelfth Session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries (IFCC-XII), which was held from 10 to 13 June 2008 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.
The Ministers reiterated their position that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than substitute for, North-South development cooperation. South-South cooperation is a collective endeavor of developing countries based on premises, conditions and objectives that are specific to the historic and political context of developing countries and to their needs and expectations and as such South-South cooperation deserves its own separate and independent promotion as reaffirmed in the Nairobi outcome document and the Development Platform for the South of the G-77.
The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the UNGA resolution 64/222 of 21 December 2009, which reiterated the request made by the Heads of state and government at the Second South Summit held in Doha from 12 to 16 June 2005 inviting “the Secretary-General, in consultation with member states, to take concrete measures to further strengthen the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation as a separate entity and a focal point for South-South cooperation within the United Nations system as reaffirmed by General Assembly resolution 58/220 of 23 December 2003, so as to enable it to carry out its full responsibilities, in particular through of mobilization of resources for the advancement of South-South cooperation including through triangular cooperation.”
The Ministers welcomed the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation which was held from 1 to 3 December 2009 in Nairobi, and looked forward to its effective implementation. In this context, they reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the current UN institutional mechanisms for South-South cooperation and expressed their support to the ongoing process by the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) to review the existing United Nations institutional arrangements in support of South-South and triangular cooperationincluding the role of Special Unit for South-South cooperation in accordance with the UNGA resolution 64/222 of 21 December 2009 and HLC Decision 16/1 of 4 February 2010.
The Ministers stressed that the General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation is the central multilateral policy-making body in the UN system to review and assess global and system-wide progress on and support for South-South development cooperation, including triangular cooperation, and to provide overall guidance on future directions. The Ministers urged all partners interested in supporting South-South cooperation to be guided by the principles and objectives for such cooperation established in such internationally agreed documents as the Buenos Aires Plan of Action on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries that was adopted by General Assembly resolution 33/144 dated 19 December 1978 and the Nairobi Outcome Document on South-South Cooperation that was endorsed by GA resolution 64/222 dated 21 December 2009, as well as other relevant GA resolutions.
In this context, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange Convention hosted by the United Nations Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai from 20 to 22 October 2010 as well as the convening by the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation of the Global South-South Development Expo in Geneva from 22 to 26 November 2010 hosted by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The Ministers welcomed the generous offer by the Government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to host the G-77 Third South Summit and invited member states to host sectoral conferences and other high-level preparatory meetings prior to the South Summit.
The Ministers also welcomed the generous offer by the Islamic Republic of Iran to host the Second Ministerial Forum on Water as well as the generous offer by the Syrian Arab Republic to host a Sectoral Meeting on Food and Agriculture. In this context, the Ministers also renewed their invitation to all member states of the Group of 77 to consider hosting the Thirteenth Session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee (IFCC-XIII) in preparation of the Third South Summit.
The Ministers welcomed the launching on the occasion of the World Forum on Sciences in Budapest, Hungary on December 4th 2009 of the G77 Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTIS) in partnership with UNESCO and urged the Director-General of UNESCO to provide necessary support for the operationalization of COSTIS and for the convening of the First General Conference of the Consortium, prior to the G-77 Third South Summit.
The Ministers approved the Report of the Twenty-fifth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for ECDC/TCDC (PGTF) contained in document G-77/AM(XXII)/2010/2 and endorsed its recommendations. The Ministers commended the Chairman of the PGTF for his continued commitment and expressed their satisfaction with the results achieved by the PGTF. In light of the substantial decrease in the interest earnings of the Fund caused by the current world financial situation as reported by the Chairman of the PGTF, the Ministers appealed to every Member State to make a significant one-time contribution to the PGTF on the occasion of the UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities to be held in New York on 8 November 2010.
The Ministers approved the Financial Statement of the ECDC Account of the Group of 77 contained in document G-77/AM(XXII)/2010/3, as presented by the Chairman of the Group of 77 and urged those Member States that have not yet done so to make special efforts to pay their outstanding contributions.
The Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to the Republic of Yemen for its able leadership and for the excellent work and tireless efforts as the Chair country of the Group of 77 for 2010. The Ministers also commended the efficient work and continued valuable support provided by the Executive Secretary of the Group of 77 in New York to the Chair country and to the Member States.
The Ministers warmly welcomed the election by acclamation of the Republic of Argentina to the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 for 2011.
The Ministers welcomed the admission of the Republic of Tajikistan as a member of the Group of 77.