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 23 September 2011 on the occasion of their Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting. The Ministers reviewed the world economic situation and the development challenges faced by developing countries, and adopted the following Declaration:
1. The Ministers, after reviewing the world economic situation, noted that while growth has been resilient in some developing countries, it remains lower than pre-crisis levels in most other developing countries. A majority of developing countries are still confronted by numerous shared and common problems and great challenges such as extreme poverty, global food crisis and continued food insecurity, high level of unemployment, external debt burden, lack of financial aid and climate change negative effects. Strong and sustained growth is critical to developing countries to meet the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
2. The Ministers also restated that the global financial and economic crisis is not over and the recovery is uneven and uncertain. 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.
3. The Ministers, reaffirmed that 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, reiterated the recommendation to hold a Follow-up Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development for 2012, and they stressed that the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group of the General Assembly to follow-up on the issues contained in the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development will continue its work.
4. The Ministers noted that the crisis has affected developing countries, not only in economic terms, by, inter alia, the presence of barriers to trade as well as to finance in some of the anti-crisis measures taken by some developed countries, but also on social development, leading to major loss of jobs and difficulties of governments to finance social programmes that address poverty or provision of basic amenities which threaten the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals.
5. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the ongoing adverse impacts, particularly on development, of the world financial and economic crisis. In this context, the Ministers stressed the necessity to urgently address the problems, emphasizing that such a crisis should not be used under any circumstances as an excuse to slow down or not fulfill the obligations and commitments of the developed partners towards the developing countries. Additional substantial support is needed to address poverty, unsustainable external debt and apply solutions towards a durable response towards the climate change impact experienced by developing countries.
6. The Ministers reaffirmed the urgent need for an effective response to the current economic crisis which requires timely implementation of existing aid commitments by developed countries. A strengthened United Nations framework for enhancing coordination and complementarity should be at the centre of efforts to bridge this gap, building consensus on efficient and effective solutions for global economic, social and environmental issues.
7. The Ministers expressed concern that the world financial and economic crisis continues to threaten the debt sustainability in some developing countries, inter alia, through its impact on the real economy and the increase in borrowing undertaken in order to mitigate the negative impacts of the crisis, and in that regard called upon all Governments to promote and contribute to the discussions, including within the United Nations and other appropriate forums, on the need and feasibility of new sovereign debt restructuring and debt resolution mechanisms that take into account the multiple dimensions of debt sustainability and its role on the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
8. The Ministers reaffirmed that economic and social development is the centerpiece of the objectives of the United Nations. The achievement of the internationally agreed development goals 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 related fields. They further emphasized the need for a strengthened global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development strategies.
9. 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.
10. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the decision adopted by the General Assembly in its Resolution 65/94 to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-sixth session, under the item entitled “Strengthening of the United Nations System”, a new sub-item, entitled “Central role of the United Nations system in global governance”.
11. 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 implementation of commitments in that area.
12. The Ministers took note with appreciation of the report A/65/866 on the review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council and encouraged all Members States, the ECOSOC, the regional commissions and other entities of the United Nations system to consider the recommendations contained in this report.
13. The Ministers stated that global governance should also be addressed within the context of a fair and inclusive globalization supported by strengthened multilateralism. Achieving more sustainable and balanced global growth will require close coordination of macroeconomic policy decisions with other areas of global governance, including those related to the multilateral trading system; aid architecture; external debt, poverty eradication and sustainable development, including climate change. In that regard, international financial institutions need a more coherent, representative, responsive and accountable governance, reflecting the realities of the twenty-first century.
14. The Ministers took note of the recent developments in the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), and called for an expeditious completion, as soon as possible, of a much more ambitious reform process of the governance structure of those Institutions and of an accelerated road map for further reforms on voice, participation and enhanced voting power of developing countries based on an approach that truly reflects its development mandate and with the involvement of all shareholders in an equitable, transparent, consultative and inclusive process.
15. The Ministers reaffirmed that Official Development Assistance (ODA) remains essential as a catalyst for development, facilitating the achievement of national development objectives, including the MDGs. The global financial and economic crisis cannot be an excuse to avoid existing aid commitments by developed countries. An effective response to the ongoing economic crisis requires timely implementation of existing aid commitments and an urgent and unavoidable need for donors to fulfill them.
16. The Ministers stressed that developed countries must meet and scale-up their existing bilateral and multilateral official development assistance commitments and targets made, inter alia, in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus, the 2005 World Summit Outcome, at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, in the Doha Declaration for Financing for Development and in other relevant fora. An enhanced predictable and sustainable flow of ODA is essential to meet the regular development challenges as well as the new and emerging challenges in developing countries, in particular in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other vulnerable developing countries.
17. The Ministers reiterated that, as a group, developed countries are still far from achieving the longstanding goal of mobilizing 0.7% of GNP in ODA to developing countries, including the target of 0.15 – 0.20 per cent of ODA to the LDCs. In order to meet agreed commitments and targets, the Ministers called the developed countries to establish clear and transparent timetables within their national budget allocation processes to reach the level of 0.7 per cent for ODA to developing countries, including the target of 0.15 – 0.20 per cent of ODA to the LDCs by 2015 at the latest. Notwithstanding the positive impact of debt relief on development, it should not be counted as part of the ODA contribution. The Ministers reaffirmed that the full implementation of these commitments will substantially boost the resources available to push forward the international development agenda and to assist developing countries to mitigate and more effectively respond to the crisis in accordance with their national strategies.
18. 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 appropriate. 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.
19. The Ministers stressed the importance of establishing an appropriate follow-up mechanism within the United Nations system to bridge the gap between policy making and implementation of commitments, particularly through the establishment of a Financing for Development Commission as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC. It is also important for Member States to support efforts to strengthen and further advance the Financing for Development process, which would help enhance coherence and consistency of the financial and trading systems to ensure they support the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.
20. The Ministers deemed it important to strengthen the concepts of national ownership and leadership of their development process and policy space. The Ministers reiterated that developing countries should have the required policy space to formulate their development strategies in keeping with national development policies, strategies and priorities to reflect the particular circumstances of each country.
21. In this respect, it must be borne in mind that, in the context of the World Bank, client countries are the owners of their development policies and that selectivity in strategy and actions of that institution must be guided, first and foremost by developing countries’ priorities and preferences.
22. The Ministers reiterated their call for a new and significant Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation at the beginning of the upcoming basic period, to meet liquidity needs and promote development. Hereon regular allocations of SDRs should also be undertaken.
23. The Ministers also expressed their deep concern on the increasing inequality between developed and developing countries since most developing countries have been deprived of financial investment despite the different reforms and policies they have undertaken to create a more attractive investment climate. The reform policies are often constrained by conditionalities imposed by the international financial institutions. There is a need for conscious policy measures to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries, including investment guarantee schemes, favorable trade access, production and supply agreements, local processing and marketing of raw materials and commodities.
24. While recognizing that international capital flows depend largely on decisions taken by private actors, the Ministers called on developed countries to take measures to facilitate and redirect such flows to developing countries on a more predictable, stable and equitable manner. In particular, developed countries should take concrete steps to avoid financial protectionism and rectify any measures adopted in that regard during the crisis, including subsidies to ailing industries and sectors. Additional efforts should be taken to enhance private flows in support of development and maximize the development impact of FDI, particularly with regard to linkages with domestic production activities, transfer of technology and research and development activities.
25. The Ministers stressed that additional substantial resources including short-term liquidity and long-term development financing and grants are needed in order to achieve the development goals, including in particular those related to health and education. In that regard, the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization, should translate all commitments made at the major United Nations Conferences and Summits in the economic, social and related fields into action.
26. The Ministers underlined that middle-income countries face significant challenges in their efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, it is of utmost importance that international support, through its various forms, is well aligned with national priorities to address the special development needs of middle-income countries.
27. 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 highlighted that national averages based on criteria such as per capita income do not usually reflect accurately the actual particularities and special development needs of significant diverse middle income countries.
28. The Ministers reaffirmed that 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 desist from all protectionist measures and tendencies, affecting developing countries, including agricultural subsidies and non-tariff barriers to trade, and rectify any trade distorting measures already taken.
29. The Ministers reiterated that developed countries should demonstrate the flexibility and political will necessary for breaking the current impasse in the Doha Round of negotiations, with a view to concluding an agreement 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.
30. The Ministers emphasized the importance of UNCTAD XII, in particular “The Accra Accord”, which reiterated UNCTAD’s importance as the focal point within the UN for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues of finance, investment, technology and sustainable development, and the need to fully implement its mandate for policy analysis and policy advice which is indispensable for forging consensus building on development. The Ministers looked forward to the concrete and successful convening of UNCTAD XIII from 21 to 26 April 2012 in Doha, Qatar, under the theme “Development-centred globalization: Towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development” as well as the Group of 77 and China Ministerial Meeting preparatory to UNCTAD XIII.
31. The Ministers expressed their deep concern on the continuing shortfall of technology transfer, know-how and expertise towards developing countries. They emphasized the need to adopt appropriate measures to overcome the technological gap between developing and developed countries and to work towards arrangements that facilitate the process of technology transfer. Technology transfer to support economic and social development and the transfer of environmentally sound and clean technologies are key to advance the development efforts of the South. Developing countries should be enabled to develop their own technology with the support of the international community, including building local capacity to design and develop technologies.
32. 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.
33. The Ministers reaffirmed that hunger constitutes a violation of human dignity and called for urgent measures at the national, regional and international levels for its elimination. They also reaffirmed the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food consistent with the right to food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, so as to be able to fully develop and maintain his or her physical and mental capacities.
34. The Ministers emphasized that achieving food security would require strengthening and revitalizing the agriculture sector in developing countries, including through the empowerment of indigenous peoples, rural communities, small and medium scale farmers, providing technical and financial assistance, access to and transfer of technology, capacity building and exchange of knowledge and experience. The Ministers underscored that subsidies and other market distortions by developed countries have severely harmed the agricultural sector in developing countries, thereby limiting the ability of this key sector to contribute meaningfully to poverty eradication and sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development, food security and rural development. The Ministers, therefore, called for the immediate elimination of all forms of agricultural subsidies and other market-distorting measures by developed countries. They urged the developed countries to demonstrate the necessary flexibility and political will to address meaningfully these key concerns of developing countries at the Doha Round of Trade Negotiations.
35. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of resolution 15/2011 of July 2, 2011 of the thirty-seventh session of the General Conference of FAO recommending the declaration of the International Year of Quinoa in 2013, taking into account that the Conference noted the exceptional nutritional qualities of Quinoa, its adaptability to various growing conditions and potentially significant contribution to the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and in this regard, they reiterated their firm support to the resolution.
36. The Ministers expressed their deep concern for the constraints on the fight against poverty arising from the current global crises, in particular the world financial and economic crisis, the world food crisis and continuing food insecurity, the energy crisis and the challenges posed by climate change to developing countries. They reiterated that special attention must be brought to the structural roots of poverty in the international system hindering the efforts of the developing countries in their fight against poverty. In this context, they reaffirmed that sustained and inclusive economic growth is essential for eradicating poverty and hunger, in particular in developing countries, and stressed that national efforts in this regard should be complemented by an enabling international environment aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries.
37. The Ministers reiterated that poverty eradication cannot be successfully achieved without the collective commitment and efforts of the international community. Therefore, international cooperation based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development strategies must be enhanced, including fulfillment of commitment of internationally agreed official development assistance, debt relief, market-access, capacity-building and technical support.
38. The Ministers recognized that inequality within and among countries is a concern for all countries regardless of their level of development and that it represents a growing challenge with multiple implications for the realization of economic and social potential and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and stressed the need to address the persistent and significant disparities between developed and developing countries and inequalities between the rich and the poor and between rural and urban populations. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed the importance of greater consideration of the impact of social and economic inequalities in development, including in the design and implementation of development strategies.
39. 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.
40. The Ministers recalled the fact that the world has witnessed over the recent years an increase in frequency and intensity of disasters, and an increase in the number of people affected by humanitarian emergencies. Moreover, the continuing impact of climate change, the ongoing adverse impacts of financial and economic crisis, the global food crisis and continuing food insecurity are posing additional challenges to the humanitarian response system. The Ministers stressed the need to further strengthen the capacity, in particular of developing countries, to prepare for and respond to disasters, taking into account that building preparedness is a long-term investment that contribute to the saving of lives while at the same time reducing the need for humanitarian response. They called upon the United Nations system and the international community to assist developing countries in the enhancement of their existing humanitarian capacities, knowledge and institutions, including by, inter alia, through the transfer of technology, funding and expertise, in order to facilitate appropriate preparedness for and response to these increasing humanitarian emergencies.
41. The Ministers also stressed that respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States must remain the overarching parameters in all efforts for coordination of humanitarian assistance. In this regard, they emphasized the primary role of the concerned State in the initiation, organization, coordination and implementation of humanitarian assistance. It is critical that affected States, donor countries, the UN system and other humanitarian organizations work together to provide much needed humanitarian assistance and development support, recognizing the primary role of the affected State.
42. Ministers reaffirmed that, in order to ensure a smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation and development, emergency assistance must be provided in ways that will be supportive of recovery and long-term development and that emergency measures should be seen as a step towards sustainable development.
43. Since funding remains a challenge in the context of increasing humanitarian emergencies, in particular in developing countries, the Ministers reiterated the need to promote and achieve effective, predictable, flexible and adequate funding through enhanced partnerships and strengthened financial mechanisms for humanitarian assistance. The Ministers emphasized the importance of ensuring equitable geographical representation within the UN relevant bodies.
44. The Ministers reaffirmed that Member States must comply fully with their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 to protect and assist civilians in occupied territories and call the UN System and the international community to strengthen their efforts to provide and facilitate the humanitarian assistance to those civilians.
45. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High-level Meeting on Youth held at the United Nation Headquarters in New York on 25-26 July 2011 to address the theme: “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”, which adopted a substantive outcome document, recalling that it had originated from an initiative of the Group of 77 and China.
46. The Ministers noted with concern that unemployment has become a global problem affecting youth worldwide, to which a global response is required. In this regard, they urged all Member States to undertake efforts towards the development of a global strategy aimed at effectively addressing youth unemployment.
47. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September 2011 to reaffirm the global political commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and underlined the adoption of its political declaration entitled “United against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance”.
48. The Ministers reaffirmed the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference in 2009, and welcomed the progress made in many countries and many regions since 2001, including through enacting legislation while expressing their deep concern at the lack of full implementation, and called for the translation of commitment into concrete action and for the appropriate measures to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, which constitute the most comprehensive international framework in the fight against racism, and strengthening the follow-up mechanisms.
49. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High Level meeting on Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases held at the United Nation Headquarters in New York on 19 to 20 September 2011 that adopted a political declaration. In this regard, the Ministers called for strengthening international cooperation in the area of public health to promote access to comprehensive and cost-effective prevention, treatment and care programs for the integrated management of Non-Communicable Diseases, including increased access to affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines and diagnostics and other technologies.
50. The Ministers noted with grave concern that Non-Communicable Diseases have become an epidemic of challenging proportions which undermines the sustainable development of Member States. They reaffirmed the right of Member States to protect public health and in particular to ensure access to medicines for all, diagnostic and medical technologies, including through the full use of TRIPS flexibilities, as confirmed by the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health of 14 November 2001.
51. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 65/198 of 21 December 2010 that decided to organize a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in 2014, in order to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of Indigenous peoples, including to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also invited Members States to fully participate in this event. The Ministers looked forward to the consultations on the modalities for the meeting, including on the participation of indigenous peoples in the conference.
52. The Ministers urged the international community to address the challenges caused by international migration on the basis of common responsibility of all nations, genuine partnership and common understanding, in order to assure that international migration can contribute to the development of both origin and destination countries while minimizing the negative impacts.
53. The Ministers called on all Member States to renew the political will to address the challenges and opportunities of international migration, both regular and irregular, in a balanced manner and to promote respect for and protection of human rights in the development and implementation of policies regarding migration. In this regard, they stressed the importance of Official Development Assistance and other sources of international resource mobilization to support the efforts of developing countries to eradicate poverty and promote the right of peoples to development, as a key instrument to control migration flows, which are motivated, inter alia, by the search for better welfare and job opportunities.
54. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong support to the United Nations, and to all collective efforts aiming at enhancing its ability to fully implement its mandates and to ensure the effective delivery of all its programmes, in particular in the social and economic development field. The Ministers firmly believed that the legitimacy and viability of any reform measures depended ultimately on the approval of Member States of the United Nations. The Ministers emphasized that measures to reform of the United Nations should respond to the unique intergovernmental, multilateral and international character of the United Nations.
55. The Ministers reaffirmed that the quantity, quality and predictability of development assistance from the UN system constitute a central priority for developing countries. Additionally, the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources for operational activities must be addressed as a matter of urgency. They noted that the increasing shift from core to non-core funding tend to lead to fragmentation and can impair the effectiveness and efficiency of operational activities, as non-core resources are unpredictable, increase transaction costs, inefficiency, incoherence and fragmentation of the UN system, including at the country level, causing competition among organizations, as well as inviting them to divert from their respective mandates. Therefore, the Ministers called on donor countries to provide adequate financial resources in order to restore the balance between core and non-core funding resources as well as to ensure an expanding and adequate base of resources for development.
56. The Ministers reaffirmed that 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. In that regard, the fundamental characteristics of the UN operational activities for development must remain, among others, the universal, voluntary and grant nature, the neutrality and the multilateralism, as well as their ability to respond to the development needs of programme countries in a flexible manner. Moreover, 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 national policies and national priorities for development.
57. The Ministers stressed the importance for the entire UN system as well as the BWIs and bilateral donors to recognize the ownership of the concerned developing countries, align their cooperation programmes with the national development strategies of those countries and also harmonize, as appropriate, their individual cooperation programmes with a view to making the optimum contribution to the realization of national development strategies.
58. The Ministers reiterated their support for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), to be held in Brazil in 2012, to review 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 stated that an overview of the results achieved show that there are persistent implementation gaps, and many unfulfilled commitments by the international community. The challenges faced by developing countries, as a result, are intensified by the effects of the multiple and interrelated global crises, from which the world is still suffering, particularly food crisis, climate change, the global economic and financial crisis as well as energy crisis. These challenges are posing serious threats to the achievement of sustainable development and internationally agreed development goals, including the MDG’s.
59. The Ministers believed that the United Nations Conference on Sustainable development (UNCSD) and all its preparatory process in Rio in 2012 offer an important opportunity to deeply and frankly reflect on where we have failed and why. Assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, in our view, would show the failures and how to move forward without making the same mistakes again in dealing not only with the old but the new and emerging challenges. A fragmented approach has been adopted towards sustainable development. The unsustainability and overconsumption in developed countries is negatively impacting the health of the Earth. The Ministers stressed the need for a more systemic and integrated approach of the three pillars of sustainable development, taking into consideration the negative impact of human activities in ecosystems dynamics and functioning.
60. The Ministers concluded that the success of our common efforts is closely linked to the means available to ensure effective implementation and policy space for sustainable development. They reaffirmed that the issue of the means of implementation must be underscored, as a global responsibility, given the global nature of the challenges the world faces today. Therefore, the fulfillment of previous commitments and the provision of new and additional resources is crucial to enhance the United Nations capabilities in the area of implementation. In this regard, it is imperative to increase the United Nations regular budget resources allocated to all mandated development activities, including those related to sustainable development, in order to ensure predictable and adequate funding.
61. 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.
62. 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.
63. The Ministers maintained that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. In this sense, they recalled that an appropriate response to this challenge should address mainly the roots of the problem and not the consequences alone.
64. The Ministers underlined the fact that developing countries continue to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change, and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. They also recalled the challenges faced by developing countries from the impact of response measures. Climate change threatens not only the development prospects and the achievement of sustainable development, but also the very existence and survival of societies.
65. The Ministers emphasized that the mandate for the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) is “to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012” as per the Bali Action Plan, and are committed to fulfilling it. They believe that the full and prompt implementation of Cancun, as well as finding appropriate solutions to issues not addressed at Cancun would be vital to fulfilling the mandate of the Bali Action Plan. On this basis, the AWG-LCA must continue its work with a view to presenting its results to the Conference of the Parties at its seventeenth session.
66. The Ministers underlined the importance of mitigation as part of a balanced and ambitious outcome in Durban. They reiterated that appropriate treatment of mitigation, as determined in the Bali Roadmap, demanded a decision, at CMP 7, in Durban on establishing the commitments of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their concern that, current mitigation pledges from developed countries parties in the UNFCCC negotiations are not adequate enough to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature according with what is required by science, and they urged developed countries to raise their level of ambition.
67. The Ministers reiterated the need for enhanced and urgent actions on the provision of financial resources and investments to support actions on mitigation, adaptation and technology cooperation to developing countries. The Ministers called for the full operationalization of the Standing Committee of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, the Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee in Durban.
68. The Ministers reiterated their call on Parties included in Annex II of the Convention to intensify their efforts aimed at fulfilling their commitments on the provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources, enhancing technology development and transfer, meeting costs of adaptation, and strengthening capacity building in developing country Parties in accordance with articles 4, paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of the Convention. The historical imbalance in financing to the detriment of adaptation must be redressed, and adaptation financing be treated in an equal manner as for mitigation. The Ministers recalled that according to Dec. 1/CP16, a significant share of new multilateral funding for adaptation should flow through the Green Climate Fund.
69. The Ministers recalled that the G77 and China had been a major force in the negotiation of the law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) The positions of the G77 and China remarkably influenced the consecration of some crucial law of the sea concepts inextricably linked to sustainable development: the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), where the coastal State enjoys sovereign rights over the natural resources, and the seabed and ocean floor beyond the limits of national jurisdiction (“the Area”), the exploitation of the resources therein has to benefit mankind as a whole, irrespective of the geographical location of States, whether coastal or land-locked, and taking into particular consideration the interests and needs of developing States.
70. In this regard, the Ministers recalled that General Assembly Resolution 2749 (XXV) and then UNCLOS crystallized in a conventional norm the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind, to which the G77 and China had adhered from its inception, in 1967.
71. The Ministers recognized that a major challenge to developing countries has arisen in the law of the sea: the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. The exploitation of and benefit from resources of a maritime area that is common heritage of mankind by a few is inconsistent with general principles of international law, including those on equity, as the Area and its resources are to benefit mankind as a whole. In this context, the Ministers stressed that the status quo is not an option.
72. The Ministers emphasized that the basic principle enshrined in UNCLOS and in General Assembly Resolution 2749 (XXV) applicable to these resources is that of the common heritage of mankind, and that a specific legal regime for the biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction needs to be developed in the form of an implementing agreement to UNCLOS based on that principle. Such an implementing agreement has to be negotiated as a package, and must encompass the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including genetic resources, the sharing of benefits taking into account intellectual property rights, scientific research, capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
73. The Ministers recognizedthe important outcomes of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, held in Nagoya, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010 and from 11 to 15 October 2010, respectively, which represent a significant contribution to the comprehensive implementation of the three objectives of the Convention and took note with appreciation of the positive assessments of the performance of the Secretariat during COP 10.
74. The Ministers called for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020 as the overarching biodiversity framework as well as the ongoing efforts aimed at translating the Aichi targets into national biodiversity strategies and actions plan. The Ministers took note of the adoption and opening of signature of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their utilization. The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity for 2011- 2020 provides a unique opportunity to engage the people of the world in the battle to protect life on earth and they reaffirmed their commitment to spare no efforts for the successful implementation of the objectives of this decade.
75. They reaffirmed the importance of the Multi-Year Plan of Action (MYPA) on South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development to be adopted by the 11th meeting of the conference of the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Hyderabad, India in October 2012, as a major tool at the service of the biodiversity agenda.
76. The Ministers recalled the disastrous effect desertification and land degradation continue to pose to all the regions of the world and the serious threat they represent to sustainable development at national, regional and global levels and called on the forthcoming COP 10 to be held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, on 10-21 October 2011, to take concrete measures.
77. The Ministers expressed concern and solidarity over the situation in the horn of Africa region which was hit by the worst drought in sixty years leading to starvation, loss of crops and livestock. This reflects well the severity of drought and desertification problems and the imperative for action.
78. The Ministers stressed that poverty, food security and desertification are intrinsically linked to each other and need to be tackled jointly. In this regard, the Ministers firmly called on all Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD), to fully support the implementation of the Convention in all its aspects, in particular by promoting the exchange of knowledge on best practices and lessons learned from global and regional cooperation in combating desertification, land degradation and drought. In this context, the Ministers took note with appreciation of the outcome of the African Regional Conference held in Algiers, Algeria from 7 to 9 September 2011 in preparation for COP 10 and took note of the Latin American and Caribbean regional meeting preparatory to COP 10 held in Mexico City, Mexico from 5 to 7 September 2011.
79. 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.
80. The Ministers also stressed that emphasis should also be given to mobilization and channeling of adequate and predictable financial resources as well as facilitating its direct access, in order to help mitigate the effects of desertification, land degradation and drought and improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people affected by these most urgent matters at national, sub-regional and regional levels.
81. The Ministers welcomed the observance of 2011 as the International Year of Forests as a unique opportunity to raise public awareness how sustainable forest management contributes extensively to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, in particular with respect to poverty eradication and environmental sustainability, as well as global efforts to fight climate change and combat desertification and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, along with numerous other benefits for the betterment of the livelihoods of people.
82. The Ministers therefore reaffirmed the potential significant contribution of sustainable forest management to sustainable development and poverty eradication; the need to promote the implementation of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests and its four Global Objectives on Forests (GOFs); the importance of addressing financial gaps in sustainable forest management (SFM) by the establishment of a new Global Forest Fund in the framework of the United Nations, in line with the principles of sustainable development in order to address financing needs of countries to sustainably manage their forests, in particular developing countries with special needs and circumstances, including Africa, least developed countries, low forest cover countries, high forest cover countries, high forest cover low deforestation countries, medium forest cover countries and small island developing States; and called upon the Rio+20 conference to recognize all values of forests and their contribution to sustainable development, energy and food security, poverty reduction, land degradation and water conservation, biodiversity conservation and climate change.
83. The Ministers recalled the special needs of Africa, the only continent currently not on track to achieve the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals. They recognized that, while economic growth is returning, there is a need to sustain the recovery, which is fragile and uneven, to face the ongoing adverse impacts of multiple crises on development and the serious challenges these impacts pose to the fight against poverty and hunger, which could further undermine the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs in Africa.
84. The Ministers expressed their profound concern that the commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2010 as articulated at the summit of Gleneagles was not entirely reached and in this regard the Ministers stressed the need to make rapid progress in order to fulfill the Gleneagles and other donors’ commitments to increase aid through a variety of means, including the provision of new additional resources, technology transfer, as well as capacity building to African countries, and to support their sustainable development. On the other hand, the Ministers welcomed the support that some developing countries have extended to Africa through South-South and triangular cooperation programmes.
85. The Ministers expressed their deep concern that the LDCs are the most off track in the achievements of the internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs, and are at the bottom of the HDI rankings and that LDCs have been unable to overcome their economic vulnerability and structurally transform their economies or build resilience against internal and external shocks and crisis.
86. In this context, the Ministers took note of the outcome of the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 10 to 13 May 2011. While noting that the Istanbul Programme of Action falls short of expectations, the Ministers emphasized on the full, timely and effectively integration and implementation of all the commitments and actions by the LDCs, their development partners and other relevant stakeholders. They considered that the overarching goal of the Istanbul Programme of Action should have been to enable at least half of LDCs to graduate by the end of its implementation. For this purpose, the Istanbul Programme of Action should commit to increasing and sustaining high-level economic growth, promoting sustainable development, addressing the impacts of multiple crises and emerging challenges through structural transformation. The Ministers further underlined the need for giving due priority to the LDCs’ issues and concerns in all major UN conferences including the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
87. The Ministers emphasized the need for the timely implementation of the duty-free and quota free market access, on lasting basis for all LDCs as expressed in the Istanbul Programme of Action. They 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.
88. 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 and transit 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.
89. The Ministers recalled that the unique and particular vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have been acknowledged by the international community since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (1992), the Global Conference for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Barbados (1994), the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002) and the Mauritius International Meeting on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (2005) and noted with concern that insufficient steps have been taken at the international level to address the vulnerabilities and effectively support their sustainable development efforts, including in achieving the internationally agreed development goals.
90. The Ministers recalled that climate change and sea level rise pose the greatest threat to SIDS survival and viability and their efforts to achieve sustainable development goals and in this regard, called on the international community to commit itself to urgently increasing international cooperation to support those efforts particularly through increased financial resources, capacity-building, transfer of technology and know-how, and increased participation of SIDS in international economic decision-making.
91. 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 matters including those related to 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.
92. 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.
93. 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.
94. 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.
95. 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 that is not a permanent member of the Security Council, should therefore be categorized above level C.
96. 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.
97. 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.
98. The Ministers also expressed concern over the closure of the official bank accounts of Member States of the Group that has impaired proper functioning of the Missions as well as payment of Member States’ contributions to the Organization. In this regard, the Ministers stressed that the private nature of the banking system does not relieve the host country of its responsibility to ensure unrestricted banking services to Permanent Missions of the Member States of the Group in New York and urged the host country to fulfill its obligations accordingly.
99. 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.
100. 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.
101. The Ministers expressed their concern on the budget cuts that are proposed for the biennium 2012-2013 that could impact negatively the implementation of mandates approved by the intergovernmental bodies particularly in the development pillar.
102. 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 regard, the Ministers also stressed that the Secretariat must strictly implement General Assembly mandates without exceptions and/or delays.
103. 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 urged the Secretary-General to further strengthen the development pillar of the whole organization, including its development account.
104. 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.
105. 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.
106. 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.
107. 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 the relevant UN resolutions, including 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.
108. The Ministers stressed the need for the early realization by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination and to the independence of their State of Palestine to allow for their stability, prosperity and development towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to which all peoples are entitled. The Ministers expressed support for the efforts of the Palestinian people to achieve independence and welcomed in this regard the submission of Palestine’s application on 23 September 2011 for full membership in the United Nations.
109. The Ministers condemned the ongoing Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the illegal actions by the occupying Power that continue to cause civilian casualties, socio-economic and humanitarian hardship, and destruction to Palestinian properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands, and to undermine the contiguity, unity and integrity of the Territory.
110. 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.
111. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for the Government of the Argentine Republic and the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume negotiations in accordance with the principles and the objectives of the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, in order to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute relating to “the Question of the Malvinas Islands”, which seriously damages the economic capacities of the Argentine Republic and the need for both parties to refrain from taking decisions that would imply introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended by the General Assembly.
112. The Ministers reiterated their position that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than substitute for, North-South cooperation and reaffirmed that South-South cooperation is a collective endeavor of developing countries based on principle of solidarity and 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 of the United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation held in Nairobi, Kenya from 1 to 3 December 2009, and the Development Platform for the South of the G-77 mandated by the Second South Summit of the Group of 77 held in Doha, Qatar, from 12 to 16 June 2005.
113. The Ministers stressed that South-South cooperation and its agenda must be driven by the countries of the South. As such, South-South cooperation which is critical for developing countries requires long-term vision and a global institutional arrangement as envisioned by the Second South Summit.
114. 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 and also as a means of enhancing their participation in the global economy. They reiterated the frameworks and the principles of South-South Cooperation as endorsed by their Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting held in New York on 28 September 2010.
115. 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 of 19 December 1978 and the Nairobi Outcome Document on South-South Cooperation that was endorsed by General Assembly resolution 64/222 of 21 December 2009, as well as other relevant General Assembly resolutions. The Ministers therefore reiterated the Group’s position that any policy debate outside the UN system should be guided by the above agreed framework and the Yamoussoukro Consensus on South-South Cooperation.
116. The Ministers reiterated the request made by the Heads of State and Government at the Second South Summit and stressed in General Assembly resolution 64/222 of 21 December 2009, 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 mobilization of resources for the advancement of South-South cooperation including through triangular cooperation.” In this context, the Ministers invited the UN Secretary-General as well as the Administrator of UNDP to take necessary measures to upgrade the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in order to give it the visibility that it deserves as mandated by our Heads of State and Government. In this context, the Ministers mandated the Chair of G77 to initiate discussions on options to implement the South Summit relevant decision in light of the ongoing JIU review process during the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly.
117. The Ministers stressed that South-South cooperation should be explicitly incorporated into the operational programmes of all relevant bodies of the United Nations system and there should be coordination among various entities on the most effective way to support it. In this context, they welcomed the recent initiatives undertaken by various UN bodies to establish new units and work programmes to support and promote South-South cooperation and urged other entities of the United Nations system to intensify their efforts to include South-South cooperation in the mainstream of their activities. In this context, the Ministers reiterated the call to the UN funds and programmes as well as the specialized agencies to take concrete measures to mainstream support for South-South cooperation -including triangular cooperation- to help developing countries to develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation.
118. The Ministers recognized the need to mobilize adequate resources for enhancing South-South cooperation and, in that context, invited all countries in a position to do so to contribute in support of such cooperation through, inter alia, the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation. In this context, the Ministers encouraged the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to undertake additional resource mobilization initiatives to attract more financial and in-kind resources, while avoiding the proliferation and fragmentation of financing arrangements.
119. The Ministers welcomed the launching of the G77 Global South-South Network of Scientific Institutions, namely the Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation for the South (COSTIS) and congratulated the Chairman of the Group of 77 and the Executive Secretary of the Group of 77 in New York as well as the COSTIS Coordinator and Focal Point in Paris Chapter for their outstanding efforts and leadership in the operationalization of COSTIS. In this context, the Ministers recalled Decision 45 adopted by the 185th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO held in Paris on 5-21 October 2010 urging the Director-General of UNESCO “to provide necessary technical support for the operationalization of COSTIS and to cooperate with the G-77 in mobilizing the extra-budgetary resources needed for the implementation of such project and for the convening of the First General Conference of COSTIS prior to the G-77 Third South Summit”.
120. The Ministers took note of Decision 39 adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 186th session held in Paris from 3 to 19 May 2011, entitled “Reactivation of the activities of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture” (IFPC), and stressed the urgent need and the importance of its full implementation by the Director-General of UNESCO, emphasizing the intellectual and operational autonomy of the IFPC.
121. The Ministers recalled that the Second South Summit mandated the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and stressed the urgent need “to strengthen cooperative efforts to build and to utilize networks, institutional capacity and expertise in areas, such as science and technology, research and standards development and requested the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in collaboration with the South Center to facilitate this objective.” In this context, they also welcomed the convening, by the South Centre, of the brainstorming session on South-South Cooperation in Science and Technology and the future role of COSTIS held in Geneva on 8 July 2011 and encouraged the Special Unit and the South Centre to convene technical preparatory meetings in accordance with the above South Summit relevant mandate. They also welcome the ongoing efforts by the Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York to convene a G77 high-level meeting on science and technology for development on the occasion of the World Science Forum to be held in Budapest, Hungary on 16-19 November 2011.
122. The Ministers decided to rename the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries as the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on South-South Cooperation (IFCC) and in this context invited the Asian Member States and other interested member countries of the Group of 77 to come forward with an offer of venue for hosting its thirteen session (IFCC-XIII) in 2012. They also invited Member States to host sectoral meetings in various fields of cooperation including South-South forums for parliamentarians, mayors, youth, media and civil society as envisaged in the Doha Plan of Action adopted by the Second South Summit held in Doha, Qatar from 12 to 16 June 2005.
123. The Ministers noted that, in view of the mounting and intractable challenges that developing countries face, more frequent high-level meetings of the Group on thematic/sectoral issues, and with action-oriented outcomes, might be required. To this end, the Ministers invited Member States of the G77 to make offers to host high-level meetings of the Group on these issues, as appropriate.
124. The Ministers recalled the Development Platform for the South, and invited countries, members of the Group of 77 to host meetings of the high-level panel of eminent personalities of the South with a view to updating the Platform taking into account the evolving realities and challenges facing the developing countries.
125. The Ministers noted the postponement of the preparations for the Third South Summit and invited the Chairman of the Group of 77 to undertake consultations with Member States of the African region and other interested countries of the Group of 77 for the hosting of the Summit to be held at a convenient date.
126. The Ministers recalled United Nations General Assembly resolution 58/220 of 23 December 2003 and decided that a draft decision be presented to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session proposing that, beginning in 2012, the observance of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation be changed from 19 December to 12 September, to mark the day in 1978 when the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
127. The Ministers approved the Report of the Twenty-sixth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for ECDC/TCDC (PGTF) contained in document G-77/AM(XXIII)/2011/2 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 prevailing low level of interest earnings of the Fund caused by the current world financial situation as reported by the Chairman of the PGTF, the Ministers appealed to all Member States to make significant contributions to the PGTF on the occasion of the UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities to be held in New York on 8 November 2011.
128. The Ministers approved the Financial Statement of the ECDC Account of the Group of 77 contained in document G-77/AM(XXIII)/2011/3, 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.
129. The Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to the Argentine Republic for its able leadership and for the excellent work and tireless efforts as the Chair country of the Group of 77 for 2011. As 2011 proved to be a challenging year for all developing countries, the commitment shown by the Argentine Republic as Chair country in pursuing the goals and objectives of the Group of 77 was a source of profound gratitude. The Ministers also commended the efficient work and continued valuable support provided by the secretariat of the Group of 77 in New York to the Chair country and to the Member States and congratulated the Executive Secretary of the Group of 77 for the achievement award presented to him during the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Meeting in recognition of his outstanding performance, his continued commitment and dedication to the goals and objectives of the Group of 77.
130. The Ministers warmly welcomed the election by acclamation of Algeria to the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 for 2012.
131. The Ministers welcomed the admission of the Republic of Nauru as a member of the Group of 77.