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 2012 on the occasion of their Thirty-sixth 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 the world financial and economic crisis, though originated in the developed world, continues to adversely affect developing countries, in economic and social terms, by, inter alia, competitive currency devaluation, the presence of barriers to trade as well as to finance in some of the anti-crisis measures taken by some developed countries, 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 (MDGs).
2. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the adverse impacts, particularly on development, of the ongoing 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 including commitments related to international development assistance.
3. They reaffirmed the urgent need for an effective response to the current economic crisis which 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.
4. 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.
5. The Ministers expressed their commitment to strengthening efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and to start shaping the international development agenda post 2015.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. The Ministers reiterated that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing developing countries today and addressing it as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. They recalled the proclamation in 2007 of the United Nations Second Decade for the Eradication of Poverty 2008-2017 and the need for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth at all levels in order to successfully engage in addressing poverty and reach the MDGs.
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. 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. In this regard, the Ministers called on the UNGA to launch a process to reform the international financial and monetary system.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. The Ministers underlined that debt crises tend to be costly and disruptive and tend to be followed by cuts in public spending, affecting in particular the poor and vulnerable. They recognized the importance of debt relief, including debt cancellation and debt restructuring. In this regard, they reiterated the urgent need for the international community to examine options for an effective, equitable, durable, independent and development-oriented debt restructuring and international debt resolution mechanism and called upon all countries to promote and contribute to the discussions within the United Nations and other appropriate forums with that objective.
14. 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 fulfilling existing aid commitments by developed countries and to make further commitments. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. The Ministers 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, underlining the importance that foreign direct investment be in line with national development priorities.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. The Ministers welcomed the adoption by consensus of General Assembly resolution 66/221 of 22 December 2011 that declares “2013 as the International Year of Quinoa” as an initiative from the Plurinational State of Bolivia, and invited countries to support its implementation. In that regard, the Ministers expressed their commitment to promote the cultivation of quinoa to fight hunger, because of its nutritional properties. They also emphasized the importance of disseminating information on the qualities of this nutrient, by supporting research and development programs.
23. The Ministers welcomed the decision of the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), appointing H.E. Mr. Juan Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, as Special Ambassador to FAO for the International Year of Quinoa, to be observed by the United Nations in 2013, recognizing his leadership and commitment in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The Ministers also support the organization of the International Committee for the Coordination of the International Year of Quinoa, which will promote programs and activities to ensure the success of the International Year of Quinoa.
24. The Ministers stated that international trade is a vital tool to provide long-term sustainable growth. Due to the global financial and economic crisis, the decline in trade has had a severe impact on developing countries through the fall in exports and loss of export revenues, restricted access to trade finance and reduced investment in production diversification and in the promotion of exports. 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.
25. In this context, the Ministers urged developed countries to desist from all protectionist measures, especially those affecting developing countries, including tariff, non-tariff and other barriers to trade, in particular agricultural subsidies, and to rectify any such measures already taken. They called for the fulfillment of all commitments contained in the 2001 Doha Declaration for special and differential treatment for developing countries, bearing in mind the special needs of the least developed countries.
26. The Ministers strongly emphasized the necessity of a timely conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations which fully respect its development mandate and take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries. The successful outcome of which would help to ensure growth in global trade, prevent protectionist measures, in particular in developed countries, and create new market access opportunities for developing countries.
27. The Ministers called upon developed countries to implement effective trade-related technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries, particularly the least developed among them. They also called upon them to provide adequate support for the Enhanced Integrated Framework in order to address the supply-side and trade related infrastructure and productive capacity constraints to assist those countries to increase their exports and the value added and to enhance sustained growth and employment so as to lift more people out of poverty.
28. The Ministers noted the outcome of UNCTAD XIII held in Doha, Qatar, from 21 to 26 April 2012, which reaffirmed the core mandate of UNCTAD defined in the Accra Accord, and confirmed the organization role as the focal point for an integrated treatment of trade and development and interrelated issues of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, while enhancing synergies and complementarities with other UN and international organizations. They expressed the hope that the international community will fully support UNCTAD in its activities and encourage the organization to add its contribution in reaching more development goals during the next four years.
29. 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.
30. The Ministers recognized that South-South trade should be further strengthened, and noted that enhanced market access between developing countries can play a positive role in stimulating South-South trade, and in this regard, inter alia, welcomed the conclusion of the third round of the Global System of Trade Preferences by the adoption on the 15th of December 2010 of the Sao Paulo Protocol and encouraged all developing countries that that have not yet done so to consider acceding to the GSTP and its protocols.
31. The Ministers stressed the need to resist all protectionist measures and tendencies, especially those affecting developing countries, including tariff, non-tariff and other barriers to trade, in particular agricultural subsidies, and to rectify any such measures already taken, they recognized the right of countries to fully utilize their policy space and flexibilities consistent with World Trade Organization commitments, and called upon the World Trade Organization and other relevant bodies, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, to continue monitoring protectionist measures and to assess their impact on developing countries.
32. The Ministers called for the full implementation of the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-importing Developing Countries by providing such countries with technical and financial assistance in order to meet their food needs.
33. 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 technology. The Ministers stressed that advances in science and technology and easier access to latest technologies will certainly help developing countries achieve significant progress in areas as such agriculture, health, energy, trade, water and environmental protection. Advancement in these sectors in essence represents the internationally agreed development goals including MDGs. The ministers called for an early action in regard to a facilitation mechanism for the promotion, development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies as agreed to at the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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 and activities, 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 international character and inclusive United Nations.
38. The Ministers called for strengthening of the UN role in international economic and financial affairs, including its coordinating role in global economic governance. Likewise they stressed that it is important to promote greater cooperation between the UN and the international financial institutions. In that regard, they reiterated the central role played by the United Nations as a focal point for the financing for development follow-up process and the need to maintain that role to ensure the continuity and dynamism of the process, while reaffirming the need to further intensify the engagement of all stakeholders, including the United Nations system, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, in the follow-up and implementation of the commitments made at Monterrey and Doha.
39. 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.
40. 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. In this regard, the Ministers looked forward to a successful conclusion of the negotiation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of the United Nations Operational Activities (QCPR) that recognizes the needs and priorities of developing countries.
41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. The Ministers expressed their concern for the situation in the LDCs which continues to deteriorate as a consequence of the ongoing multiple and mutually exacerbating global crises. The global financial and economic ongoing crisis is clearly undermining development in the LDCs. They recalled that the modest development gains that the LDCs made over the years are being reversed, pushing a larger number of their people to extreme poverty. Many LDCs continue to be lagging behind in meeting most of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Development Goals.
45. The Ministers reaffirmed that the full implementation of the commitments adopted in Istanbul at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 10 to 13 May 2011, 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. In this context, the Ministers called for enhanced efforts to assist SIDS in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the MSI. They also called for the UN System to support SIDS in keeping with the ongoing emerging challenges faced by SIDS in achieving sustainable development, and for the convening of the Third International Conference for Sustainable Development of SIDS in 2014.
49. 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.
50. The Ministers welcomed the decision of the General Assembly in its resolution 66/214 of December 2011, to hold a comprehensive ten-year review conference of the Almaty Programme of Action in 2014, which should be preceded, by regional and global as well as thematic preparations in a most effective, well-structured and broad participatory manner. Two meetings of the intergovernmental preparatory committee should be convened in early 2014. In this regard, the Ministers took note of the outcome of the Fourth Meeting of Trade Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries and the High Level Global Thematic Meeting on International Trade, Trade Facilitation and Aid for Trade held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 12-14 September 2012.
51. The Ministers recognize that middle-income countries still face significant development challenges and underline that despite the recent progress achieved and the efforts made by middle income countries, 75% of the world’s poor population lives in those countries. The achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the creation of jobs for the youth, the diversification of their economies, and the development of technologies continue to be huge challenges for middle-income countries.
52. Furthermore the Ministers would like to underline the increasing solidarity and role played by middle-income countries in the area of South-South cooperation in support of the developing efforts of other developing countries.
53. The Ministers welcomed the organization and celebration of the high-level event, held on May 17th, 2012, during the 11th session of the Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues, which commemorated the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as set out in the General Assembly resolution 66/142 adopted by consensus.
54. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 66/296 of 17 September 2012 which decided the Organization of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the sixty-ninth of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held on 22 September 2014 and on the afternoon of 23 September 2014 in New York, which decides that the World Conference shall result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document, 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, as well as the participation of indigenous peoples in the Conference.
55. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “The future we want” and expressed their appreciation to the Government of Brazil for hosting successfully the Conference, in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June 2012. The Conference reaffirmed that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge today. It also renewed essential commitments, reaffirmed fundamental principles in particular the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities as set out in the Rio 1992 Declaration, and provided new direction for sustainable development. The Ministers urged the international community to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their interlinkages so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions.
56. The Ministers called upon the General Assembly to successfully and expeditiously launch the follow-up processes agreed on in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, by ensuring a balanced representation of developing countries, effective and full implementation of the outcomes of the conference, including effective institutional frameworks for sustainable development at all levels, as well as the provision of adequate means of implementation to developing countries.
57. The Ministers affirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
58. The Ministers recalled once again that climate change is one of the most serious global challenges of our times. They underlined the fact that developing countries continue to suffer the most 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 countries and societies
59. The Ministers stressed that the international community, particularly the developed countries, given their historical responsibility, need to take the lead in addressing this challenge within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its principles and provisions, particularly, the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and provide financial and technological support to developing countries. The Ministers emphasized that a legally binding second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol is critical and must be the key deliverable of the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18) and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8) at Doha, and must be ambitious in terms of the emission reductions and shall begin on January 1, 2013, in order to avoid any gap between the first and the second commitment periods. Ministers stressed the need to urgently close the ambition gap, and expressed their concern with the lack of fulfillment of commitments by developed countries. They emphasized that developed countries must take robust and ambitious mitigation commitments, with ambitious quantitative emissions limitation reduction targets, as required by science and mandated by the Convention.
60. In this context, the Ministers looked forward for a successful and comprehensive outcome at the COP 18/ CMP 8, and stressed the importance of the full implementation of the delicate package endorsed in COP17/CMP 7 in Durban in all its aspects, including the achievement of a quality legal second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the successful conclusion of the work of the AWGLCA, in line with the Bali Action Plan and the substantive progress made in the Cancun and Durban decisions, incorporating comparable ambitious targets for Annex-1 non-KP Parties, and addressing in a balanced and effective manner the issues of adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building.
61. The Ministers called on all Parties to preserve the architectures of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol developed over almost two decades, and cautioned against any attempt to renegotiate or interpret the Convention or its principles, and warned against the unraveling of the international climate change architecture into a weaker regime based on “pledge and review” for Annex I Parties.
62. The Ministers considered that progress in the Durban Platform is critical for taking the Convention forward. However, work must ensure a strong linkage between mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, in a balanced manner, as is reflected in the Convention. The Ministers held the view that all tracks under the Convention must progress in an expedite, ambitious and effective manner. Such progress should reflect the linkages between mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation. This relationship is embedded in the Convention.
63. The Ministers called on all Annex-I Parties to fulfill their commitments relating to mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer, capacity building under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.
64. The Ministers stressed that the treatment of climate change in IMO and ICAO needs to be coherent with UNFCCC and KP principles and provisions.
65. The Ministers reaffirmed that desertification, land degradation, drought, dust and sand-storm represent a serious concern for developing countries, international action is, therefore, urgently required to address these challenges. They emphasized the great importance of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa (UNCCD) stressing that desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) corrode the three pillars of sustainable development. The Ministers reiterated that addressing DLDD enables countries to deal with several global policy challenges such as food security, adaptation to climate change and forced migration. In this context, the Ministers noted the outcome of the tenth session of the UNCCD held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, on 10-21 October, 2011.
66. The Ministers firmly called on all Parties 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.
67. The Ministers 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 address 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.
68. The Ministers recognized the interrelationship between climate change, loss of biodiversity and desertification and the need to intensify efforts to combat desertification and promote sustainable land management, and stressed the need for enhanced cooperation and coordination among the Secretariats of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, while respecting their individual mandates.
69. The Ministers expressed their concern about the devastating consequences of extreme weather phenomenon characterized by recurrent and long spells of drought, flooding, increasing frequency and severity of dust storms and sandstorms and their negative impact on the environment and the economy, and called for the adoption of appropriate policies in developing countries and the provision of financial resources and technology transfer from developed countries to address them.
70. The Ministers expressed their commitment to strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development, and urged member states to take urgent action to reverse desertification, land-degradation and drought, as appropriate, with the assistance of the United Nations system, relevant regional and international organizations, multilateral agencies, major groups, and other stake holders. They further urged the UN system, relevant regional and international organizations, multilateral agencies, major groups, and other stakeholders to contribute towards the achievement of land degradation neutral world. In accordance with the commitments made at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, they resolved to take coordinated action nationally, regionally and internationally, in accordance with UNCCD to monitor, globally, land degradation and restore degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and dry sub- humid areas and called for implementation, taking into account national priorities, circumstances and development strategies.
71. The Ministers also expressed their support to enhance the scientific basis of the UNCCD, including the consideration of a regionally balanced intergovernmental scientific panel on desertification, land degradation and drought.
72. The Ministers reaffirmed the intrinsic value of biological diversity, as well as the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its critical role in sustainable development and human well-being. They reiterated the severity of global biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystems and emphasized that these undermine global development, affecting food security and nutrition, provision of and access to water, health of the rural poor and of people worldwide, including present and future generations mostly in developing countries.
73. The Ministers called for the implementation, as appropriate, 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 welcomed 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 and called for its early entry into force. They also called upon CBD COP-11 to enhance capacity of developing country Parties to the CBD in ensuring preparedness for implementing the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol. 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.
74. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a successful outcome of the COP 11 of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Hyderabad, India in October 2012 and, in this regard, noted the importance of the Multi-Year Plan of Action (MYPA) on South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development to be considered by the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as a useful tool, which could supplement North-South and triangular cooperation, in making important contributions to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
75. The Ministers welcomed the strategy for resource mobilization in support of the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and stressed the importance of providing biodiversity financing.
76. The Ministers reaffirmed the social, economic and environmental benefits of forest and the significant contribution of sustainable forest management to sustainable development and poverty eradication and the need for enhanced efforts to achieve the sustainable management of forests, reforestation, restoration and aforestation and 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), as well as the Ministerial Declaration of the high-level segment of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests on the occasion of the launch of the International Year of Forests.The Ministers stressed 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. They reaffirmed the need to support cross-sectoral and cross-institutional policies promoting sustainable forest management. They also highlighted the recognition in the Outcome Document of Rio + 20 “The future we want” of the vital role of the United Nations Forum on Forests, with its universal membership and comprehensive mandate, in addressing forest-related issues in a holistic and integrated manner and promoting international policy coordination and cooperation to achieve sustainable forest management.
77. The Ministers called on the international community and the UN system to fully support Caribbean States in their efforts to gain international recognition of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development, recognizing the importance of the Caribbean Sea to present and future generations and to the heritage and the continuing 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.
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. 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.
81. 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.
82. 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.
83. 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. As a result, millions of people are killed and millions are displaced. They reiterated how disaster impacts are undermining vulnerable livelihoods, countries economic growth and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, these challenges have been compounded by the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, world food crisis and continuing food insecurity, energy crisis and the challenges posed by climate change.
84. The Ministers 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 in relation to natural disasters. They stressed that further efforts are needed in terms of the provision of new and additional financial resources and transfer of technology, from developed countries to developing countries, to promote the implementation of programs aimed at disaster risk reduction; and the enhancement of their national and regional capacities for the implementation of plans and strategies for prevention, including early warning systems, preparedness, rapid response, recovery and development in relation to natural disasters.
85. The Ministers recognized the need to ensure the realization of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and resolved to strengthen health systems as well as to promote a multi-sectoral approach to address the health needs of the populations of developing countries.
86. The Ministers recognized that the global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for development in the twenty-first century, which undermines the sustainable development of Member States and, in this regard, further recognized the urgent need for greater measures at the global, regional and national levels to address communicable and non-communicable diseases.
87. 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.
88. 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. In this context, they renewed their commitment to strengthen the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and encouraged Member States of the Group of 77 and China to fill all the vacancies of CPC assigned to the regional groups where they participate. The Ministers also urged the rest of the Membership of the United Nations to actively participate in the sessions of the CPC.
89. 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 and that prior Member Sates’ consideration and approval is essential in all cases where the measures to be implemented fall under the prerogatives of the General Assembly and in this regard recall resolution 66/257. 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 and the need for a continuous interaction and dialogue between the Secretariat and the General Assembly aimed at fostering a positive environment for the negotiations, the decision-making process and the implementation of the reform measures.
90. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the strategic framework as the principal policy directive of the Organization and that its content should fully reflect the mandates of Member States, including the United Nations financial rules and regulation. In this context, they stressed the need for Member States of the G77 to fully participate in the consideration of the proposed strategic framework for the biennium 2014-2015.
91. The Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of the Group of 77 and China to the United Nations Secretariat and management reform, with a view to making the Organization more effective, representative, transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the Member States. They highlighted that, for these reforms to be successful, they must be predicated on broad and inclusive consultations with the General Assembly and must reflect and strengthen the Member State-driven nature of the Organization.
92. The Ministers stressed the need to submit for consideration and prior approval of the General Assembly, through its Fifth Committee, any proposal or measure related to the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Change Management Team that fall within the purview of Member States in line with the provisions contained in General Assembly resolutions 64/259 and 66/257.
93. The Ministers underlined that the current methodology for the preparation of the scale of assessments reflects changes in the relative economic situations of the United Nations Member States. 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 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 the 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 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.
102. 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.
103. 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 resolutions 64/259 and 66/257.
104. 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.
105. 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.
106. The Ministers recalled the decision of the Heads of State and Government at the Second South Summit held in Doha, Qatar from 12 to 16 June 2005 to work to ensure that programmes and policies designed in the context of globalization fully respect the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and International Law, particularly as they relate to equality among States, respect for the independence of States, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, and to stress that those principles and purposes inspire our full commitment to multilateralism and the search for a more just and equitable international economic system that offers opportunities to raise the standard of living of our peoples.
107. The Ministers recalled the decision of the Heads of State and Government at the Second South Summit held in Doha, Qatar on 12-16 June 2005, to work towards the realization of the right to self-determination of peoples living under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, which adversely affects their social and economic development, and to call on the international community to take all necessary measures to bring an end to the continuation of foreign occupation, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law.
108. 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.
109. 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.
110. 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.
111. 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.
112. The Ministers reaffirmedthe inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land, water and energy resources; and demandedthat Israel, the occupying Power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion, and endangerment of the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;
113. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for the Government of the Argentine Republic and the United 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.
114. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to find a peaceful solution to the sovereignty issues facing developing countries, including among others the dispute over Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, which was unlawfully excised from the territory of Mauritius in violation of international law and United Nations General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 and 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965. Failure to resolve these decolonization and sovereignty issues would seriously damage and undermine the development and economic capacities and prospects of developing countries.
115. 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. In this context, 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.
116. 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 framework and the principles of South-South Cooperation as endorsed by their Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting held in New York on 28 September 2010 and subsequently reiterated by the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Annual Ministerial Meetings.
117. 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 UN 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 General Assembly resolution 64/222 dated 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 frameworks as well as the Yamoussoukro Consensus on South-South Cooperation.
118. The Ministers welcomed the decision 17/1 of the High Level Committee on South-South Cooperation, particularly the paragraph number 8 on renaming the former Special Unit by the current denomination of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and in that regard, emphasized that the support of the United Nations system to South-South Cooperation could be scaled up through strengthening the United Nations Office on South-South Cooperation by providing human, financial and technical resources that will help the Office to keep pursuing its advisory role, providing substantive and strategic advice while giving capacity-building support through UNDP as well as others Funds and Programmes, enabling the Office to support the mainstreaming of South-South Cooperation across the United Nations development system.
119. 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 South-South Cooperation and the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation.
120. The Ministers welcomed the progress made in the operationalization of the Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation for the South (COSTIS) and invited the member States of the Group of 77 to offer hosting technical preparatory meetings prior to the First General Conference of COSTIS. They also welcomed the convening by the Chairman of the Group of 77 of a High-level Meeting on South-South Cooperation in Science and Technology on the occasion of the World Forum on Science held in Budapest on 16 – 19 November 2011.
121. The Ministers recalled “the Declaration adopted at its annual session on September 2011 regarding the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture followed by the unanimous decision of the 36th session of the General Conference on November 2011, the Minister requests UNESCO’s Director-General to earnestly relaunch the activities of the IFPC bearing in mind the full respect of Resolutions 18C/87 establishing the Fund at the 18th session of the General Conference in 1974 with a large “intellectual and operational autonomy” and 35C/48 adopted in 2009 by the 35th session of the General Conference stressing the intellectual and operational autonomy” of the IFPC.
122. The Ministers invited the Member States of the Group of 77 to come forward with an offer of venue for hosting the thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on South-South Cooperation (IFCC-XIII) in 2013. 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 and other thematic meetings 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 regularly high-level meetings of the Group on key issues issues of interest to the South.
124. The Ministers recalled the Development Platform for the South, and invited countries, members of the Group of 77 to host brainstorming sessions of the high-level panel of eminent personalities of the South with a view to updating regularly the Platform taking into account the evolving realities and challenges facing the developing countries.
125. The Ministers noted the preparations for the Third South Summit and invited the Chairman of the Group of 77 to continue his consultations with Member States of the Group of 77 for the hosting of the Summit to be held at a convenient date.
126. The Ministers approved the Report of the Twenty-seventh Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF) contained in document G-77/AM(XXIII)/2012/2 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 contribution to the PGTF on the occasion of the UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities to be held in New York on 14 November 2012.
127. The Ministers approved the Financial Statement of the ECDC Account of the Group of 77 contained in document G-77/AM(XXIII)/2012/3, 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.
128. The Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to Algeria for its able leadership and for the excellent work and tireless efforts as the Chair country of the Group of 77 for 2012. As 2012 proved to be a challenging year for all developing countries, the commitment shown by Algeria 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.
129. The Ministers warmly welcomed the election by acclamation of the Republic of Fiji to the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 for 2013.