MINISTERIAL DECLARATION

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77 and China met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 26 September 2013 on the occasion of their Thirty-seventh 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 pledged to continue to work towards achieving the goals and objectives of the Group of 77 and, in this regard, underscored the historic importance of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77 to be commemorated in June 2014.

2. The Ministers stressed the fact that the focus of the developing countries is to continue to find means to achieve their developmental objectives, in particular the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. They also stressed the importance of elaborating a post-2015 development agenda that truly meets the needs of the developing world.

3. In this context, they noted that the ongoing world financial and economic crisis is negatively affecting the growth prospects of many developing countries, in particular LDCs, reversing the development trends of the recent past, and leading to increased incidence of poverty and slower progress in poverty eradication. Ministers noted that many developing countries, because of several challenges are unable to mitigate impacts of the crisis on development. They reaffirmed that recovery is being threatened by new adverse circumstances, including protectionism measures, turbulence in the global financial markets and widespread fiscal strains.

4. The Ministers emphasized that even though the world has undergone far-reaching changes in the past two decades and significant progress has been made in many important fields of development, through national as well as international efforts, developing countries continue to face serious challenges in eradicating poverty and advancing their levels of development. These challenges are being exacerbated by an unfavorable international economic environment and the lack of reform of institutions of global economic and financial governance. Ministers noted with concern that the number of people living in absolute poverty has increased in many developing countries. In facing these challenges, the Ministers affirmed that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as well as the right to development, continue to remain relevant and emphasized its central importance as the foundation of the current and post-2015 global development agenda, including in the context of the global partnership for development.

5. Ministers stressed that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

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 continuing food insecurity, volatility of capital flows and extreme volatility of commodity prices, 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.

7. Ministers further stressed that, in order to enable governments of developing countries to effectively eradicate poverty, developing countries must ensure national ownership of their own development agenda, which entails preserving their own policy space backed by a strong political commitment to reduce poverty in line with their national priorities and circumstances. As such, governments of developing countries must formulate their own development strategies to assist the poor through policies and actions including, but not limited to, the provision of universal and affordable access to basic services; the provision of a well-designed social protection system; empowerment of individuals to seize economic opportunities; and measures to ensure the protection of the environment.

8. The Ministers reiterated that policies and development efforts targeted at poverty eradication must be responsive to the challenges as well as to the opportunities of sustainable development at both international and national levels. In this regard, a supportive, fair financial architecture and international trading system as well as a genuine global partnership for sustainable development that includes clear cut goals are crucial to complement the efforts of national governments.

9. The Ministers accordingly underscored the need for a strengthened and scaled-up global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development strategies. They emphasized that international cooperation must be enhanced, including fulfillment of commitments of internationally agreed official development assistance, debt relief, market access, capacity building and technical support, including technology transfer.

10. The Ministers underlined that debt crises tend to be costly, disruptive and followed by cuts in public spending, affecting developing countries, especially heavily indebted developing countries, and that no path to growth can be construed or fostered with unsustainable debt overhang. They recognized the importance of debt relief, including debt cancellation and debt restructuring. Debt restructuring processes should have as their core element a determination of real payment capacity so that they may not compromise national growth perspectives. 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.

11. The Ministers recalled that sovereign debt management has been a crucial issue for developing countries, both as a cause for concern in past decades and as a strong point in more recent years due to the activities of vulture funds. Recent examples of vulture funds’ actions in international courts have revealed their speculative and profit-seeking nature. These vulture funds pose a risk to all future debt-restructuring processes, both for developing and developed countries. The Ministers reiterated the importance of not allowing vulture funds to paralyze the debt-restructuring efforts of developing countries, and that these funds should not supersede a State’s right to protect its people under international law.

12. The Ministers expressed serious concern for the substantial increase in the financial stability risks of many developed economies and in particular, their high structural fragilities in financing sovereign debt created as a result of transferring private risk to the public sector. In this regard, they called for urgent and coherent solutions to reduce sovereign risk in developed economies to prevent contagion and to mitigate its impact on the international financial system.

13. The Ministers stressed the need for a more transparent international credit rating system that takes fully into account the needs, concerns and peculiarities of developing countries, especially heavily indebted developing countries. In this regard, the Ministers expressed concern about the soundness of the methodology used by the major credit rating agencies. They emphasized that greater competition among rating agencies is necessary, to avoid oligopolistic tendencies and their negative effects. The Ministers reiterated that inadequate assessments of the solvency of debtors have the potential to cause or exacerbate crises, rendering the financial system more vulnerable to cliff effects. Ministers stated that it is necessary to continue the discussions on the role of credit rating agencies, with a view to proposing concrete policies aimed at reducing dependency on them by enhancing their supervision and increasing competition through the establishment of independent assessment mechanisms. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the convening of a UN General Assembly thematic debate on the role of credit rating agencies in the international financial system on 10 September 2013 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 67/437.

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).

16. The Ministers expressed concern over the fact that for the second time ODA fell for two consecutive years, and that developed countries are still far from achieving the longstanding goal of mobilising 0.7% of GNP as ODA to developing countries, including the target of 0.15 – 0.20 per cent of GNP to the LDCs. They called on developed countries to urgently fulfill their ODA commitments they have made, individually and collectively, including the timely implementation of all commitments under the global partnership for development so as to overcome the gaps identified in the latest MDG Gap Taskforce Report.

17. 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, trade barriers and trade distorting subsidies in developed countries, restricted access to trade finance and reduced investment in production diversification and in the promotion of exports remain a matter of concern. 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.

18. In this context, the Ministers underlined the necessity of a timely conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which must fully respect its development mandate and take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries. The Ministers called for a balanced and tangible outcome at the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC9) in Bali in December 2013 in favor of developing countries, especially LDCs. Such an outcome should deliver progress in the trade negotiations on agricultural products as well as development towards compliance with the Doha Development Agenda.

19. The Ministers reiterated that developed countries should provide effective trade related technical assistance and capacity-building tailored to the specific needs and constraints of developing countries. They also called upon the developed countries to provide adequate support for the Enhanced Integrated Framework of the WTO in order to address the supply side and trade-related infrastructure and productive capacity constraints of least developed countries (LDCs). Moreover, the international financial and trading systems should adopt and implement appropriate policy measures to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries, including investment guarantee schemes targeting productive sectors.

20. The Ministers emphasized the importance of facilitating accession to the WTO. The accession process should be accelerated without political impediment and in an expeditious and transparent manner for developing countries, in full compliance with WTO rules. This would contribute to the rapid and full integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system.

21. The Ministers expressed the view that the capacity to generate full employment and decent work are fundamentally linked to reviving and enhancing productive development strategies, through adequate finance, investment, and trade policies. In this regard, they reaffirmed the need for significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources and the effective use of financing, in order to give strong support to developing countries in their efforts to promote sustainable development. They also stressed the need to maintain coherence between macroeconomic and job creation policies in order to ensure inclusive and resilient global economic growth.

22. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the continuing high levels of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among young people, and stressed the need to launch an intergovernmental process, within the United Nations, to develop the Global Strategy on youth employment.

23. The Ministers expressed their commitment to strengthening efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and shaping the international development agenda post-2015. The Ministers called on the international community to redouble all efforts for the accelerated achievement of the MDGs by 2015 through concrete measures.

24. The Ministers noted the progress achieved so far in reaching the MDGs. However, they expressed their concern with the unevenness and gaps in the achievement and the vast socio-economic and environmental challenges that remain in developing countries. They stressed that the Millennium Development Goals have provided a common vision and contributed to remarkable progress. In this context, the Ministers reiterated that the MDGs remain critical for meeting the basic needs of people in developing countries, in particular in LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS, Africa, conflict and post-conflict countries and countries under foreign occupation, many of which are not on track to achieve them by 2015, as well as addressing specific development challenges facing middle income countries.

25. The Ministers underscored the central role of the global partnership for development and the importance of MDG-8 in achieving the MDGs. They recalled that without substantial international support and systemic changes, several of the Goals are likely to be missed in many developing countries by 2015. The Ministers called on the international community to intensify its efforts to provide enhanced means of implementation to the developing countries through a renewed global partnership based on MDG-8 in the collective quest to eradicate poverty and deprivation.

26. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the Special Event of the UN General Assembly to follow-up the efforts made towards achieving the MDGs on 25 September.

27. The Ministers stressed the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social, and environmental aspects and recognising their inter-linkages, so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions.

28. The Ministers reaffirmed the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference as the basis for the work of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs should be a driver for implementation and mainstreaming of sustainable development in the United Nations system as a whole. While the development of the SDGs must not divert focus or effort from the achievement of the MDGs, the Ministers stressed the need for a serious concerted effort in the OWG towards developing a set of aspirational, concise, action-oriented and universally applicable sustainable development goals. They further underscored the fundamental importance for the SDGs to build upon and complement the MDGs, towards the overarching objective of achieving poverty eradication.

29. The Ministers reaffirmed that the guiding principles of the SDGs must be based on those enumerated in the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21 and Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), and Rio+20 and be consistent with international law. The process and outcome of the OWG should fully respect all Rio Principles in particular the principles of sovereignty of States over their natural resources, and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). They therefore emphasised the need to increase efforts towards changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication in its three dimensions, and in this regard, the Ministers noted that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development in harmony with nature.

 

31. The Ministers reaffirmed the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference and welcomed the launch of the different follow-up processes agreed on in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development including the establishment of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals, the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. The Ministers welcomed the recommendation in the report of the SG for the establishment of a global mechanism for technology facilitation which is considered as a way forward to implement paragraph 273 of the outcome document of Rio+20.

 

32. The Ministers welcomed the interactive dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature, held on 22 April 2013, to commemorate International Mother Earth Day; the event discussed different economic approaches in the context of sustainable development, to further a more ethical basis for the relationship between humanity and the Earth, pursuant to General Assembly resolution A/RES/67/214.

 

33. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the High-Level Political Forum, which replaces the Commission on Sustainable Development. The Ministers stressed the importance of its universal character and for the Forum to carry out the functions mandated for it by paragraph 85 of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development; “the future we want” in all aspects of sustainable development, that is economic, social and environmental and is consistent with the strengthening of the role of the Economic and Social Council, builds on the strengths as well as to addresses the shortcomings of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

 

34. The Ministers stressed that progress in achieving SDGs and realizing the post-2015 development agenda will depend on progress in creating and international enabling environment, pro-development, and delivering the relevant means of implementation, particularly, finance, technology and capacity building.

35. The Ministers recalled that the initiative to strengthen ECOSOC was aimed at making the Council more relevant, effective and responsive to current and emerging global sustainable development challenges as a central mechanism for coordination of the activities of the United Nations system with a relevant role in ensuring the implementation of its decisions in the activities of agencies, funds and programmes through their Executive boards. In this regard, Ministers reiterated that a strengthened ECOSOC must stay focused on development and remain the principal organ of the United Nations for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues relating to sustainable development, as well as for the implementation of international development goals, including the MDGs and coordinate the follow-up of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits. They recognized the key role of the council in achieving the balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. Ministers noted with satisfaction the adoption of General Assembly resolution on the review of 61/16.

36. The Ministers stressed that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must be arrived at through transparent and inclusive intergovernmental negotiations under the United Nations. In this regard, they noted with appreciation the decision at the Special Event on the follow-up on the achievement of MDGs to launch intergovernmental negotiations at the beginning of the 69th UNGA for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

37. Recalling the affirmation by Rio+20 that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, the Ministers emphasized that poverty eradication must remain the central and overarching objective of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In this regard, Ministers took note of the report of the UN Secretary General on the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda titled ‘A life of dignity for all’. They underlined their strong support for the call made by UN Secretary General in this report for ending poverty by 2030.

38. The Ministers reaffirmed the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, the Millennium Declaration, the JPOI, the Monterrey Consensus, the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, the outcome of the Conference on the economic and financial crisis and its impact on development and the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Ministers stressed that both the process as well as the outcome of Post-2015 Development Agenda must be fully consistent with the mandate of the Rio+20 Conference contained in its outcome document ‘The future we want’ and in accordance with the Rio principles in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

39. The Ministers emphasized that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should be an agenda for development. Emphasizing that sustained and inclusive economic growth in developing countries is a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving the MDGs, the Ministers stressed that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should promote rapid and sustained economic growth in developing countries and fully preserve their developmental policy space and also integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development.

40. The Ministers further stressed that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must carry forward and finish the unfinished business of the MDGs. The human development imperatives enshrined in the MDGs – eradication of poverty and hunger, promoting universal education, promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing infant mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases must remain at the heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

41. The Post-2015 Development Agenda should also address other challenges faced by developing countries such as universal access to modern energy services, ensuring food security and nutrition, full and productive employment and decent work for all, skilled jobs and training, agriculture and rural development, building productive capacity, sustainable cities and urban settlements, and infrastructure development.

42. The Ministers emphasized that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must also meaningfully address issues of reform of the institutions of global economic governance in order to strengthen the voice of developing countries.

43. Cautioning against the severe imbalance in global consumption of resources and noting the adoption of the ten year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns (10YFP), the Ministers called for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to focus on changing the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production with developed countries taking the lead.

44. Noting with concern the significant shortfall in the global partnership for development under the MDGs which contributed to the lack of achievement of many goals and targets, the Ministers called for the urgent implementation of all commitments under the global partnership for development so as to overcome the gaps identified in the MDG Gap Taskforce Report. They emphasized the need for developed countries to urgently fulfill the ODA commitments they have made, individually and collectively, including the target of 0.7% of GNP as ODA by 2015, including 0.15% to 0.20% of GNP as ODA for least developed countries.

45. The Ministers stressed that the inter-governmental negotiation process to elaborate the post-2015 development agenda, to be launched at the beginning of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly will need to focus on the substantive aspects and goals taking fully into account the outcomes of the various follow-up processes mandated by the Rio+20 conference. The Ministers reaffirmed the centrality of the intergovernmental process in the establishment of the post-2015 development agenda.

46. The Ministers stressed the importance of providing financial resources for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. They underscored the importance to strengthen the global partnership for development consistent with MDG8 to complete unfinished MDG goals and to enhance this global partnership for the post 2015 development agenda.

47. The Ministers recalled that the world financial and economic crisis of 2007-8 and its subsequent consequences in development have underscored the gaps and failures in global economic governance, including within the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the urgent need for a global, universal and integrated response by the international community. The 2010 IMF quota formula reform should be urgently completed in order to ensure that quotas and governance of the IMF better reflect the relative weight of emerging and developing countries in the global economy. However, the redistribution of voting rights that seek to reflect reality alone will not resolve the structural problems of financial instability and unavailability of liquidity for developing countries in need to generate the necessary sustainable growth and development. Furthermore, authorities of the Bretton Woods institutions must be designated on the basis of their individual merits, through an open and fair process of selection. As long as the IMF does not reflect the new realities in the global economy and its Director General keeps being designated through a process that lacks any transparency, its legitimacy will remain questionable.

48. The Ministers reiterated the need for an international financial architecture, one that reflects the realities of the 21st century, including a more and properly regulated international financial sector to reduce speculative investment, so that capital markets can be mobilized to achieve sustainable development and play a constructive role in the global development agenda. They also noted the fundamental problems of financial stability and unavailability of liquidity for developing countries in need to generate the necessary sustainable growth and development.

49. The Ministers underscored the importance for developing countries to be equitably represented in these IFIs and have a strengthened voice in global economic governance. In the context of structural reform of the IFIs, there is an urgent need for macroeconomic coordination in order to achieve a long lasting recovery, foster inclusive growth, job creation and poverty and hunger eradication as well as trade and development. They stressed the importance for the international financial institutions to take concrete steps to democratize their actions, including increasing the participation of developing countries. Moreover, it is critically important that the financial sector is transparent and properly regulated so that the capital markets can be mobilized to achieve sustainable growth.

50. The Ministers welcomed the agreement to hold the Sixth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development on 7 and 8 October 2013.

51. The Ministers reaffirmed the paragraph 90 of the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development and stressed the need to hold a Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and of the Doha declaration before 2015 with a view to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda process.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. The Ministers welcomed the Global Launch of the International Year of Quinoa 2013, and High Level Panel on Food Security and Nutrition, at the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly on the United Nations, held on 20 February 2013, which constituted the first step in an ongoing process to focus world attention on the quinoa’s important role. The quinoa’s biodiversity and nutritional value make it central to providing food security and nutrition and for poverty eradication, as well as of for promoting the traditional knowledge of the Andean indigenous peoples, contributing to the achievement of food security, nutrition and poverty eradication and raising awareness of their contribution to social, economic and environmental development, and to share good practices on the implementation of activities the Year, as indicated in the master plan of activities for the Year, entitled “A future sown thousands of years ago”, in support of the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals.

55. The Ministers emphasized that the multiple and complex causes of the food crises that occur in different regions of the world, affecting developing countries, especially net food importers, and their consequences for food security and nutrition require a comprehensive and coordinated response in the short, medium, and long term by national Governments and the international community, and reiterated that the root causes of food insecurity are poverty and inequity, and remained concerned that excessive volatile food prices pose a serious challenge to the fight against poverty and hunger and to the efforts of developing countries to attain food security and nutrition.

56. The Ministers recalled that food security and nutrition are essential dimensions of sustainable development and expressed concern that developing countries are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change further threatening food security. The Ministers stressed that the attainment of food security and the move towards sustainable agriculture, including increased food production and agricultural investment, enhanced productive capacities and improved agricultural management and development and support for family farming and small holder farmers in developing countries, are crucial issues for developing countries. Agriculture, which is broadly understood to include crop and livestock production, fisheries, and forestry, is the most important sector in many developing countries and is central to the survival of millions of people. The Ministers also stressed the need to increase investment in agriculture and rural development, including through international cooperation, with a view to increasing the agricultural production of developing countries, many of which have become net food importers.

57. The Ministers underscored the fact that, agricultural subsidies and other trade distortions by developed countries have severely harmed the agricultural sector in developing countries, limiting the ability of this key sector to contribute meaningfully to poverty eradication, rural development and sustainable, sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth. Elimination of such subsidies is a fundamental part of the global effort to promote agriculture, rural development and eradicate poverty and hunger.

58. The Ministers reaffirmed that market access to developing country agricultural products is equally important. In this regard, they stressed the necessity of a timely conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which must fully respect its development mandate and take into account the needs and priorities of developing countries, including with regard to trade in agricultural products. A successful outcome of the Doha Round will help to ensure growth in global trade and create new market access opportunities for developing countries.

59. The Ministers welcome the adoption of General Assembly resolution 66/296 of 17 September 2012, on the organization of the high-level plenary meeting of the sixty-ninth session of the Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held on 22 and 23 September 2014 in New York, in order to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuit of the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the resolution, the Assembly decided that the World Conference should result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document and encouraged the participation of indigenous peoples in the Conference, as well as take note the Outcome Document of the Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference for the United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, held from 10 to 12 June 2013, in Alta – Norway.

60. The Ministers stressed the importance of the central role of the United Nations in global economic governance which essentially aims at enhancing the global partnership for development, with a view to creating a supportive and enabling global environment for the attainment of sustainable development as well as to ensure financial and economic stability. In this context, the UN General Assembly and a strengthened Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) could both act to mitigate the impact of international financial and economic crisis and to ensure developing countries’ right to policy space for sustainable development.

61. The Ministers reaffirmed their view that moving towards a more legitimate and accountable global governance demands the inclusive representation, universal participation and democratic process of the United Nations General Assembly. Efforts to reform the international financial architecture should therefore be seriously strengthened, should be internationally coordinated and should lead to the full participation of developing countries in international financial and economic decision-making and norm-setting. The Ministers reiterated their support for a comprehensive reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions including the enhancement in the voting powers of developing countries in a time-bound manner which would enable greater equity between developed and developing countries.

62. The Ministers underscored the need for the UN system to seriously address the introduction of new institutional arrangements to bring coherence and coordination among distinct sets of rules applying to various areas of economic activity. The UN system should address the inter-linkage between economic globalization and sustainable development, in particular by identifying and implementing mutually reinforcing policies and practices that promote sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth.

63. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ensuring synergy between the work of UN agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and other international organizations that deal with, among other development issues, trade, finance, labour and capital, intellectual property rights, health and technology.

64. The Ministers stressed that the United Nations is the appropriate intergovernmental forum for Post-2015 development agenda.

65. The Ministers reaffirmed the crucial importance of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) in providing guidance for the operational activities for development for the United Nations. It has reaffirmed principles and fundamental characteristics of operational activities, and provides detailed policy guidance and an ambitious workload for the UN development system for the four year period that it covers. The Ministers acknowledged and reaffirmed the call made in QCPR to the UN Development System that poverty eradication be accorded the highest priority and that all its agencies make it the overarching and underlying objective of all their programmes and projects.

66. The Ministers recalled that despite progress in discussion and dialogue and cooperation at the international level, migration remains inadequately reflected in development frameworks, development agendas and sectoral policies at both national and global levels. The slow pace taken to address migration policies with the reality of human mobility at these levels will continue to expose migrants to negative public perceptions and inadequate protection of their rights.

67. The Ministers held the view that addressing global migration as a global phenomenon is supportive to the achievement of the international agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. International migration and development mutually influence one another. The Ministers stressed that migration if properly managed can serve as a powerful catalyst for development, thereby benefiting communities of origin and destination, as recognized in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. In this context, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development to be held on 3-4 October 2013.

68. The Ministers reaffirmed that technology plays a key role in addressing development challenges across a wide scope of cross-cutting sustainability dimensions, as in food and agriculture, water and sanitation, energy, industry development, and chemicals and waste management. They stressed that developing countries require increased access on favorable terms including on concessional and preferential terms to technology in order to shift to a more sustainable development path. To help developing countries overcome certain obstacles to economic expansion and growth so as to achieve specific development goals, it is imperative that the international community take urgent actions to bridge the technological divide so as to promote industrialization and inclusive growth across the developing world.

69. The Ministers stressed that technology is one of the key ‘means of implementation’ along with finance, capacity building and trade, and called for an early establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.

70. The Ministers recognized the need for South-South cooperation that allows emerging and longstanding energy producers of the global South to exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices amongst themselves on a sustained basis in an effort to address their energy challenges to achieve sustainable development.

71. The Ministers acknowledged the multifaceted nature of the linkages between culture and development. While the full extent of the linkages have yet to be explored, there is a growing consensus that strategies to achieve development goals have to be embedded in the cultural traditions of each society. The Ministers underscored that culture is both an enabler and driver of development, and further reiterated the importance of ensuring that culture is recognized as such in the post-2015 development agenda. The Ministers called for continuous dialogue and negotiations to ensure the effective integration and mainstreaming of culture into social, environmental and economic development policies at all levels.

72. 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.

73. 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.

74. The Ministers called for continued support for Africa’s development initiatives, including the continental strategic vision framework for socio-economic development, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA).

75. On the other hand, the Ministers welcomed the support that some developing countries have extended to Africa through South-South and triangular cooperation programmes.

76. 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 the Millennium Development Goals.

77. The Ministers emphasized on the full and effective implementation of the commitments made in the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the decade 2011-2020. The Ministers further underlined the critical need for realizing expeditiously the renewed and strengthened the global partnership for the LDCs in order to overcome their structural challenges; eradicate poverty; achieve internationally agreed development goals and enable half the number of LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation from the category by 2020.

78. 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.

79. 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.

80. The Ministers welcomed the decision to convene the Third International Conference for Sustainable Development of SIDS in 2014 in Apia, Samoa, and the convening of regional and inter-regional meetings of Small Island Developing States to prepare SIDS priorities for the Conference. In this context, the Ministers took note of the outcome document of the SIDS interregional preparatory meeting which took place from 26 to 28 July 2013 in Bridgetown, Barbados and called for enhanced efforts to assist SIDS in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the MSI.

81. 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 LLDCs 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 LLDCs 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 their genuine partnership with sufficient support and cooperation from the international community for the effective implementation of priorities of the Almaty Programme of Action and its successor programme.

82. The Ministers welcomed the decision of the General Assembly in its resolutions 66/214 of December 2011 and 67/222 of December 2012, 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. In this regard, the Ministers called upon the international community, including the United Nations system, development partners, international organizations, private sector institutions, and academia, to critically consider special needs of and challenges faced by LLDCs, and to help develop priorities for a new, more comprehensive, common action-oriented framework of LLDCs for the next decade.

83. The Ministers recognized that middle-income countries still face significant development challenges and underlined 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 achievement of full employment and 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.

84. 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 development efforts of other developing countries.

85. In this context, the Ministers took note of the outcomes of the High Level Conference of Middle-Income Countries “Challenges for Sustainable Development and International Cooperation in Middle-Income Countries: The Role of Networks for Prosperity”, organized by the Government of Costa Rica and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), on June 12-14, 2013.

86. 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.

87. The Ministers recalled once again that climate change is one of the most serious global challenges of our times. They underscored 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 and the impact of response measures, even though they are the least responsible for climate change. Accordingly, they called for developed countries to take the lead on responding to climate change. Climate change threatens not only the development prospects of developing countries and their achievement of sustainable development, but also the very existence and survival of countries and societies.

88. The Ministers stressed that the developed countries, given their historical responsibility, need to take the lead in addressing this challenge in accordance with UNFCCC 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.

89. The Ministers noted the progress made towards addressing climate change at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP- 18) in Doha, Qatar, through concrete decisions on remaining work under the Bali Action Plan, a Plan of Work under the Durban Platform and a Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol with a clear time line. The Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol, however, lacks ambition and they hoped that its level will be enhanced in 2014 as agreed at COP-18.

90. The Ministers reiterated that the extent to which developing countries will effectively implement their commitments under the UNFCCC will depend on the effective implementation by developed countries of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing countries.

91. The Ministers noted the progress in the work of the Adhoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP) and emphasized that the outcome of the Parties’ work under the ADP must enable us to further enhance the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention. Ministers reiterated that the work under the ADP and its outcome must be under the Convention and in accordance with the objective, principles and provisions stipulated in the Convention, including the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The process under the ADP must not lead to a reinterpretation or a rewriting of the Convention.

92. The Ministers stressed the need to urgently close the ambition gap, and expressed their concern with the lack of fulfillment of commitments by developed countries. In addressing this gap, focus must not only be limited to mitigation but also include gaps relating to finance, technology and support for capacity building. 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. In this context, the Ministers looked forward to a successful and comprehensive outcome at the COP 19/CMP 9.

93. The Ministers reaffirmed that desertification, land degradation, drought, 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 dimensions 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 eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP 11) held from 16 to 27 September 2013 in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia.

94. 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.

95. The Ministers reaffirmed that desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) represent a serious concern for developing countries. Addressing this phenomenon will enable countries to deal with several global policy challenges, such as poverty eradication, food security and adaptation to climate change. While parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) should fully support the implementation of that Convention, the promotion of exchange of knowledge on best practices and lessons learned from global and regional cooperation in combating desertification, land degradation and drought should be encouraged. They stressed that sustainable development goals and targets on DLDD should address the drivers of DLDD. They should also look at the preventive and corrective aspects of DLDD.

96. The Ministers expressed their deep concern at the devastating consequences of cyclical drought and famine in Africa.

97. The Ministers called on the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to ensure equitable allocation of resources to the UNCCD and urge donors to continue the effective replenishment of GEF to ensure that it is adequately funded in order to allow sufficient and adequate allocation of resources to its land degradation focal area.

98. The Ministers welcomed the important outcomes of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Hyderabad in October 2012, especially the commitment to doubling biodiversity-related international financial flows to developing countries by 2015 and at least maintaining this level until 2020 to contribute to achievement of the Convention’s three objectives. They also called upon Parties to review progress in this context at the twelfth meeting of COP, for adopting a final target for resource mobilization.

99. The Ministers called upon Parties to the CBD to expedite their national processes towards ratifying or acceding to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing so as to ensure its early entry into force.

100. The Ministers encouraged all Governments and all stakeholders to be a ‘Biodiversity Champion’ in response to the Hyderabad Call for Action on Biodiversity, by pledging support for biodiversity at national, regional or global levels for one or more of the Aichi targets.

101. The Ministers stressed the need to include CBD and UNCCD financing mechanisms as part of sustainable development financing in the framework of the expert committee on sustainable development financing strategy, and request for the issues to be properly elaborated by the Committee.

102. The Ministers noted the outcome of the tenth session of the UN Forum on Forests held in Istanbul, Turkey from 8 to 19 April 2013, and underscored the importance of the Four Global Objectives on Forests for the international community as a whole, and in particular for developing countries. The Fourth Global Objective is especially relevant for the developing countries since it identifies the need to reverse the reduction of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and to mobilize new and additional financial resources from all sources, including public and private, for the implementation of SFM. In fulfilling the Fourth Global Objective, it is essential to respect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between developed and developing countries. In this regard, the Ministers urged developed countries to exercise strong political will and flexibility to contribute to the achievement of SFM.

103. The Ministers reiterated their call for the establishment of a new Global Forest Fund in line with the principles of sustainable development. They considered this necessary in order to concentrate on the financing needs of developing countries to sustainably manage their forests, as well as to comply with their commitments under the UN Non-Legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests (NLBI). The establishment of the Global Forest Fund in the framework of the United Nations to address financing gaps in SFM takes on greater urgency in the follow-up to the Rio+20 Summit. The Ministers recognized and reiterated the significance of the NLBI, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 in Resolution 62/98, which is the guide for all regions and countries when addressing conservation.

104. The Ministers recalled that the Group of 77 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 Group of 77 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 States enjoy 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.

105. 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 Group of 77 and China had adhered from its inception in 1967.

106. 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.

107. 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.

108. The Ministers expressed their support to the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law established by General Assembly resolution 2099 (XX) of 20 December 1965 with the purpose of contributing to a better knowledge of international law as a means for strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and co-operation among States. They recalled that the Programme and its components are one of the cornerstones of the efforts of the United Nations to promote international law and that jurists, academics, diplomats and other public officials from developing countries greatly benefit from the Regional Courses of International Law, fellowships, publications and the Audiovisual Library of International Law. In light of their concern at the lack of voluntary resources to support the activities of this important Programme, the Ministers affirmed that all the components of the Programme of Assistance, including the Regional Courses in International Law for Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Law Fellowship Programme, the Audiovisual Library of International Law, the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea, the seminars and regional trainings on international treaty laws and practice and legal publications and training materials, must be financed through the regular budget of the United Nations, starting from the biennium 2014-2015.

109. The Ministers expressed their concern over the increased frequency and scale of natural disasters in recent years, which have resulted in massive loss of life and long-term negative social, economic and environmental consequences for countries, particularly developing countries. They 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.

110. The Ministers reiterated their commitment and support to the guiding principles articulated in the annex of General Assembly resolution 46/182 of 19 December 1991, as the founding resolution of the framework for the provision of UN humanitarian assistance. They stressed that Member States, in cooperation with United Nations humanitarian organizations should engage in the provision of humanitarian assistance in accordance with this resolution to promote greater respect for and full adherence to the humanitarian principles, humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence, while engaging in negotiations for and during humanitarian operations. The Ministers stressed the importance of adhering to the provisions of the International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law when providing humanitarian assistance.

111. The Ministers stressed the urgent need for the international community to ensure a predictable, flexible and adequate humanitarian funding mechanism for effective humanitarian assistance. While increased funding for humanitarian assistance, through partnerships and strengthened and flexible financial mechanisms is important, the question of advancing stakeholder interest and accountability to people affected and donor for the concept of ‘value for money’, needs to be mirrored against the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship. In this regard, the Ministers stated that the specific role of financial institutions and the Central Emergency Response Fund and other funds, during preparatory and resilience and recovery phase, should be explored further. The Ministers further stressed the urgent need to invest in early warning systems to mitigate the magnitude of disasters and encouraged continued flows of financial assistance to developing countries, with a view to reducing the existing risk and prevent the emergence of new risks.

112. 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.

113. The Ministers 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.

114. The Ministers strongly supported the oversight role performed by the General Assembly, as well as its relevant intergovernmental and expert bodies, in planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation. In this context, they renewed their commitment to strengthen the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination. The Ministers also urged the rest of the membership of the United Nations to actively participate in the sessions of the Committee.

115. 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 regulations.

116. 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. The Ministers 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.

117. 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.

118. 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.

119. 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 is 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.

120. 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.

121. 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.

122. The Ministers noted the agreement reached through General Assembly resolution 67/261 on the recommendations and conclusions of the Senior Advisory Group on troop-cost reimbursements and related issues subsequent to the two successive interim awards, and in this regard, underlined that it should lead to the revision of the troop cost reimbursement rates at the earliest.

123. The Ministers 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.

124. 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.

125. 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.

126. The Ministers expressed concern on the budget cuts proposed for the biennium 2014-2015 that could impact negatively the implementation of mandates approved by the intergovernmental bodies, particularly in the development pillar, as well as with the interpretation that the proposed cuts were on Member States’ request through the budget outline resolution 67/248. The Ministers also expressed serious concerns that changes are being introduced to the budget methodology and format without prior consideration and approval by the General Assembly.

127. The Ministers reiterated that there is a need to strike a balance in reflecting the agreed priorities of the Organization in the allocation of resources to the United Nations regular budget, which is persistently to the detriment of the development activities. In this context, the Ministers expressed concern that the share of the regular budget allocated to special political missions has continuously increased, while the share of resources allocated to development activities has stagnated. They further reaffirmed that the Secretariat must strictly implement General Assembly mandates without exceptions and/or delays.

128. 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.

129. The Ministers expressed their concern over the growing imbalance between assessed and voluntary contributions in the proposed programme budget for 2014-2015. The Ministers stressed that extra-budgetary resources should not replace regular and predictable funds from assessed contributions for the core activities of the Organization. It is equally important that resources from voluntary and extra budgetary contributions are used to support and not reorient priorities agreed by Member States and are used strictly in accordance with the financial rules and regulations of the Organization. The Ministers called for greater transparency, accountability and oversight by Member-States over voluntary and extra-budgetary resources.

130. 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, 66/257 and 67/253.

131. 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.

132. The Ministers reiterated the need to increase the representation of developing countries and the representation of women from developing countries, in particular at the senior levels, and to improve geographic distribution in the Secretariat and more transparency in the recruitment process.

133. 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.

134. 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.

135. 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.

136. 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 the State of Palestine’s application on 23 September 2011 for full membership in the United Nations, and noted the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012 which accorded to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations. The Ministers continued to support the admission process of the State of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations as soon as possible.

137. 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.

138. 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 a 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.

139. The Ministers reaffirmed the 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 demanded that 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.

140. 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.

141. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to find a peaceful solution to the sovereignty issues facing developing countries, including among others the dispute over the 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.

142. 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. The Ministers reiterated the Group’s 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 the 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.

143. The Ministers welcomed the convening of the High-level Panel of Eminent Personalities of the South in Natadola, Fiji, from 7-9 May 2013, in accordance with the relevant mandate of the Second South Summit. They welcomed the Panel’s Conclusions and Recommendations on the Future Landscape of South-South Cooperation as an important contribution to the further development of the Development Platform for the South. Ministers reiterated the framework and principles of South-South cooperation first endorsed by their Thirty-second Annual Meeting held in New York on 26 September 2008, which the Panel also used as a basis for their discussions.

144. 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. Ministers also recommended dedicated structures and resources for South-South Cooperation and regular reporting on South-South cooperation activities across the UN system.

145. The Ministers recalled the decision of the HLC in 2012 to rename the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), hosted by the UNDP, as a separate entity and coordinator for promoting and facilitating South-South and triangular cooperation for development on a global and United Nations system-wide basis. In this context, the Ministers considered that the renaming of the Unit was a step forward in supporting South-South cooperation, and further recommended the development of collaborative arrangements between the funds and programmes and the Office of South-South Cooperation, including with a clear division of tasks and roles, as well as clear lines of reporting and accountability. The Office of South-South Cooperation requires further strengthening, including through the provision of additional resources for its coordinating activities. In this context, the Ministers looked forward to the UN Secretary-General’s comprehensive report on measures to strengthen the UNOSSC by the High-level Committee in its decision 17/1, including through the revision of the governance structure, secretariat support and financial assistance which is of vital importance, so as to ensure more efficient and effective work procedures for the HLC and better delineation of responsibilities and interaction among all stakeholders. The Ministers also recommended that the UNOSSC should be enabled to participate in the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) in keeping with its status as a separate entity within the UN for global coordination and promotion of South-South and triangular cooperation for development on United Nations system-wide basis in accordance with UN General Assembly resolutions. The Ministers stressed that the UNOSSC is the articulator for South-South cooperation in the UN System and UNDP should not duplicate, overlap or undertake the UNOSSC´s UN system-wide functions and responsibilities. In this context, the Ministers invited the UNOSSC to develop its own Strategic Framework for 2014-2017 according to its General Assembly’s mandate, consistent with the principles, priorities and objectives set by Member States in the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, the Nairobi Outcome Document and other relevant General Assembly resolutions and South Summits’ outcomes, taking into consideration the outcome of the review of the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the United Nations system (A/66/717), the evolving Post-2015 UN agenda discussions, the UN Secretary-General’s operational guidelines on UN support to South-South cooperation, and other UN entities’ strategic plans.

146. The Ministers reiterated General Assembly resolution 60/212 in which it designated the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation managed by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, “as the main United Nations trust fund for promoting and supporting South-South and triangular cooperation.” To this end, the Ministers supported efforts to upgrade the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation into a fully functioning voluntary trust fund, and expand the core resources of the G-77 Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions and South Summit decisions.

147. 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 2014. 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. The Ministers invited the Chair of the Group of 77 to continue his consultations with Member States for the hosting of the Third South Summit to be held at a convenient date.

148. The Ministers approved the Report of the Twenty-eighth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF) contained in document G-77/AM(XXV)/2013/2 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 11 November 2013.

149. The Ministers approved the Financial Statement of the ECDC Account of the Group of 77 contained in document G-77/AM(XXV)/2013/3, 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.

150. The Ministers welcomed the admission of the Republic of Kiribati as a member of the Group of 77.

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