1. The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China met in New York on 26 September 2014 for the Thirty-eighth Annual Meeting of Ministers, under the Chairmanship of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
2. The Ministers recalled the successful convening of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on 14 and 15 June 2014. They expressed their appreciation to the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for hosting the Summit and reaffirmed their commitment to work towards the full implementation of the Declaration entitled “For a New World Order for Living Well”.
3. The Ministers welcomed the Joint Communiqué of the Presidents of the Non-Aligned Movement as well as the Group of 77 in New York, and other G77 Chapters, on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, adopted in Algiers, Algeria, on 30th May 2014. Ministers, also welcomed the convening by Algeria, in partnership with the Presidents of the Non-Aligned Movement and the President of the Group of 77, of the second meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) at Ministerial level, to be held in New York, on September 26th 2015, to mark the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Organization as well as the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Declaration.
4. The Ministers welcomed the “Algiers Appeal on a Global partnership for development through renewed international cooperation” adopted by the High Level Panel of Eminent Personalities of the South held in Algiers, Algeria, on 30 May 2014.
5. The Ministers noted the initiative announced by His Excellency, Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, during the Summit of the Group of 77, to establish the Institute for South-South Integration, and his offer to host the Institute in Bolivia. Therefore, they requested the Chair of the G-77 in New York to undertake consultations on this initiative with the Member States and to report at its next annual ministerial meeting on the outcome of such consultations for appropriate follow-up action.
6. The Ministers reaffirmed the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, therefore recognize the importance and different history and particularities of South-South cooperation, and reaffirmed their view of South-South cooperation as a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, their national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. South-South cooperation and its agenda have to be set by countries of the South and should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
7. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening South-South cooperation, especially in the current international economic environment, and reiterate our support for South-South cooperation as a strategy to sustain the development efforts of developing countries and as a means of enhancing their participation in the global economy. They reiterated the position of the Group that South-South cooperation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation and reaffirm that South-South cooperation is a collective endeavour 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 that as such, South-South cooperation deserves its own separate and independent promotion, as reaffirmed in the Nairobi outcome document. In this context, we stress 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.
8. The Ministers stressed that the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation of the General Assembly is the central multilateral policymaking body in the United Nations system to review and assess global and system-wide progress and support for South-South development cooperation, including triangular cooperation, and to provide overall guidance on future directions.
9. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed decision 18/1 of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation and requested the establishment of a more formalized and strengthened inter-agency mechanism for the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, with a view to encouraging joint support for South-South and triangular initiatives, as well as sharing information on development activities and results achieved by various funds, agencies and organizations in support of South-South and triangular cooperation.
10. The Ministers firmly affirmed that the report of the Open-Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in its entirety should be preserved and should not be re-negotiated. In this sense, they stressed that this report shall be the basis for integrating SDGs into the Post- 2015 Development Agenda, as RIO + 20 also mandates.
11. The Ministers underscored the importance of understanding poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon, and in this regard reaffirmed the need to end poverty in all its forms.
12. Recalling the statement made at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 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. The Ministers strongly supported the view that the post-2015 development agenda should reinforce the commitment of the international community to eradicate poverty by 2030.
13. The Ministers underlined the need for a coherent approach to the post-2015 development agenda, which should reinforce the commitment of the international community to poverty eradication and the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner with the contributions of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals, the financing for development process, the Intergovernmental Committee on Experts for Sustainable Development Financing, the process to develop options for a United Nations technology facilitation mechanism and other relevant processes.
14. The Ministers reaffirmed that the post-2015 development agenda must fully adhere to the Rio Principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
15. The Ministers underscored the importance of strengthening the global partnership for development, to be based on quantified and time-bound targets, consistent with Millennium Development Goal No. 8 and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the post-2015 development agenda. North-South cooperation remains the core of this partnership and South-South and triangular cooperation are a useful complement to North-South cooperation. Strengthened commitment from developed countries is therefore required to enhance international cooperation and scale up support for developing countries. They emphasized the need for developed countries to urgently fulfil the official development assistance commitments they have made, individually and collectively, including the target of allocating 0.7 per cent of their gross national product to official development assistance by 2015 and the target of allocating between 0.15 and 0.20 per cent of their gross national product to official development assistance for least developed countries.
16. The Ministers emphasized that the post-2015 development agenda must meaningfully address issues of reform of the institutions of global economic governance in order to strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in decision-making in these institutions. They also noted that the global economic, financial and trading systems remain imbalanced, to the disadvantage of developing countries, and in this regard they stressed the importance of identifying, in the post-2015 development agenda, the weaknesses and imbalances of these global systems and of proposing actions for improvements with the aim of supporting the development agenda and the programmes of developing countries.
17. The Ministers also stressed the importance for the post-2015 development agenda, if it is to be global in nature and universally applicable to all, to fully respect the development policy space of developing countries to make use of policy tools and measures that are required to implement their policies for poverty eradication and other developmental plans and programmes. They also stressed that the post-2015 development agenda should promote rapid, sustained and inclusive economic growth in developing countries as a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and reducing inequalities within and among countries.
18. The Ministers reaffirmed the centrality and primacy of the intergovernmental outcomes as the basis for the post-2015 development agenda.
19. The Ministers reiterated the need for a strong preparatory process leading to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015. The Ministers expressed their determination to achieve an ambitious outcome document given the need to review the progress in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration, reinvigorate and strengthen the financing for development follow-up process, identify obstacles encountered for the achievements of the goals therein and actions to overcome these constraints, as well as support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
20. The Ministers affirmed that technology is a key means of implementation, and that it is the most important lever of change for achieving sustainable development. Without a breakthrough in international cooperation in the field of technology, shifting to a more sustainable path will be very difficult and burdensome for developing countries.
21. In this regard, the Ministers recalled the Rio+20 Outcome document, relevant GA resolutions, and Secretary General’s reports related to the possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies, and welcomed the convening of the four GA structured dialogues to consider those arrangements and present recommendations in this regard, including on possible modalities and organization of such mechanism.
22. The Ministers further welcomed the summary prepared by the President of the General Assembly of the discussion and recommendations that emerged from the four structured dialogues on the possible arrangements for a technology facilitation mechanism. The Ministers emphasized the importance of continuing consultations in this regard with the aim of reaching a conclusion at the sixty-ninth session in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
23. The Ministers stressed the need to develop an enabling international environment to allow each and every country to pursue developmental objectives according to their own priorities with policies of their own choice. The Ministers reaffirmed that this should be the strategic objective of the post-2015 development agenda, and that this should be the transformational change we are aiming at producing: developing an international enabling environment for sustainable development, by addressing the questions of trade, reform of the international financial system, global economic governance, debt, repatriation of illicit funds, cooperation in the fields of finance and technology, in order to support the efforts of developing countries to achieve sustainable development.
24. The Ministers stressed in this regard that all countries should assume their common but differentiated responsibilities, and warned that outsourcing these responsibilities to the private sector or the civil society is not acceptable, and shall not replace a renewed and strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.
25. The Ministers highlighted the importance of disaster risk reduction as it has direct impacts on achieving sustainable development, especially in developing countries. They reaffirmed their support for the international efforts to develop the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction or Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA2), which will be adopted at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in March 2015. They stressed that enhancing international cooperation on implementation of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies, in particular in developing countries, should be a crucial element in HFA2.
26. The Ministers affirmed the need for reform of the international financial architecture so that the financial and monetary system reflects the realities of the twenty-first century, including a properly regulated international financial sector that reduces and discourages speculative investment, in order for capital markets to be mobilized to achieve sustainable development and play a constructive role in the global development agenda.
27. The Ministers urged that the reform process of the governance structure of the Bretton Woods institutions be finalized as soon as possible and be much more ambitious, and that an accelerated plan be established for further reforms in representation, participation and parity of voting power for developing countries in the decision-making process within the Bretton Woods institutions and in all discussions on international monetary reform and in the operation of the new arrangements for special drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on the basis of criteria that truly reflect its mandate in the field of development and with the participation of all stakeholders in an equitable, transparent, consultative and inclusive process. In this regard, they called on the General Assembly to launch a process to reform the international financial and monetary system.
28. The Ministers called for the urgent completion of the 2010 IMF quota formula reform in order to ensure that the quotas and governance of IMF better reflect the relative weight of emerging and developing countries in the global economy. However, the redistribution of voting rights to reflect reality alone will not resolve the structural problems of financial instability and the lack of liquidity for developing countries in need to generate the necessary sustainable growth and development. Also the reform should encompass liquidity creation, including improvement in the special drawing rights for developing countries. IMF must provide more comprehensive and flexible financial responses to the needs of developing countries, without imposing procyclical conditionalities and respecting their need for adequate policy space. Furthermore, leading personnel 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 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.
29. The Ministers recalled that sovereign debt management has been a crucial issue for developing countries in past decades and recent years. Recently, a new concern has emerged relating to the activities of vulture funds. Recent examples of the actions of vulture funds in international courts have revealed their highly speculative nature. Such funds pose a risk to all future debt-restructuring processes, both for developing and developed countries. They therefore stressed the importance of not allowing vulture funds to paralyse 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.
30. The Ministers welcomed the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of resolution 68/304 “towards the establishment of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes”, in particular the decision to elaborate and adopt, through a process of intergovernmental negotiations, as a matter of priority during its 69th session, a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes with a view, inter alia, to increasing the efficiency, stability and predictability of the international financial system and achieving sustained, inclusive and equitable growth and sustainable development, in accordance with national circumstances and priorities. The Ministers renewed their determination to define the modalities for the intergovernmental negotiations and the adoption of the text of the multilateral legal framework at the main part of its sixty-ninth session, before the end of 2014.
31. The Ministers also reiterated that progress in realizing the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda will depend on progress in creating a pro-development, international enabling environment and delivering the relevant means of implementation, which includes, among others, financial resources, technology development and transfer, on concessionary and preferential terms, capacity building and pro-development trade and economic policies. These means of implementation must be supported by actions from developed countries at the international level, such as quantitative time-bound financing targets beside those established for Official Development Assistance (ODA).
32. The Ministers underscored the important role of ODA in leveraging and sustaining financing for development in developing countries and in facilitating the achievement of development objectives.
33. The Ministers reaffirmed that Official Development Assistance remains the main source of international financing for many developing countries and that it is essential as a catalyst for development, facilitating the achievement of national development objectives, including the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals, the sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda, in accordance with paragraph 246 of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“The future we want”).
34. The Ministers recalled paragraph 142 of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in which Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the right to use, to the fullest extent, the provisions contained in the TRIPS Agreement, the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, the decision of the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) of 30 August 2003 on the implementation of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration and, when formal acceptance procedures are completed, the amendment to article 31 of the TRIPS Agreement, which provide flexibilities for the protection of public health, and in particular to promote access to medicines for all and encourage the provision of assistance to developing countries in this regard. They affirmed the importance of taking advantage of the use of TRIPS flexibilities in order to promote the people’s health and access to medicines. They called upon developed countries to fully respect the right of developing countries to make full use of TRIPS flexibilities and to refrain from taking actions, including trade measures, to prevent or dissuade developing countries from exercising this right.
35. The Ministers recalled the outcome of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization held in Bali in December 2013, and stressed on the importance of implementing all aspects of the Bali package in a balanced manner, through an inclusive negotiating process in which the procedural issues of the Trade Facilitation agreement would be tackled in parallel with the agricultural pillar, including stocking for food security, and the post Bali work programme, taking into account the priorities of developing countries thereon, including the urgent priority to eliminate all forms of export subsidies, in accordance with the agricultural mandate of the Doha Round.
36. The Ministers condemned the brutal military aggression committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in July and August 2014 against the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of more than 2,150 Palestinians, including hundreds of children and women, and the injury of more than 11,000 Palestinians as a result of the lethal, indiscriminate and excessive use of force by Israeli occupying forces. The Ministers also condemned the wanton destruction committed by Israel of thousands of Palestinians homes; vital civilian infrastructure; business properties; mosques; schools, hospitals, public institutions, farms; and several UN facilities in Gaza. The Ministers deplored the systematic, grave breaches of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, committed by Israel in this regard. They called for accountability for these crimes and violations and called on the Security Council, in line with its Charter duty for the maintenance of international peace and security, to undertake serious follow-up efforts to bring an end to Israel’s impunity and to realize justice for the victims and to contribute to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
37. The Ministers demanded the immediate and full lifting of the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, which constitutes the massive collective punishment of its inhabitants in grave contravention of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Ministers requested all members of the international community, the United Nations and other international organizations and non-governmental organizations to help provide the victims of the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip with the required humanitarian assistance on an urgent basis. They also 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 reconstruction and economic recovery in the Gaza Strip.
38. The Ministers expressed deep concern about the further decline of the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people as a result of illegal Israeli practices, which include but are not limited to, the continuing colonization of Palestinian land by Israel, the occupying Power, in grave breach of international humanitarian law, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as well as a flagrant violation of relevant United Nations resolutions and disrespect of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. In this connection, the Ministers demanded a halt of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian property and construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and the Wall. They also expressed grave concern over the frequent acts of violence, terror and incitement against Palestinian civilians and the destruction of the Palestinian properties by Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and called for action to hold the perpetrators accountable for these crimes.
39. The Ministers reaffirmed their unwavering support for the just cause of Palestine and solidarity with the Palestinian people. They reaffirmed their principled and longstanding support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the achievement of their legitimate national aspirations, including for freedom, independence, justice, peace and dignity in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and called for the exertion of the necessary efforts by the international community in support of these objectives in this International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
40. 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 United Nations 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 Conference since March 2002.
41. 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.
42. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for the Governments 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.
43. Highlighting the right of the Member States of the Group of 77 to permanent sovereignty over their energy resources, the Ministers expressed that the operations carried out by companies not authorized by the Argentine Government in the Malvinas Islands area relating to the exploration of natural resources, especially hydrocarbon resources, are seriously detrimental to the sovereignty rights of the Argentine Republic over its continental shelf.
44. In this regard, the Ministers recognized the right of the Argentine Republic to take legal actions with full respect for International Law and relevant resolutions against non-authorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in the referred area.
45. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to find a peaceful solution to the sovereignty issues facing developing countries, including the dispute over the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, which was unlawfully excised by the United Kingdom from the territory of Mauritius, prior to independence, in violation of international law and 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. In this regard, they noted with great concern that despite the strong opposition of Mauritius, the United Kingdom purported to establish a “marine protected area” around the Chagos Archipelago, which contravenes international law and further impedes the exercise by Mauritius of its sovereign rights over the archipelago and the right of return of Mauritius citizens who were forcibly removed from the archipelago by the United Kingdom.
46. The Ministers emphasized that transnational corporations have a responsibility to respect all human rights and should refrain from causing environmental disasters and affecting the well-being of peoples.
47. The Ministers reaffirmed their firm rejection of the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries, and reiterate 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. The Ministers therefore called on the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries.
48. The Ministers expressed their strongest rejection of the implementation of unilateral coercive measures and reiterate our solidarity with Cuba, while reaffirming their call upon the Government of the United States to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on that sisterly nation for more than five decades. In particular, the Ministers called to put an end to the persecution of Cuba’s international financial transactions abroad, which has been exacerbated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States in recent years.
49. The Ministers reaffirmed their rejection to the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the Sudan, which have a negative impact on the development and prosperity of the people of the Sudan, and in this regard called for an immediate lifting of those sanctions.
50. The Ministers reaffirmed their rejection to the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran, which have a negative impact on the development and prosperity of the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in this regard called for an immediate lifting of those sanctions.
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 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.
54. The Ministers reiterated their support for the success of the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Lima, Peru. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to achieve progress in Lima towards the adoption at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in 2015 of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention that is in accordance with its principles and provisions, in particular CBDR, and that will strengthen the multilateral rules-based system. The Ministers also reiterated their support for constructive discussions at the Social Pre-COP meeting in Venezuela ahead of Lima. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their support to the Governments of Peru and Venezuela for the successful steering of the work of these meetings.
55. The Ministers noted the progress in the work of the Ad hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP) and emphasized that the outcome of 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.
56. 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 this regard. 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.
57. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance to respect the universal realization of the right of peoples 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, respect for the independence of States, national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States including through the use of the Information and Communication Technologies, in particular social networks, contrary to the principles of the International Law, for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and embodied in the International Covenants on Human Rights and stress that the full respect of principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter and international low inspire our full commitment to multilateralism.
58. 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. The Ministers 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 Goals in Africa.
59. The Minsters expressed profound concern about the fact that the commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2010, as articulated at the summit of the Group of Eight held in Gleneagles, United Kingdom, was not entirely reached, and in this regard we stress the need to make rapid progress in order to fulfil that and other donors’ commitments to increase aid through a variety of means, including the provision of new additional resources, the transfer of technology to and the building of capacity in African countries, and to support their sustainable development. They called for continued support for Africa’s development initiatives, including Agenda 2063 (a continental strategic vision and priority framework for socioeconomic development), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. On the other hand, they welcomed the support that some developing countries have extended to Africa through South-South and triangular cooperation programmes.
60. The Ministers recalled the convening of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa, from 1 to 4 September 2014 and welcomed the adoption of the Outcome Document titled “Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action” – SAMOA Pathway, which represents the international community’s renewed political commitment to the sustainable development of SIDS and reaffirms that SIDS remain “a special case” for sustainable development due to their unique and particular vulnerabilities. It also sets out new modalities for strengthened action on a range of SIDS challenges and priorities and demonstrates how partnerships with different stakeholders can be nurtured and utilized as one of the important means to implement the SAMOA Pathway. Reports on six Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue sessions focusing on SIDS-specific partnership with a wide range of partners were an integral outcome of the conference and exemplified its partnership theme of “the sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnerships.”
61. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Government of the Independent State of Samoa for hosting the SIDS conference and reaffirmed their commitment to work with SIDS towards full implementation of the SAMOA Pathway to ensure its success.
62. The Ministers recognized the special needs of and challenges faced by landlocked developing countries caused by these States’ lack of territorial access to the sea, which is aggravated by their remoteness from world markets, and also expressed concern about the fact that inclusive economic growth and social well-being of landlocked developing countries remain very vulnerable to external shocks and to the multiple challenges the international community faces, including the financial and economic crisis and climate change. They 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.
63. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to urgently address the special development needs of and challenges faced by 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. They welcomed the decision of the General Assembly to hold a comprehensive ten-year review conference of the Almaty Programme of Action in 2014, and called upon the international community to critically consider the special needs of and the challenges faced by landlocked developing countries, and to help develop priorities for a new, more comprehensive, common action-oriented framework of landlocked developing countries for the next decade.
64. The Ministers stressed the need for the United Nations development system to ensure that it addresses the diverse and specific development needs of middle-income countries in a coordinated manner through, inter alia, an accurate assessment of the national priorities and needs of these countries, taking into account the use of variables that go beyond per capita income criteria; recognizing the multidimensional nature of development and poverty and through an adequate and systemic and better focused support by the UN development system, according to national plans.
65. The Ministers expressed concerns about the large and growing number of migrants, especially women and children, including those unaccompanied or separated from their parents, who place themselves in a vulnerable situation by attempting to cross international borders without the required travel documents, and recognized the obligation of States to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants and their families, especially those of women and children, regardless of their migration status.
66. The Ministers expressed deep concern that international efforts to end the cycle of diseases such as HIV and AIDS pandemic and tuberculosis, malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases through prevention and treatment, and to promote mental health and wellbeing are being hampered by the appearance and spread of yet another tropical disease in the form of Ebola in the region of West Africa.
67. The Ministers, considering the cross-border nature of the epidemic, the unprecedented infection rate of the disease, and the risk of its spread beyond borders and cognizant of the socio-economic impact of the epidemic on the development of the primarily affected countries, and further acknowledging that Ebola epidemic is a threat to health security at the national, sub regional, regional and global levels, thanked the international community for steps taken to date and support provided and request more assistance to those efforts.
68. The Ministers requested the international community to provide the necessary assistance to build the capacity of Member States for surveillance, including but not limited to active case search, contact tracing and information sharing on the Ebola epidemic with the WHO, CDC, MSF, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, IFRIC and other partners in a timely manner.
69. The Ministers acknowledged the efforts of the Heads of State and Government of the Mano River Union countries in West Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) for their commitment and actions taken to stop the spread of the Ebola in their countries, and called on development partners and the entire international community to provide continued, sustained and relevant support to the efforts of the affected countries. In this regard, they encouraged all donors, particularly traditional donors, to enhance transparency in their ODA disbursements related to health issues, especially in this case.
70. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of General Assembly resolution 69/1 and in this regard remained convinced that global unity is the key to defeating Ebola, a common threat to global health.
71. The Ministers welcomed the offer by the Government of Ecuador to host the Conference Habitat III in Quito in 2016 and, in that sense, decided to support the adoption of this decision by the General Assembly.
72. The Ministers noted the forthcoming holding in Tarija, Bolivia, of the Meeting of Ministers of Industrialization and counterparts on the issue of governance of natural resources and industrialization, with the cooperation of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Economic Commission for Africa, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
73. The Ministers welcomed the inauguration of the new suite of offices of the Group of 77 in the fifth floor of the Secretariat Building at the UN Headquarters by His Excellency, Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The Ministers noted with satisfaction this achievement which marked the permanent return of the G-77 office to the main Secretariat Building where it had been originally housed since 1982 before the initiation of the Capital Master Plan.
74. The Ministers recalled the obligations of the Host country under the agreement of 26 June 1947 between the United Nations and the United States of America, and welcomed the adoption by consensus of General Assembly resolution 68/306 entitled “Enhancement of the administration and financial functioning of the United Nations”, which aims at addressing the issue of the arbitrary closure of bank accounts of Permanent Missions to the United Nations by some banking institutions, in order to find a permanent solution to the problem.
75. 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 Charter of the United Nations.
76. The Ministers reaffirmed that any Secretariat and management reform efforts, including on its budget process, must not be intended 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 consideration by and approval of Member States is essential in all cases where the measures to be implemented fall under the prerogatives of the Assembly. In this regard, they recall resolution 66/257. They also reaffirmed the right of the entire membership of the United Nations to pronounce itself on the administration of the Organization, including on budgetary matters, and the need for 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.
77. 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.
78. 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.
79. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of preserving the budget methodology, the established budgetary procedures and practices and the rules and regulations governing the budget process, and 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. In this sense, they underlined that the existing recosting methodology is a fundamental and integral element of the budgetary methodology agreed in the General Assembly and affirmed that the existing recosting methodology ensures that mandated activities are not negatively impacted by currency fluctuations and inflation.
80. 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.
81. 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.
82. 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.
83. 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 for the purpose of contributing to greater knowledge of international law as a means of strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation 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 the light of their concern about the lack of voluntary resources to support the activities of this important programme, the Ministers reaffirmed 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 training 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.
84. The Ministers called for a responsible accountability approach to be adopted on the question of partnerships involving the United Nations, particularly as regards participation of the private sector, civil society and philanthropic entities. In this regard, they reaffirmed the need to enhance transparency, coherence and sustainability, as well as accountability to Member States, in United Nations partnerships, and stressed the need to ensure that procedures exist for the consideration and approval of any such initiatives by Member States in the General Assembly, in order to preserve the intergovernmental nature of the United Nations.
85. The Ministers approved the Report of the Twenty-ninth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF) contained in document G-77/AM(XXVI)/2014/2 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 10 November 2014.
86. The Ministers approved the recommendations of the Committee of Experts of the PGTF regarding management of project resources to support the activities of the Committee and empowered the Chairman of the PGTF to finalize and sign the relevant documents.
87. The Ministers approved the Financial Statement of the ECDC Account of the Group of 77 contained in document G-77/AM(XXVI)/2014/3, 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.
88. The Ministers welcomed the admission of the Republic of South Sudan as a member of the Group of 77.
89. The Ministers warmly welcomed the election by acclamation of the Republic of South Africa to the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 for 2015.