Statement by Mr. Mohamed Tawfik, Chargé d’affaires of the Arab Republic of Egypt, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, on agenda item 7: Implications for the work of the Commission following the Doha Ministerial Meeting, and related capacity-building and technical cooperation activities of UNCTAD, at the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities

Mr. Chairman

The Group of 77 and China would like to commend the efforts made by the Secretary General of UNCTAD and his staff in preparing the detailed Plan of Assistance “CAPACITY BUILDING AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, ESPECIALLY LDCs, AND ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION IN SUPPORT OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN WTO DOHA WORK PROGRAMME”. We look forward to receiving the support of UNCTAD, and other international organizations, in order to position us to meaningfully and effectively address the Post –Doha issues.

Our group recognizes the important role which UNCTAD performed in assisting developing countries on issues related to the World Trade Organization, especially the support provided in the negotiations on agriculture and services as well as on implementation issues. These areas are of vital interest to our nations. UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver in these areas, which seems to have been negatively affected by the diminished resources made available to it since the Seattle Conference, should be strengthened.

Mr. Chairman

While we strongly welcome the Secretary General’s draft project proposals, we would like to highlight the following:

a- To enable UNCTAD to effectively deliver these activities and to allow beneficiary countries to take the necessary and timely measures related to these activities, donors must as soon as possible provide clear indications about their intention to make financial contributions to UNCTAD. This will ensure predictability for these activities. We are looking for similar commitments from donors to those made in the World Trade Organization, especially since the Doha Declaration indicated that capacity building activities are a shared mission between many organizations, including UNCTAD.

b- To get the maximum benefit from activities outlined in the draft project proposals, the different needs of developing countries, especially the LDCs, such as the level of development, regional and national requirements, linguistic differences and other factors should be taken into consideration.

c- To invite the Secretariat to envisage holding these activities in different geographical regions.

Mr. Chairman

Allow me to stress again, that while we have highlighted the immediate needs of the developing world to benefit from the activities described in the draft project proposals, other ongoing activities of this organization remain of great importance to us. Therefore we call upon both donors and the secretariat to maintain and increase the level of support to these activities.

Also, we would like to see more engagement of UNCTAD in activities in the developing countries related to “Institution Building”. This represents a need to which almost all countries of our group attach a very high priority.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that capacity building activities can not be the main factor allowing the better integration of the developing countries in the Multilateral Trading System. This can only be a supplemental element to practical steps taken by our development partners such as supporting supply side in our countries, providing market access to our products, implementing debt relief measures and increasing official development assistance.

Thank you.

© The Group of 77