|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
15th Meeting (AM)
Globalization Tarnished by Failure to Consider ‘Disastrous’ Effects on Poor
Countries, as Second Committee Hears Calls for Equity, Fairness
Importance of Anti-Corruption Convention Stressed
As Delegate Calls Graft ‘Ugly Underbelly’ of Interdependence
Although once well regarded as a powerful tool for strengthening cooperation and accelerating growth, globalization had resulted in disastrous consequences for developing countries, speakers stressed today as the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) took up its agenda item on globalization and interdependence.
Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said the international community faced the “daunting task” of reaping the benefits of globalization while minimizing its associated risks and considerable costs. To do so, the international community must ensure that globalization was inclusive, predictable and equitable in the twenty-first century.
While many developing countries continued to meet and even exceed goodgovernance standards, developed countries had skirted their trade obligations and reneged on developmental pledges, he said, emphasizing that a sense of equity and fairness must pervade globalization and its structures. Those States that had benefited greatly from it must now lead in crafting global solutions to its negative effects, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, Nepal’s representative expanded on that view, saying the process had turned the world into a global village that had become inhospitable to the world’s poor. The majority of people in least developed countries, already suffering destitution due to their lack of skills, capacity, knowledge and capital, had been further marginalized. Globalization and interdependence could only become an influential and vibrant force for economic growth, poverty eradication and other ills if opportunities were created in an even manner.
He said that without effective global oversight mechanisms, alongside just and fair international rules and legal systems, globalization could not work for all, he stressed. Developed countries must provide least developed countries with the promised duty- and quota-free market access for their goods and products, and ensure an early conclusion to the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.
Presenting the Secretary-General’s overview of major international economic and policy challenges, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said the ongoing global financial and economic crisis was a “striking example of how problems originating in one part of the developed world can quickly engulf the entire world economy”. Inclusive multilateralism and more coherent economic policies were essential, and the international monetary and financial system must work to minimize financial and economic instability to better support sustainable development for all.
Yemen’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the United Nations had a fundamental role to play in promoting and strengthening international cooperation to tackle globalization-related challenges. While each country had primary responsibility for its own development, national efforts must be complemented by intensified international cooperation to reverse marginalization, manage risk and seize globalization’s opportunities, he said.
The international community and the United Nations must “spare no efforts to ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared by all”, added Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, underlining the need for strong and democratic leadership.
Many speakers also underscored the importance of the United Nations Conventionagainst Corruption, with one delegate citingcorruption, the trade in small arms, human-trafficking, money-laundering and the narcotics trade as part of the “ugly underbelly of globalization and interdependence”. All States that had not yet done so must ratify and implement the treaty as soon as possible.
The Russian Federation’s representative noted that in that a highly globalized world, the efficiency of anti-corruption efforts depended on the efficiency of cooperation among countries. Reinforcing the point, Mauritania’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, underscored the importance of organizing national legislation and international legal instruments in an adequate manner. The private sector had a vital role to play – both nationally and internationally — in preventing and combating corruption, he added.
The Programme Management Officer, for the New York Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), presented the Secretary-General’s report on preventing and combating corrupt practices for the Committee’s consideration.
In other business, Yemen’s representative introduced two draft resolutions on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the first on the international financial system and development, and the other on United Nations operational activities for development.
Other speakers today were representatives of Indonesia (on behalf of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN), China, Brazil, Iraq, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Peru, India, Jordan, Nigeria, Uganda, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Also delivering a statement was the Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, 21 October, to the eradication of poverty.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to consider the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence, as well as the question of preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets to their countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
Before the Committee was the report of the Secretary-General presenting an overview of the major international economic and policy challenges for equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and of the role of the United Nations in addressing these issues (document A/65/272). It addresses various dimensions of globalization, major international economic and policy changes and challenges for equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development. It also highlights the role of the United Nations in addressing those issues and their relevance for the principles contained in the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order and the Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order.
The report concludes that globalization requires Governments to remain attractive to international markets for both goods and capital. However, the new international obligations on trade and foreign investment constrain governmental action, and narrow policy space for national Governments, contradicting the spirit of the 1974 New International Economic Order, it states. Through landmark United Nations conferences and summits since the 1990s, Member States have attempted to recapture lost ground for policy space, asserting national ownership of development strategies and demanding greater participation in global economic governance. The Secretary-General notes that the United Nations Development Agenda reflects some of the spirit of the 1974 New International Economic Order and also aims to achieve “development for all.”
Also before the Committee was the report of the Secretary-General on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (document A/65/90). It contains information on the outcome of the third session of the Conference of the States parties to the Convention, held in Doha, Qatar, from 9 to 13 November 2009, with an emphasis on the creation of the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
The report also contains information on initiatives to accumulate knowledge on States’ measures to prevent and combat corruption, as well as on certain anti-corruption and asset-recovery initiatives and partnerships, including the joint United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, the International Anti-Corruption Academy, work with the private sector, technical assistance for implementing the Convention and matters relating to resources.
According to the report, every effort should be made to increase the number of ratifications and implement the Convention’s provisions. The success of the Review Mechanism depends on the full commitment and constructive engagement of all States parties, it says, adding that the General Assembly should encourage all Member States to support its work fully, and encourage donors to fund it. The Assembly should also encourage Member States to make full use of the comprehensive self-assessment tool approved by the Conference at its third session; invest energy, time and resources in implementing the Convention’s asset-recovery provisions; and designate central authorities for mutual legal assistance to facilitate asset recovery as well as asset-recovery focal points.
The Committee also had before it the Secretary-General’s note on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (document A/65/212), which transmits the report on the third session of the Conference of the States Parties to the General Assembly.
Introduction of Reports
JOMO KWAME SUNDARAM, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s overview of major international economic and policy challenges, noting that economic globalization had led to global inequality, with roughly one third of the world’s income now going to the wealthiest 5 per cent of its population and only 0.2 per cent to the poorest. Economic differences between rich and poor countries had also grown, he said, describing the ongoing global financial and economic crisis as a “striking example of how problems originating in one part of the developed world can quickly engulf the entire world economy.”
To realize fully the potential of globalization’s benefits while minimizing its considerable costs, inclusive multilateralism and more coherent economic policies were essential, he emphasized. Much more needed to be done in pursuing multilateral solutions to sustainable development problems. The international monetary and financial system should therefore minimize financial and economic instability to better support sustainable development for all. He asked the Committee to consider several questions in its follow-up assessment of the report.
With regard to trade liberalization, he asked how trade reforms could better support national development strategies, and what capacities must be built in developing countries. What reforms to the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) regime could reverse the rising costs of technology acquisition? How could countries protect themselves from the harmful effects of short-term financial flows? What national policies could achieve stable investment, growth and employment, which were critical for poverty reduction and structural change? What were the implications for international support, including aid practices and loan conditionality from the Bretton Woods institutions? Lastly, he asked what could be done to expedite a fair sovereign debt work-out process that considered the interests of both debtors and creditors.
SHASHI KARA, Programme Management Officer, New York Office, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), introduced the Secretary-General’s report on preventing and combating corrupt practices, saying he wished to provide information on the outcome of the third session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention against Corruption. He outlined recent updates on the joint UNODC/World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, the International Anti-Corruption Academy, and on technical assistance for implementing the Convention. There were now 148 States parties to the Convention.
The Doha Conference had concluded with resolutions relating to the establishment of review mechanisms, strengthening preventative measures, asset recovery, and technical assistance, he said. The General Assembly had recommended that the review mechanisms and other aspects of the Convention be funded from the United Nations regular budget. Other measures included the launching of an anti-corruption legal library, which would serve as both a legal repository for legislation and administrative practices, and a tool for assessing further ways to combat corruption.
Regarding the International Anti-Corruption Academy, he said that joint venture of UNODC and the European Anti-Fraud Office had been signed by 35 Member States, who would be considered the founders of the academy as an international organization intended to function as an independent centre of excellence for policies to prevent and combat corruption. The establishment of the review mechanism was a historic step towards full implementation of the Convention, he said, encouraging Member States that had not yet done so to ratify the treaty.
MOHAMMED AL-HADHRAMI (Yemen), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, noted that while globalization could be a dynamic force for strengthening cooperation and accelerating growth, it presented many risks and challenges, especially to developing countries. National efforts must therefore be complemented by intensified international cooperation to reverse marginalization, manage risk and seize globalization’s opportunities. Developing countries must maintain their right to development through policy space and strategies based on their own unique conditions, he said, emphasizing that the United Nations had a fundamental role to play in promoting and strengthening international cooperation, and in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
While each country had primary responsibility for its own development, national efforts must be supported by global programmes and policies, he said. Globalization and interdependence should both boost and maintain local development, and special efforts must be made to preserve diversity. On corruption, he invited the States parties to the Convention to take further steps in implementing initiatives on asset recovery, technical assistance and capacity-building. There was an urgent need to build knowledge and strengthen capacity in developing countries, and for increased collaboration with developed countries, he said, noting that such cooperation would help uncover illegal transactions involving illicitly acquired funds.
Turning to international migration, he said it had significant potential for boosting development in developing countries. The Group of 77 and China stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation on issues relating to migration so as to ensure it was managed effectively. Finally, he underscored the need to take development considerations into account in managing globalization. To that end, development partners, as well as the United Nations system, should coordinate their proposals in order to make them compatible with the development plans and strategies of developing countries.
PIERRE CHARLIER ( Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said globalization could provide the developing world with both a ladder out of poverty and a tool for greater equity between countries and within societies. On the other hand, it posed new economic, social, environmental, energy and security challenges. The European Union had long pursued policies aimed at ensuring that economic growth and social progress went hand-in-hand, he said, noting that it promoted mutually reinforcing policies to address competitiveness, employment, social advancement and environmental sustainability, including through policy coherence for development.
Open markets and a strong multilateral trading system were necessary for economic development and growth, he said. The European Union’s approach to the social dimension of development cooperation was to address, through dialogue with partner countries, the important economic and social transformations facing them. The aim was to help them absorb globalization’s potential negative social consequences while creating a business and trade environment conducive to sustainable green growth. He went on to stress that the international community and the United Nations must “spare no efforts to ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared by all”, underscoring also the need to promote decent work and address global health issues. Strong and democratic leadership was needed to address those challenges, he added.
Turning to corruption, he said it was a “fundamental obstacle” to good governance and sustainable development, recalling that the outcome document of the recent High-Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals re-emphasized the importance of fighting corruption at the national and international levels. The European Union fully supported the call for urgent and decisive steps to continue that fight. Moreover, the bloc stressed the importance of implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the key role of its review mechanism. In that regard, the European Union welcomed the High-Level Meeting’s call for States that had not yet done so to ratify or accede to the Convention, he said.
AGUS MUKTAMAR ( Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said globalization offered opportunities for sustained economic growth and sustainable development. However, many challenges and difficulties affected the responses of developing countries to those opportunities. Due to limited capacities, they had found it increasingly challenging to exercise domestic policies in the context of international disciplines, commitments and market considerations, leaving many of them in a vulnerable position, particularly in economic downturns such as the current financial and economic crisis.
Due to the increasing interdependence of national economies, there was also a greater need for cooperative collective action, he said. Since Member States now had different intergovernmental processes addressing issues of international trade and finance, foreign direct investment (FDI), technology, international economic governance and environmental sustainability, the role of the United Nations must be supported and enhanced. ASEAN fully advocated a central role for the Organization in all such multilateral discussions, even as it appreciated the opportunity to participate in more limited discussions involving significant countries, he said. ASEAN also supported efforts to promote open, inclusive and transparent discussions on global governance among all interested parties. The bloc’s positive economic performance and resilience in the face of the global economic and financial crisis could be attributed partly to the recognition that corruption had no place in a country’s development agenda, he added.
AMRIT BAHADUR RAI ( Nepal), speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, noted that those nations had disproportionately borne the brunt of the recent multiple global crises, for which they were least responsible. Until that onslaught, globalization had enjoyed tremendous appeal as an effective, efficient, and vibrant driver of growth and vehicle of development through liberal economic polices based on the notion of free markets and private sector-led economies. However, many least developed countries were now rethinking the potential role of globalization as a force for good, he said.
Instead of realizing the promised prosperity from globalization, he continued, the majority of people in those countries had suffered grave destitution due to their lack of the necessary skills, capacity, knowledge and capital to compete in the competitive and globalalized market. While it had turned the world into a global village, globalization had also become inhospitable to the world’s poor, eroded the human face, and further marginalized those already alienated by poverty, hunger and disease. There was no doubt that globalization and interdependence could become an influential and vibrant force in contributing to economic growth and the eradication of poverty and other ills, but only if opportunities were created in an even manner.
Demanding a globalization that put least developed countries in the mainstream of international economic and financial policymaking and built their capacity to maximize potential benefits, he went on to emphasize the critical need to implement the 2007 Istanbul Declaration on “making globalization work for the LDCs”, which called for development partners to fulfil their commitments made during major United Nations conferences and summits. Without effective global oversight mechanisms, alongside just and fair international rules and legal systems, globalization could not work for all, he said, urging developed countries to provide least developed countries with the pledged duty- and quota-free market access for their good and products, and calling for an early conclusion to the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.
CAMILLO GONSALVES (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and associating himself with the Group of 77, said CARICOM had been disproportionately burdened with globalization’s negative aspects. The international community must meet the daunting task of reaping the benefits of globalization while minimizing its costs by ensuring that it was inclusive, predictable and equitable in the twenty-first century. CARICOM therefore called for reform of the Bretton Woods institutions to enhance the voice and participation of developing countries, he said, calling also for a more inclusive and transparent G-20 process.
He went on to say that the rule-based system that underpinned globalization had made insufficient allowance for the economies of small island developing States like his own. While such countries continued to meet and exceed standards of good governance, developed nations skirted their trade obligations and reneged on their developmental pledges, he pointed out, emphasizing that the United Nations must work to ensure that rules were applied evenly, effectively and consistently among all participants in globalization. A sense of equity and fairness must pervade globalization and its structures, and those States that had benefited greatly from it must now lead in crafting global solutions to its negative impacts.
Underlining the role of corruption, the small arms trade, human-trafficking, money-laundering and the narcotics trade as part of the “ugly underbelly of globalization and interdependence”, he said all States must respond to those shared problems in a fair and inclusive manner. The pursuit of integrity and good governance must be vigorous and active at all levels, including national, regional, global and systemic structures. On international migration, he called on States to “resist the temptation to unduly politicize or restrict migration”, stressing that the United Nations could and must play a role in ensuring greater cooperation between and among States in the effective management of migration for the benefit of all.
SIDATI OULD CHEIKH (Mauritania), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group and associating himself with the Group of 77, said globalization caused increasing vulnerability and marginalization of less developed countries in technological, economic and environmental terms. Successive global crises – originating from developed countries – had led to an erosion of sovereign funds in Arab countries, he said, calling for reform of international economic and financial institutions. It was also important to follow up on implementation of the final act of the United Nations Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development.
Noting that Arab States were mindful of adopting the approach of modernization and good governance, he said they had taken advantage of lessons learned in the developed countries in order to avoid drawbacks. The United Nations was central in supporting States to adopt that policy while taking national ownership into account. In that context, the Arab Group called for a fair, open, multilateral and rule-based trading system, which took into account the rules of justice and law. Developed countries must prioritize the issue of access to global markets for developing-world goods and products, he stressed.
The Arab Group also emphasized that foreign occupation impeded the realization of economic and social growth in its region, he said, urging the international community to enable Palestinians to exercise their right of self-determination. As for corruption, he underscored the importance of preventing such practices, adding that all national legislation and international legal instruments should be organized adequately in that regard. The private sector should play an important role, both nationally and internationally in preventing and combating corruption, he added.
WANG QUN ( China), associating himself with the Group of 77, described the current world economic recovery as “anaemic and uneven”, adding that the future was full of uncertainties. Members of the international community were “all in the same boat”, and should therefore help one another, strengthen coordination, and channel the force of economic globalization towards balanced, universally beneficial development. The deep-rooted effects of the financial crisis were far from being eliminated, and countries should reject the practice of “benefiting oneself at the expense of others”. Rather, they should continue to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, maintain the relative stability of the exchange rate among major international reserve currencies, resist trade protectionism, and promote the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy, he said.
Priority attention should be given to development, since the source of the current imbalances in the world was the serious inequality in development between North and South, he continued. The international community should implement in earnest the consensus reached at the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, and work to establish a global development partnership based on equality, mutual benefit and a win-win outcome. He said his country attached great importance to combating corruption, which had become the “common scourge” of human society. Thus, States parties should engage in effective international cooperation on judicial assistance, extradition, and the retrieval and return of illicit assets, he stressed.
FABIO MOREIRA FARIAS ( Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the international community must work together to increase flexibility and support the implementation of national policies, in particular counter-cyclical measure to mitigate the impact of economic turmoil. Developing countries in particular should be allowed all the necessary policy space to better address their needs. The United Nations system should work more closely with Member States to promote flexible, balanced and multilateral frameworks for the delivery of aid, increased international cooperation and the transfer of technology, in accordance with national plans and priorities.
He further said the Organization had the mandate and resources not only to help countries face up to the crisis, but also to support long-term national development plans. However, the United Nations system needed strengthening in order to promote a more inclusive and balanced decisions-making process in favour of developing countries. The recovery of assets gained through acts of corruption was a key factor in combating the vice, he said. Among the many positive outcomes of the third session of the Conference of the States Parties, he highlighted the adoption of resolution 3/3 on the seizure of illicit assets, saying it would expand cooperation in the enforcement of foreign judicial sentences
HAWZEHEN KHORSHID ( Iraq), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Arab Group, highlighted his Government’s efforts to prevent and contain corruption. Those efforts, including the establishment in 2007 of a joint council to combat corruption, would work in combination until 2014, in keeping with United Nations endeavours. Corruption itself was a serious threat to development efforts as it undermined the rule of law and threatened economic and social stability, he noted. In that regard, Iraq had crafted a reform plan to protect society from corruption by promoting good governance and honesty in civil society as well as Government.
He said the private sector as well as legislative, community and cultural entities had a role in enhancing transparency through the issuance of annual reports and the publication of statistics reflecting the Government’s efforts. Referring to statistics contained in a 2010 report, he said more than 1,700 individuals suspected of corruption had been questioned, 93 of whom were Government officials. In that same period, Iraq had held five conferences and 47 workshops on the issue of corruption, and had cooperated with civil society to coordinate joint activities. Moreover, a study had been conducted to gauge the nature of corruption and existing perceptions of bribery. In closing, he highlighted the need to coordinate international efforts and to base them on the principle of transparency in order to generate new administrative and governmental attitudes towards corruption.
MATTHIAS BACHMAN ( Switzerland) said corruption posed a serious threat to economic growth and development, weakening the fabric of society, the economy, and State institutions as a whole. Deeply worried by that problem, Switzerland had taken determined action at the national and international levels to combat corruption. That went hand-in-hand with fighting money-laundering and organized crime, as they were directly linked. The ultimate utility of preventative measures against corruption depended on close international cooperation, he said.
In particular, due diligence by financial institutions and regulations through international legal assistance were key elements in guaranteeing the effectiveness of the fight against money-laundering as a whole, he said. As for illicit assets, Switzerland had approved a law further facilitating their return to the people of countries from which they had been siphoned. Thus, the fight against the misappropriation of assets depended on the specific measures envisaged by national Parliaments, he said. It also implied the need for very close cooperation with organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. The private sector would play a critical role in the fight against corruption, he said, calling for greater engagement by that sector.
ABDU YASIN ( Ethiopia), associating himself with the Group if 77 and China, recalled that during the past few decades, the global economy had gone through a swift revolution based on technology and communication. Countries using technology had moved to the fore while those that had failed to see the changing situation had instead slid backwards into the lower ranks of the globalization process. The international community had recognized Ethiopia’s economic achievements by testifying that it had become the world’s fastest growing non-oil-dependent economy, he said, adding that his country was also among the 20 countries with the highest possibility of realizing the Millennium Development Goals.
He went on to stress that the negative consequences of globalization, including climate change, should not be underestimated. Declining FDI, development aid, remittances and income from exports, in addition to the rise in domestic prices had had more damaging effects on the poorest section of developing-world populations. To ensure that least developed countries benefited from globalization, it would be necessary for the international community to take tangible measures to deliver on its commitments and obligations, he emphasized, adding that the United Nations could play a pivotal role in ensuring that globalization was governed by a set of internationally accepted rules.
GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ ( Peru), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said that, in the context of global crises, the United Nations must play a role in reforming the international financial architecture. Similar mandates within the United Nations and international financial institutions meant that they must coordinate their measures, therefore encouraging coherence and coordination. The Organization should work to ensure greater participation by developing countries in global decision-making processes, he said.
Turning to the Millennium Development Goals, he said the United Nations function in development must be strengthened. To that end, the Organization must take advantage of its singular role to formulate appropriate responses and step up its efforts to improve the efficiency and coherence of its system as a whole. The outcome document of the recent High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals recognized the value of cultural diversity and the importance of culture in achieving the targets, he said.
As a source of social development and creativity, culture was a key element of growth in that it led to income-generation and ultimately to a reduction in poverty, he continued. The cultural sector in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, as well as many developing countries, represented about 6.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). In that regard, it was high time to adopt a resolution on the role of culture in development, he said, adding that his delegation would submit an initiative along those lines for the Committee’s consideration.
SHANTA KUMAR ( India) said that while globalization had its benefits, they were unevenly shared. Wealth and opportunities were created for some while others suffered from a high degree of instability and insecurity. The global financial and economic crisis was a manifestation of globalization at its worst, he said. While the world was advancing in technology on the one hand, millions faced the pangs of hunger in different parts of the world on the other. Despite the best efforts of the United Nations, the Millennium Goal of halving poverty was not on track, he said.
Quoting a “great poet of India”, he said there could not be peace in the world until an equitable share was given to all, since no one should have too much while others had too little. The international community should persuade – and, if necessary, pressure – “tax haven” countries not to allow illicit assets to be deposited in their banks, he said, adding that systems should be further developed to protect the world from the adverse influence of global shocks and enhance the flow of capital, goods, services, technology, and people.
DANIIL MOKIN ( Russian Federation) noted that in a highly globalized world, the efficiency of efforts to fight corruption depended on the efficiency of cooperation among countries in doing so. The United Nations Convention against Corruptionwas therefore an essential tool, he said, urging all Governments to adopt and effectively implement it. The Russian Federation had undertaken several efforts in implementing the Convention, including by establishing a national plan to combat corrupt practices. It had also taken an active role in the Conference of the States Parties. He cited agreements reached between his country and UNODC on holding joint courses to train experts for participation in the Convention’s review mechanism. Lastly, he cited the return of illicit funds to their countries of origin and the provision of technical assistance as additional key priorities.
DIANA AL-HADID ( Jordan), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said the United Nations was the only body with universal membership and comprehensive scope encompassing the many areas of human endeavour. It was therefore well placed to serve as a forum for building consensus on how to better mange globalization in order to promote development. International cooperation was central in fighting corruption, and countries should exert more efforts to benefit mutually from their respective experiences, experiments, studies, information and training, she said.
Mitigating corruption had a direct as well as an indirect impact on the Millennium Development Goals on several counts, she said. Although international remittances were estimated to have declined by only 6 per cent in 2009, they were expected to grow by 6.2 per cent in 2010 and 7.1 per cent in 2011. In addition, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had identified migration as a tool for faster development, she noted. Migration should therefore be an integral part of policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, she said, noting that her country was both a country of origin and a destination for migrant workers.
ANAELE MGBOKWERE ( Nigeria) said that since the return of economic governance in 1999, his country had put in courageous and relentless efforts to combat the “pervasive monster called corruption”. Having ratified the Convention against Corruption, among other measures, Nigeria was currently developing a holistic national strategy to combat corruption and further improve synergy, monitoring and evaluation. That further confirmed Nigeria’s readiness to identify with global practices against corruption and to cooperate fully with other countries in arresting the “ugly situation”.
Since the inception of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he said, Nigeria had recovered more than $6.5 billion worth of assets in the form of land, companies, vehicles and other forfeited property within and outside the country. In the past 12 months, the Commission had secured more than 100 convictions and recovered funds in excess of $3.5 billion. To further enhance the tracing of illicit assets, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) had signed memorandums of understanding with a number of countries, and was at the forefront in the ongoing process to set up a network of anti-corruption agencies in West Africa, with the aim of enhancing the fight against corruption and recovering stolen assets, he said.
EMMANUEL OLOBO BWOMONO (Uganda), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said contemporary globalization had manifested itself in the form of multiple crises. He reminded the international community of the need for effective management of globalization in order to realize its potential and minimize its considerable costs. Inclusive globalization was built on the great enabling force of the market, but market forces were not effective in the social sector, where profit was not the driving force, he pointed out.
As a consequence, the world had seen stagnation in global partnerships for development over the years, as well as a growing reluctance to take collective action in dealing with global challenges. The United Nations remained the only international institution of inclusive multilateralism that sought to ensure equitable participation by all countries. It continued to play a key role in facilitating global efforts to attain equitable, inclusive and sustained economic growth while addressing the challenges of social progress and the environment. He underscored the need to complete United Nations reform so that the Organization could regain its legitimate role in policymaking in economic and social matters.
DENIS ZDOROV ( Belarus) said that in light of the negative consequences of globalization, it was important to organize coordinated political measures to protect the environment while maintaining economic global growth. He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to realizing the Millennium Goals and noted the importance of international cooperation in various related areas. Belarus was working to introduce new “green” energy technology and provide its citizens with comprehensive access to modern energy services. In that regard, he called on the United Nations to continue using its potential to encourage a comprehensive review of all energy-related issues and to keep Member States informed.
Turning to the issue of trade, he said sanctions and economic barriers hit least developed and middle-income countries the hardest. Barrier-free trade was crucial for realizing the Millennium Goals, and it was therefore inadmissible for States to use political measures to impose economic duress on others, he said. Support for middle-income countries would help speedy economic recovery from crisis and create the overall conditions needed for long-term sustainable recovery. Belarus boasted stable economic growth and had doubled its gross domestic product over the past 15 years, he said, adding that it was among the world’s leading countries in conducting economic reforms. It had also avoided recession and created stability in its banking system.
ALMAT IGENBAYEV (Kazakhstan) said the United Nations development system should take into account the specific needs and requirements of countries with economies in transition and other recipient countries. To avoid the harmful consequences of globalization, the process should be better managed so that it could function as a positive force for the benefit of all. Without the active cooperation, support and political will of both developed and developing countries, globalization would be poorly managed. However, a properly managed globalization process could lead to sustained world economic growth and international financial stability.
It was essential to enhance the capacity of countries with economies in transition to respond to the challenges of globalization, ensure favourable market access, and secure foreign direct investment, he said. That would require the international community to reform the existing global financial, monetary and trading systems, making them more equitable and democratic. It was also important to strengthen and intensify international cooperation in the field of science and technology, since education was an important factor in enhancing competitiveness and achieving sustained economic growth for development. He also stressed that corruption was a key element in economic underperformance, and a major obstacle to development.
PHILIPPE KRIDELKA, Director, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) New York Office, emphasized the importance of culture for development and its contribution to the realization of the Millennium Goals. He recalled UNESCO had held a round table during the recent Summit, where the Presidents of Senegal and Bosnia and Herzegovina had joined forces with UNESCO’s Director-General in reflecting on how culture could contribute to sustainable development in association with other social issues.
He noted that the Agency’s seven international culture conventions provided a common set of agreed standards that served to develop national culture policies in harmony with the international community’s priorities. According to UNESCO’s 2009 World Report on Cultural Diversity, today’s cultural industries had an estimated global value of some $1.3 trillion, he said, stressing that culture was clearly a “powerful engine of economic growth”, generating income and employment while serving as a strategic outlet for innovation, production and dissemination.
Introduction of Draft Resolution
The representative of Yemen, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, then introduced two draft resolutions, relating, respectively, to operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/C.2/65/L.4), and the international financial system and development (document A/C.2/65/L.3), and expressed hope that the Committee would approve both texts by consensus.
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