|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
6th & 7th Meetings (AM & PM)
Delegates Urge Greater Balance between Developed, Developing Countries
in Fighting Global Ills, as Second Committee Concludes General Debate
Desertification and drought continued to aggravate crop failure, water shortages and livestock loss, several African countries told the Second Committee today as it concluded its general debate.
The representative of Nigeria called for the international community to reverse the negative environmental trends in the Sahel, stressing that it greatly impaired his country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Food insecurity had led to increasing poverty, which remained a serious challenge. Global inequality, particularly the distribution of wealth was a serious concern. The current economic crisis should not be used as an excuse by developed counties to deny official development assistance (ODA). In the same vein, he emphasized the need to mobilize domestic resources in future development efforts.
Sounding a similar note, Lesotho’s representative, called for greater investment in agriculture to boost the productivity and resilience of small-scale farmers. He stressed the need to address sustainable consumption by integrating agricultural and environmental policies into broader rural development. As one of the world’s least developed countries and also a landlocked developing country, Lesotho had experienced obstacles in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals. He stressed the importance of trade facilitation through duty-free, quota-free market access for the products of those countries.
Also voicing concern, the representative of Paraguay pointed out that there were direct links inherited in being in a landlocked country. Trade limitations negatively affected the creation of jobs, he said, pointing out the multidimensional nature of poverty was linked to international trade, climate change and gender inequality.
Kenya’s delegate said that an integrated approach to development must prioritize interventions with the greatest cascading effects. Addressing climate change could address food and energy insecurities; tackling global imbalances in trade could enable developing countries to become competitive; and, dealing with the drop in aid could fight poverty and disease.
He continued by pointing out that the Millennium Development Goals failed in some respects as they focused more on the symptoms of poverty, rather than its root causes. Implementation was the single most important ingredient in achieving the Millennium Goals and then the post-2015 development agenda. Building human resource capacity to deliver services and acquiring the right technologies in food, agriculture, water, energy, and development of green industries were necessary for a shift to a more sustainable development pathway.
The representative of Saudi Arabia said that his country was among the world’s leading donors to developing countries, noting that his Government had contributed 109 billion dollars and offered 0.7 per cent of its gross national income for ODA to alleviate poverty. On energy, he said, his Government had taken steps to respond to the fluctuations in the oil market.
Energy remained a theme throughout the session, as many countries highlighted recent national efforts within to harness natural resources to address both energy production and sustainability concerns. The representative of Georgia reported that with the construction of new hydropower plants in the coming years, her country would approach 100 per cent clean electricity consumption. Meanwhile, Cameroon had begun refurbishing their existing hydroelectric damns and constructing several new ones, which would eventually triple its energy production, its representative said.
Several other delegates stressed the importance of continuing the flow of aid to middle income countries. Armenia’s delegate highlighted United Nations engagement in those countries and said that their development challenges were comparable to that of those least developed. He reiterated that international aid was critical to end poverty, educate children, and empower women and youth in middle income countries.
Also speaking today were representatives of Malawi, Uganda, Botswana, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Tonga, Afghanistan, Colombia, San Marino, Sudan, Honduras, Iran, Zambia, Australia, Yemen, Brazil, Niger, Guyana, Jamaica, Nepal, Mauritania, Albania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bahrain, Zimbabwe and Guatemala.
A representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) delivered a statement (on behalf of the World Food Programme (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)).
The Second Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday 14 October to take up its agenda item on operational activities of development.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to continue its general debate.
KELEBONE A. MAOPE (Lesotho), aligning with the “Group of 77”, the African Group, the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said the interpretation of growth must be demonstrated by its ability to reduce poverty through, among other things, the creation of decent jobs. Increased investment in agriculture should be directed towards raising productivity and increasing the resilience of small-scale farmers. It was also important to pay attention to sustainable consumption through integrating agriculture and environmental policies into broader rural development policies. He called for reinvigorated efforts to consider the special needs of landlocked developing countries, and stressed the importance of trade facilitation through duty-free, quota-free market access for the products of least developed countries. As the world moved towards the post-2015 development agenda, official development assistance (ODA) should be the basis for a renewed and strengthened global partnership.
CHARLES MSOSA (Malawi), aligning with the Group of 77, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, highlighted the importance of information and communication technologies for the promotion of sound economic growth and development. Advancements in science and technology continued to widen the digital divide between developed and developing countries and the lack of support services and infrastructure, such as reliable electricity and telecommunications networks, caused Malawi’s communications sector to lag behind. Despite many positive factors such as economic growth, currency stabilization, declining inflation and increased industrial production, Malawi remained one of the poorest countries in the world. He called for the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action to help least developed countries benefit from duty- and quota-free market access and supply-side capacity building. Least developed countries would also benefit if major trading countries would show flexibility and political will to accomplish the Doha Round of negotiations.
RICHARD NDUHUURA (Uganda), associating with the Group of 77, the African Group, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, cited a number of Millennium Development Goal successes in the developing world, including more than five million people lifted out of extreme poverty, a 25 per cent reduction in the number of malaria deaths and a 30 per cent reduction in child mortality. The post-2015 agenda should go further and focus on sustained and inclusive economic growth and development, with special emphasis on developing critical infrastructure, providing an environment conducive for the private sector, increasing education, promoting industrialization, diversifying economies and promoting sustainable production and consumption. It would be essential to mobilize significant domestic and external resources from public, private and innovative sources to finance critical transformative projects in developing countries. There needed to be a greater emphasis on building a global partnership for development and stronger regional integration to create bigger markets and more opportunities for trade, investment and employment.
PHOLOGO J. GAUMAKWE (Botswana), aligning with the Group of 77, the Africa Group, and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said the eyes of the international community would be fixed on the intergovernmental processes underway to set the stage for the post-2015 development agenda. The issues of poverty; water and sanitation; health care; diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; climate change; desertification; energy; and, the entire sustainable development agenda would all assume a much broader focus. The Committee should extend beyond providing a status of agenda items and carefully examine how the fulfilment of previous commitments could accompany a new development cooperation framework. The new framework should be inclusive, transformative and appealing to ordinary people facing varying levels of deprivation and underdevelopment. Priority should be given to addressing the special situation and prevailing challenges of middle income countries, where 74 per cent of the world’s population live. In addition, the concerns related to landlocked developing countries should be included in the post-2015 development agenda. Highlighting Botswana’s climate-change-induced challenges such as water shortage, he said the severity of it had not received a corresponding response.
JUAN ANDRÉS SALVADOR MUNOZ (Ecuador), associating with the Group of 77 and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said that development could not be possible without the political will of developed countries and their efforts to combat hunger and poverty. Stressing the need to address the relationship between transnational corporations and the environment, he recalled that Texaco and Chevron had dumped 68 million cubic meters in Ecuador’s Amazon and instead of compensating people, the companies launched a multimillion dollar, multimedia campaign slandering the Ecuadorian Government. The effects of climate change threatened the very survival of the planet, and yet developed countries continued to make no commitments to reduce their impact. Ecuador was focused on the fight for climate justice and respect for a multilateral economic system. Although developed countries had to adhere to the documents they signed, it was not enough to merely abide by the Kyoto Protocol. Developed countries also had to support least developed countries as well. The Committee must continue its work in accordance with the Monterrey and Doha conferences given that many of their mandates had not been implemented. For Ecuador, the global economic crisis was far from over, he said, emphasizing the need to reform the international financial system and strengthen institutional frameworks of South-South cooperation.
NINO SHEKRILADZE (Georgia), aligning with the European Union, said that her country had implemented significant economic reforms in recent years and achieved growth. However, poverty had not decreased as much as the Government would have preferred, and it remained a top concern. Her country had carried out work to ensure environmental sustainability, including adopting new laws, developing the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, and implementing 70 projects in the field of environmental protection. Being particularly rich in hydro resources, Georgia had set its utilization as a priority. The share of hydropower in the total electricity generation had steadily risen. With the completion of the construction of new hydro power plants in the coming years, her country would approach 100 per cent clean electricity consumption. Georgia had recently concluded negotiations with the European Union for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as part of the Association Agreement between them.
ALAIN WILFRIED BIYA ( Cameroon) said efforts to free mankind from poverty must be a priority for the international community, while the post-2015 agenda needed to compliment the work already done on the Millennium Development Goals. We needed to be aware of the challenges of developing countries in the implementation of specific goals. We needed targets that took into account diversity, regional challenges, national capacities and the level of development. The economic structure of the majority of African economies was focused on industries related to the production and extraction of raw materials. Declines in these industries meant the inability to generate new jobs, which highlighted the need for economic diversification. African products needed to be able to reach global markets under more favourable conditions, while attention needed to be paid to the challenges posed by widespread unemployment. Jobs were a determining factor for poverty eradication and sustained economic growth. Cameroon had launched a development project for energy that included the renewal of existing and construction of new hydroelectric dams. In the last year Cameroon completed three of these damns, which would double energy production between now and 2015 and would triple production by 2020.
SAUL WEISLEDER ( Costa Rica) said the United Nations must be the place to achieve a broad and feasible international financial agreement. In the same vein, developed countries must address the aspirations of developing countries based on the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities. However, South-South cooperation must serve as a complement not a substitute to traditional North-South cooperation. He also underscored the importance of triangular cooperation for the transfer of technology and relevant experiences of an effective economic model. Developing and middle income countries required financial resources to continue their development. He warned against discarding the principle of solidarity in the policy making process, stressing the importance to bear in mind the struggle of the world’s poorest. He called for specific action to curb the dangers of climate change, desertification and deforestation. Forums such as the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing could generate adequate guidelines of a realistic roadmap. Calling for the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Conference, he underscored the inclusion of middle income countries in the process. It was imperative to revise consumption patterns in all societies because it was causing a paradox: there was waste in some sectors while in others there was difficulty in meeting basic needs.
TEVITA SUKA MANGISI (Tonga), aligning with the Group of 77, and the Group of Small Island Developing States, acknowledged progress on many of the Millennium Development Goals and had launched an acceleration programme to push for the achievement of those remaining. The achievement of development targets was dependent on the availability of ODA to finance specific activities and programmes. Tonga emphasized the call of the Monterrey Consensus for developed countries to uphold its ODA pledges to developing countries, despite the fact that ODA had declined for two consecutive years. Small island developing States needed the level of ODA to be maintained or increased. Innovative sources of funding, such as the more efficient transfer of remittances needed to be pursued on an international level. Progress toward more sustainable energy sources was also vital to address environment sustainability, particularly when considering climate change. Tonga joined other small island developing States in the belief that the new development agenda should be shaped on the outcome of the 2014 climate change conference.
ZAHIR TANIN (Afghanistan), aligning with the Group of 77, and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that in spite of successes made in the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, poverty persisted. Special focus must be given to least developed countries and those lagging behind due to their special needs and challenges, he said, emphasizing the importance of global partnerships. As a member of least developed countries and a country highly dependent on aid, Afghanistan required aid from the international community. He called on developed countries to fulfil their pledge of ODA and to implement the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Conference. The World Trade Organization must overcome the impasse of negotiations to ensure an open and free trade system. In the same vein, the 10-Year Review Meeting of the Almaty Programme of Action was critical in meeting the needs and challenges of landlocked developing countries. Afghanistan’s development strategy was widely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals, and progress was already measurable. As a country plagued by terrorism and other forms of violence, he said the pursuit of Goal 9 — enhancing security — was of particular importance to his Government.
MIGUEL CAMILO RUIZ ( Colombia), aligning with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said the international community must be pragmatic when defining the sustainable development goals and structure a framework that contained goals that could bring deep changes across the spectrum. The Millennium Development Goal strategy reflected a global commitment toward reducing poverty. This must continue post-2015. Progress had been made, yet trends had been unequal within and between countries. The agenda must be devised as a single, universal and inclusive one that took into account the realities of all countries. It must identify a development strategy in which the eradication of poverty and reduction of inequality were taken into account. Colombia believed it was key to hold an international conference to follow up on the commitments made in Monterrey and Doha before 2015. It was crucial to reverse the downward trends in the flows of ODA which were registered over the last two years. There was a clear need for oversight of the financial system to avoid a repeat of the global financial crisis, with the United Nations playing a key role in this new monitoring structure.
DANIELE D. BODINI ( San Marino) said Member States of the Second Committee had the challenge of dealing with three issues: fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals, following up the Rio+20 Conference and defining the goals of the post-2015 development agenda. San Marino appreciated the need for a coherent approach that integrated sustainable development with peace and security, human rights, democratic governance, gender equality and rule of law. It was very important that the unmet Goals be carried over after 2015, with the eradication of poverty a major target. Countries’ capabilities in providing, through the public and private sectors, sustainable sources of funding needed to be assessed on a realistic basis. While financing a balanced and just global growth, the world had to fix the devastation that the persistent financial and economic crisis inflicted upon most economies. Achievable goals should be set for the future, he said, adding that unfulfilled expectations could unleash greater national and international social and political tensions.
Ms. ELHASSAN (Sudan), aligning with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said developing countries needed clear policies on economic development, education, and protecting the environment. She highlighted how progress in many least developed countries was being affected by the global food and energy crises. Underscoring the importance of cooperation, she said the international community must show solidarity between countries and provide opportunity for work on the basis of competency. The implementation of the Rio+20 outcome document, “the Future We Want”, was critical in financing development of low income countries, she added.
Ms. CARIAS (Honduras), aligning with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said that the political and technical work observed leading to the Rio+20 Conference helped ensure cooperation of various stakeholders including Governments, the private sector and civil society. On human rights, she noted that the General Assembly had been clear and timely in emphasizing to the world the need to protect the rights of migrants, regardless of their status. She rejected the criminalization of people based on migration status and touched on national policies aimed at ensuring the human rights of migrants. In pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, she said her Government made progress in health, education and nutrition. Financial assistance was also provided to families in need. Acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals had also led to a significant reduction of malnutrition, improved maternal health, and increased immunizations. She called on Governments to show an unshakable spirit of cooperation during the Committee’s deliberations.
GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI ( Iran) said neglecting development goals would plunge the world into a more critical situation than we see today. The global macroeconomic situation must be the international community’s top priority. A sound economic and financial system was vital for development to be sustainable at the national, regional and international levels. Given its geographic location, Iran understood how important a peaceful and secure environment was for sustainable development. The Millennium Goals should not be considered a relic of the past, but rather a good basis upon which a future development agenda should be based. The differing circumstances of individual countries must also be taken into account when creating the new agenda. A framework for sustainable development should be accompanied by a roadmap for their implementation. Capacity building through the sharing of knowledge, science, technology and experience should be placed high on the agenda.
WALUBITA IMAKANDO (Zambia), aligning with the Group of 77, the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, and the African Group, said that the actions of the international community between now and 2015 and beyond were critical for the world. Zambia said the imbalances of the international financial system needed to be addressed and the reform of the Bretton Woods institutions was key for developing economies. Debt sustainability was an important pillar for economic growth and development. The international community should implement coordinated policies for debt relief, debt management and debt restructuring for developing countries. The Doha Round of negotiations had not made significant progress and talks needed to be driven to completion. Zambia supported the call for the monitoring of the Istanbul Programme of Action and believed least developed countries had an important role to play in the pursuit of their own development agendas. South-South trade had changed the geography of international trade relations and concrete measures to support such trade should be supported. The need for the creation of sustainable development goals that were actionable, precise and whose implementation would resonate with all member States could not be overemphasized.
CHRIS BACK ( Australia) said actions taken now would set the tone for decades. The post-2015 development agenda should be built on the foundation of a strong and sustainable global economy and an open multilateral trading system. “We must not underestimate the global development gains that could be unlocked through trade,” he said. He noted that the post-2015 framework should provide the opportunity for all people to lead healthy and productive lives. It was essential to work towards ensuring that all children have access to a quality education; promoting women’s leadership and economic empowerment; fostering development that benefited those most vulnerable; and, encouraging a global development agenda that preserved the environmental basis for future prosperity. Stressing the importance of reflecting on the challenges of the Indo-Pacific region, he said the Committee should seek to reinforce the growing political momentum towards a new global agreement on climate change that covered all major emitters.
BELAL ABDO, (Yemen), aligning with the Group of 77 and the Group of the Least Developed Countries, said achieving the development goals was challenging due to significant international shortfalls and insufficient national resources. Numerous international partnerships did not deliver on commitments that would assist countries in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals. He emphasized that international will must be mobilized to reach those Goals. He highlighted the need to provide support to countries in particular situations, especially those affected by the Arab Spring and the least developed countries. The Istanbul Programme of Action must be strengthened and a post-2015 agenda must draw lessons from the successes and failures of the Millennium Goals. By providing sufficient resources, the international community would ensure that no one was left behind in eliminating poverty, he said, underlining the importance of implementing the Rio+20 outcome document. Located in a region experiencing great change, his Government, through the Gulf Initiative and international aid, had taken steps to combat corruption, he said. Stressing the need to address climate change, it was noted that the least developed countries and small island developing States suffered the greatest.
Mr. ALDREES, ( Saudi Arabia), aligning with the Group of 77 and China, reiterated the role of the United Nations in supporting the international community with the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Emphasizing that social and economic programmes must play a leading role in international development efforts, he said the financial crisis of 2008 had led to a surge in food and energy prices, enhancing the economic gap between countries of the North and South. On energy, his Government had taken steps to respond to the fluctuations of the oil market and to avoid price competition by working to establish an environment of dialogue. Resolving challenges in the energy sphere required cooperation and assistance, he said, adding that his Government was working to guarantee the security of energy sources and offered $500 million to fund energy projects in developing countries. Concerned by selective policies adopted by developed countries in dealing with climate change, he said that calling on some countries not to use fossil fuels was impractical. Saudi Arabia had the necessary technology to use such resources in a clean way. On development, his Government was a leading donor to developing countries and had contributed $109 billion and offered 0.7 per cent of its gross national income for ODA. He added that the development process must respect the cultural specificity of all countries.
GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil), aligning with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said a universal framework of sustainable development goals would provide guidance to countries, while giving the necessary flexibility for each to pursue its own development agenda. South-South and triangular cooperation was important for development; however, it was not a substitute for ODA. Brazil would like to see increased efforts in two areas — achieving an effective sustainable development financing strategy and devising a facilitation mechanism for the promotion, development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies. The global jobs crisis had not receded, which was most detrimental to the poorest and most vulnerable groups. Global financial institutions needed to be more accountable and responsive to the legitimate needs of the developing world. Illegal interception of communications and data from citizens, businesses and members of Governments constituted a breach of international law and a grave violation of human rights. The United Nations must play a leading role in the effort to regulate the conduct of States and prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war.
Mr. AWAMBOR ( Nigeria), aligning with the Group of 77 and the African Group, stated that efforts to develop the post-2015 sustainable development agenda needed to be inclusive and transparent. Nigeria said poverty eradication remained one of the biggest challenges facing developing countries. Global inequality, particularly the distribution of wealth and control over the global financial system was a serious concern for his country. Nigeria believed that ODA could play a critical role in catalysing economic and social development, as well as poverty eradication. The current economic crisis should not be an excuse for failing to fulfil ODA commitments, while domestic resource mobilization and checks on natural resource exploitation needed to play a part in future development efforts. Desertification and drought continued to aggravate crop failure, water shortages and livestock loss in Nigeria and impaired his country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Goals. The international community needed to reverse the negative environmental trends in the Sahel in order to make progress on sustainable development. The impact of climate change on Africa’s development could not be overemphasized.
BOUBACAR BOUREIMA (Niger), aligning with the Group of 77, the African Group, the Group of Least Developed Countries, and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that the global economic crisis continued to compound challenges for least developed countries. He expressed concern over the drop in public development aid for least developed countries. Those countries were promised 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of the gross national income of developed countries as development assistance. He called on the international community to step up its solidarity and unblock the flow of resources needed to implement the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Almaty Programme of Action. The post-2015 development agenda must focus on eliminating poverty and guaranteeing sustainable development to all countries. He stressed the need for developed countries to take into account the needs of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States. He also called for the implementation of the final document of Rio+20.
GEORGE WILFRED TALBOT (Guyana), aligning with the Group of 77, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CELAC, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that steps had already been taken to implement the outcome document of Rio+20. That included the universalization of membership to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council. The architecture of a new development agenda must be coherent, integrated, inclusive and dynamic. On climate change, he urged that Governments accelerate efforts to address environmental degradation. His country had adopted a low-carbon development strategy. Allowing access to its rainforests must in no way compromise the sovereignty of its national resources. He reiterated that extra focus must be given to small island developing States grappling with high levels of debt and the effects of climate change.
COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), aligning with the Group of 77, CARICOM and CELAC, said, “We must remain mindful of the fact that we are not engaged in abstract discussions but, rather, are creating the normative framework for effectively addressing matters of survival for our people.” Global economic recovery continued to be slow and unbalanced and compounded challenges faced by small, open economies such as Jamaica’s. The challenges faced by middle income countries, such as persistent poverty and inequality, were of great concern, as were the high debt burdens of many developing countries, including the small, vulnerable, island economies of the Caribbean. Climate change was a matter of pressing concern and Jamaica looked forward to the upcoming conference on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, hoping it would result in a new agreement in 2015.
DURGA PRASAD BHATTARAI (Nepal), aligning with the Group of 77, the Group of Least Developed Countries, and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said the future of development endeavours should be guided by the principle of humanity that placed poverty at the core of development, respecting human dignity, human rights and justice. Stressing the importance of the needs of least developed countries and landlocked developing counties, he said that on migration, more should be done to ensure transparency and accountability and based on the principle of human rights. Calling for a review of trade policy to make it open, rule based, equitable, predictable and non-discriminatory, he voiced concern over the decline in the net bilateral ODA flows to least developed countries. He emphasized the importance of concerted action on climate change and cited Nepal’s vulnerabilities and priorities that required special global attention.
JIDDOU JIDDOU (Mauritania), aligning with the Group of 77, the African Group, and the Group of Least Developed Countries, emphasized the importance of innovative mechanisms to boost development as a tool to assist developing countries in mobilizing national funding. However, that could not take the place of ODA, he said, expressing concern that aid had declined for two consecutive years. Mauritania was among the list of countries most affected by climate change. He urged further consideration of its effects and called for the implementation of the Convention on climate change. Greenhouse emissions must be reduced to reach targets for 2020. On a national level, his Government had taken steps towards a green economy with the establishment of a large solar energy plant. Sustainable development must be the objective of all international endeavours, he added.
ANDREW KIHURANI ( Kenya), aligning with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that the Millennium Goals had not adequately addressed the multifaceted dimensions of poverty. They focused more on the symptoms and basic needs rather than the root causes. An integrated approach must prioritize interventions with the greatest cascading effects: addressing climate change in order to address food and energy insecurities; tackling global imbalances in trade to enable developing countries to become competitive; and, addressing the drop in aid to fight poverty and disease. “If we are to effectively address global development challenges, then we have to concertedly confront the implementation gaps,” he said. That was the single most important ingredient for achieving the Millennium Goals and then the post-2015 development agenda. Building human resource capacity to deliver services and acquiring the right technologies in food, agriculture, water, energy, and development of green industries were necessary for a shift to a more sustainable development pathway, he added.
ADMIRA JORGJI (Albania), aligning with the European Union, said the Millennium Development Goals were a tool the Government could use to build support from the bottom up in addressing local poverty challenges and serving as an engine for comprehensive development. It was noted that Albania had organized a national consultation process on the post-2015 development agenda and recognized that the process was feeding valuable input in better outlining the future world. Reform processes in the United Nations were expected to boost sustainable development and integration of its three pillars. Countries had become aware that they needed a renewed United Nations that responded coherently and efficiently to countries’ national priorities and needs. The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review adopted in 2012 confirmed a horizontal accountability of the United Nations development system was complementary to vertical lines of accountability of its own constituent parts. Close monitoring of the Policy Review implementation was of paramount importance to follow up on the repositioning and the deliverance of the United Nations development system.
MARCELO SCAPPINI RICCIARDI (Paraguay), aligning with the Group of 77, CELAC, and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that poverty was a problem of all least developed and landlocked developing countries and required global assistance not charity. Emphasizing the multidimensional nature of poverty, he said it was linked with international trade, climate change and gender inequality. Referring to the landlocked situation of Paraguay, he said there were direct links inherited in being in that category of nations, such as greater transportation time, cost, and taxes. Trade limitations negatively affected the creation of jobs, he said, emphasizing the importance to fully implement the Almaty action plan. Triangular, as well as South-South Cooperation, were integral in addressing regional challenges, he said, pointing out that on a national level, Paraguay sought to eradicate poverty through the creation of jobs.
PAUL LOSOKO (Democratic Republic of the Congo), aligning with the Group of 77, the African Group and the Group of Least Developed Countries, welcomed the impetus to launch a working group on sustainable development goals. The steps to harmonize the work of the Economic and Social Council were also laudable, he said. The post-2015 development agenda must be ambitious and capable to respond to the manifold challenge with shared but differentiated responsibilities. Unemployment, migration, food insecurity, and drought required the commitment and involvement of all groups. It is important the agenda focus on combating poverty and addressed the needs of the most vulnerable. Highlighting the his country’s efforts to promote the private sector, investment and a favourable tax system, he said it had made considerable progress on the Millennium Goals in education and gender equality. The country was undertaking reforms of the security and justice system, promoting decentralization, boosting the public finance system, building macroeconomic stability and improving the business climate. He noted that the post-2015 agenda must promote efforts to guarantee peace, as it provided the basis for real development.
Ms. AL DOSERI ( Bahrain), aligning the Group of 77 and China, noted that her country had led regionally in economic diversification. Since 2000, it had substantially decreased its reliance on oil revenue as the main contributor to its gross domestic product by focusing on doubling its transport, construction, communication and service sectors. Economic openness had allowed Bahrain to increase trade and development. Outlining various ways her country had pursued the Millennium Development Goals, she said, that in the education sector, it increased its literacy rate and trained teachers and in the health sector, it built more hospitals and provided free services. On the environment, she said, the Government had developed effective practices and policies geared at preserving it.
GAREN NAZARIAN ( Armenia), aligning with the Group of 77 and China, said that no country could achieve the Millennium Development Goals in isolation in a world of increasing interdependence. He called for the continuous allocation of resources to developing and middle income countries. Highlighting United Nations engagement in those countries, he said their development challenges were comparable to that of least developed countries. Aid was critically needed to end poverty, educate children, and empower women and youth. Freedom from violence and the use of force were instrumental in the pursuit of sustainable development, he concluded.
CHITSAKA CHIPAZIWA ( Zimbabwe), aligning with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said there are gaps and unevenness in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. High income inequality and the lack of productive employment have significantly stalled development achievements. Post-2015, the unachieved targets should constitute an integral part of the new development agenda. He urged and challenged cooperating partners to honour their ODA commitments, while stating that the acute challenges caused by climate change, global warming and increased desertification threatened all nations. A fair, multilateral trading system could be a catalyst for sustained growth and market access opportunities for developing countries. He expressed concern that there appeared to be “no light at the end of the tunnel” in the Doha Round of negotiations.
MARÍA JOSÉ DEL ÁGUILA CASTILLO ( Guatemala) said her country had continued its efforts to strengthen the development pillar of the United Nations. The General Assembly continued to offer comparative advantages in discussing trends and obstacles in development at the global level, and was able to act proactively and offer policy guidelines. Lauding the efforts of the Economic and Social Council, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and regional commissions, she called for greater coordination between the United Nations and Breton Woods institutions. The statement adopted by the special event on Millennium Development Goals provided a roadmap for the post-2015 agenda. This should be ambitious and pay particular attention to the elimination of poverty and hunger. It should create conditions for the development of clean energy and combating climate change. The large number of resolutions in the Committee should be rationalized in accordance with the global challenges and parallel initiatives should not be allowed to negatively impact its work. The funding process pledged at Monterrey and reaffirmed at Doha had lost momentum, she said, calling for the establishment of a green fund to address climate change.
The representative of Rome-based Agencies, on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said that despite a decline in the proportion of undernourished people around the world, food insecurity and malnutrition persisted with marked differences across regions. As women represented 43 per cent of the agricultural work force worldwide, and were caregivers and entrepreneurs as well, greater efforts must be made to empower them economically. As the world accelerated its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and planned for the post-2015 agenda, it had an unprecedented opportunity to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. A stronger and more prosperous world could be built through, sustained investment in agriculture and rural development. By building strong alliances between civil society, business and Government, the world must translate its commitments into transformative results.
WARUNA DHANAPALA (Sri Lanka), delivering closing remarks on behalf of Committee Chair, Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal), said the debate had been beneficial with a common thread that emphasized the need to accelerate the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the follow-up of the outcomes of Rio+20, and the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. The complexity with which those issues were treated in an interlinked fashion was impressive, he said. Climate change was a critical challenge that was also directly linked to poverty eradication and the achievement of sustainable development goals. The proposals put forward, if translated into action, would significantly help change the course of the planet. The prevailing world economic and financial situation, global economic governance and international development cooperation were also discussed with a clear recognition that they were not standalone issues. The message from many donor partners on keeping aid commitments in spite of the economic and financial crisis was encouraging. The messages on trade and development, the needs of countries in special situations, and operational activities for development, among other things, made the work ahead clear cut.
* *** *For information media • not an official record