H.E Dr. Dipu Moni, MP
Hon’ble Foreign Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh at The Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group
of 77 and China on Agenda item: Exchange of views and interactive dialogue on issues of importance to the Group of 77 to be considered during the sixty-sixth session of the UNGA
New York, Conference No 2 (NLB) September 23, 2011
Hon’ble Minister Héctor Marcos Timerman,
Let me begin by applauding Argentina for relentlessly pursing the interests and priorities of the Group. We are confident that extraordinary capabilities of Argentina and H.E Héctor Marcos Timerman would lead our deliberations to fruition. I also congratulate Algeria, the newly elected Chair for 2012.
Over the last eight months, the Group of 77 and China, under the leadership of Argentina and through strengthened unity and coordination, reached broad consensus and achieved gratifying results on issues concerning the common interests of the developing world. This is evident in the G-77 statements delivered in the 4th UN Conference on LDC on 10 May, 2011, G24 Meeting on 14 April 2011, as well as High Level Meeting of ECOSOC with the BWI, the WTO and UNCTAD on March 11 2011.
Looking ahead, the Group of 77 and China has arduous and long-term responsibilities in safeguarding collective interests. Bangladesh as an active member of the Group always attached great importance to its works. We endeavored to create consensus within the Group on our individual and collective interests and sought to safeguard them. I would like to take this opportunity to renew our commitment and I shall touch upon some of the key areas where we need to focus with due determination.
It is necessary for the Group to strengthen unity and coordination to arrive at common approaches on important global and contemporary issues such as poverty eradication, financial resources, technology transfer, market access, unemployment, external debt burden, climate change negative effects and sustainable development.
One priority area of focus should be that decision making process of the international financial institutions must be democratized, allowing for greater policy space for the developing countries in formulating their own development strategies. The Group should maintain focus on the process of formulating rules guiding international development and cooperation so as to better govern and manage the trend of globalization, narrow the gap between the North and the South, and achieve more balanced, stable and sustainable world economic development.
Likewise, an open, rule-based, equitable international trade regime, with greater market access for the products of the developing countries has to be established to address urgently the issues relating to implementation, market access, particularly for the LDCs, erosion of preference, arbitrary use of non-trade barriers and non-tariff measures. We have to factor in the development dimension in the work of the WTO.
Another important area is the need to address the worsening debt burden of some of the developing countries, particularly through debt cancellation and conversion of debts into soft loans, if write off is not possible.
While all factors of production move freely across national boundaries, labor mobility from the developing countries to the developed countries must be enhanced including through Mode IV of the GATS.
Climate change turns out to be the most serious vulnerability for many of our developing economies in particular the most vulnerable countries. We must work towards separate and additional funding for both mitigation and adaptation and seek to secure binding commitments at Durban and beyond. Increase in international
assistance in the strengthening of national, sub-regional, and regional mechanisms for prevention, preparedness and mitigation of natural disasters must remain high in our agenda.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the economically most vulnerable group of countries, the LDCs. A holistic approach to resolve LDC problems would require full and effective implementation of the Istanbul Program of Action – a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for the LDCs based on mutual commitments. We must highlight: a) immediate duty-free, quota-free access to all products of all LDCs to their export destinations and structuring of realistic rules of origin requirements based on the capacities of the LDCs; b) cancellation of all official debts of all LDCs; c) ensure full operationalization of the Green Climate Fund; d) reduce LDCs’ vulnerability to natural disasters through disaster preparedness and risk reduction as well as resilience building; and e) the access of the LDCs to appropriate, affordable and clean technologies that foster their sustained economic growth and sustainable development. The list, Mr. Chairman, is only indicative and by no means exhaustive.
For us, the decisions made in the great conferences of the 1990s remain fully valid. Unfortunately, the commitments made remain unrealized in most cases. These must be honored for us to move forward. Necessary means and resources for development must be provided to the developing countries and in particular the LDCs. It is only through combining our collective efforts we shall be able to achieve our shared objectives of peace, security, development and harmony.
I thank you.