"In Larger Freedom",  "Cluster I" ("Freedom from Want")
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
 New York, April 26, 2005

 

    Mr. Facilitator,

 First of all, I wish to associate my Delegation with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Jamaica, Ambassador Stafford Neill, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

 At the present stage, areas that could generate concrete actions by September must be identified, so that our further work can focus on specific topics. At the same time, however, we will persevere in the pursuit of a broader development agenda, as reflected in the outcomes of the major UN Conferences and summits, a dimension of the SG’s report “In Larger Freedom” that still needs to be strengthened.

 The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including the reduction of hunger and poverty, will only be sustainable in the long term if, simultaneously, employment and income rise in a way that benefits the poorer populations. In addition, the worldwide reduction of hunger and poverty coupled with an increase in decent and productive employment remains a crucial step to achieve better governance.

 International cooperation should now be steered towards assisting those countries that are experiencing extreme difficulties in regard to the attainment of the MDGs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Brazil strongly supports the call for action aimed at fully achieving the 0,7 % ODA target and highly commends those Governments that have established timeframes for arriving at this target but we believe that stronger action is still required on this issue. We welcome the call for the launching of an International Financial Facility aiming at the immediate front-loading of ODA.

 Relevant UN agencies, together with the Bretton Woods institutions and bilateral agencies, should seize the opportunity to launch quick-win initiatives in 2005. Nevertheless, one should note that the measures recommended in the report do not encompass the full range of proposals contained in the Millennium Project Report.

Mr. Facilitator,

 Brazil appreciates the endorsement given by the Secretary General to our endeavors to underscore the importance of innovative financing mechanisms in the context of international financial assistance. “Action against hunger and poverty”, after being unequivocally highlighted by President Lula’s initiative, became a valuable tool in the effort towards meeting the MDGs.

 The SG has proposed that the summit should decide to “consider other innovative sources of finance for development to supplement the IFF in the longer term”. In that context, I wish to recall the strenuous efforts being made by Brazil, France, Chile, Spain, and Germany – and now also Algeria -, including through their Technical Group on Innovative Financing Mechanisms, for the development of inputs for the September Summit, and that the technical feasibility of those sources has been acknowledged by authoritative institutions, such as the World Bank/IMF Development Committee.

 We welcome the positive contribution given to the consideration of innovative sources of finance by large-scale Conferences such as those held in Porto Alegre and Davos, by the G8, UNCTAD, and the World Bank/IMF, as well as by discussions held at the ECOSOC spring meeting last week. As technical work further advances, we are confident that at the coming Summit it will be possible to adopt political decisions on innovative sources other than the IFF.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 In his report, the SG makes a specific reference to the increasing role played by Brazil and other developing countries such as India, South Africa and China in the provision of South-South cooperation. Brazil is more than willing to continue our collaboration to the full extent of our capacity. Nevertheless, as a developing country, Brazil is not yet in a position to assume the responsibilities of a donor country. International financial assistance through the IFIs is still required so that South-South cooperation may be scaled up to a level compatible with the needs related to the achievement of the MDGs at the global level.

 I should also emphasize that, in any case, South-South cooperation is not meant as a substitute for ODA to be provided by developed countries, which remains by far the single most important source of international resources for improving the prospects for development in poor countries.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 Brazil reiterates its support for a fair, equitable, transparent, rules-based and development-oriented international trade system, free of barriers, restrictions and distortions, in particular in the area of agriculture. We support the trade-related recommendations contained in the Secretary General’s report, although minor adjustments might be needed regarding the commitments to be undertaken by the developing countries, in the light of the July Package of the WTO.

 There is merit in the proposal to redefine debt sustainability as the level of debt that allows a country to achieve the MDGs and reach 2015 without an increase in debt ratios, even though the formulation of a new concept of debt sustainability must accept a broader approach, as the achievement of the MDGs is but one of the elements of a truly national development strategy.

 The international financial system should act in a more resolute way in favor of those striving for survival. In fact, there are instances in which individual countries’ economic, financial or social crises were even aggravated by international demands. In turn, developing countries should have more voice and stronger participation in the decision-making process of the international financial institutions.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 A solid technological base is required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the gains to be achieved in the pursuit of the MDGs, as well as to create conditions for economic change to thrive. Scientific research and development in accordance with the priorities and needs of developing countries require much more international financial support. In this, as in other areas, particular attention should be given to the situation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Likewise, the potential of technological access and technology transfer to those countries should be fully exploited so as to bridge the growing technological gap that separates the developed and the developing worlds.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 Any attempt relating to the strengthening of environmental governance should be guided by the concept of sustainable development. The achievements of the Rio Conference, contained in Agenda 21, should be taken into account by present-day discussions on environmental issues, as they led to a new paradigm of sustainable development, based on three pillars –namely, economic efficiency, social justice and environmental sustainability.

 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chance and its Kyoto Protocol are quite clear. A second commitment period for the Protocol is not ruled out and, after 2012, the Kyoto Protocol should not be abandoned, thereby giving rise to the need to negotiate a completely new instrument - which is not at all the case.

 The report refers to concepts that have not been agreed upon within any negotiation concerning climate change, such as  “major emitters” and “countries that contribute the most to the problems”. In this connection, it should be recalled that the Kyoto Protocol is the product of a universal negotiating effort and that all Parties both to the UNFCCC and the Protocol have entered into significant commitments regarding policies and measures to mitigate climate change, on the basis of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 The Secretary-General's report reflects the importance of gender equality and access to sexual and reproductive health services both as a critical need for women's empowerment and as a component of strong public health systems. I note that reproductive health issues are identified in two of the seven clusters proposed by the Secretary-General. The September summit should reiterate the crucial importance of universal access of reproductive health services by 2015, with a view to reversing the appalling state of maternal health and spread of HIV/AIDS and to fostering women's empowerment. The balanced strategy of prevention, treatment and human rights proposed by the Secretary-General in regard to HIV/AIDS requires sustained investments in reproductive health commodities and affordable access, as well as education services for young people, as essential components of a "quick-win" initiative in this domain. In addition, Brazil strongly supports the proposals for increased attention and “quick-win” solutions by the international community to combat other diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, that plague so many developing countries.

 Mr. Facilitator,

 The Brazilian Government is committed to work with all member States in order to place the issues of development at the core of the discussions at the September summit and to ensure that their outcome will be instrumental in assisting developing countries to move forward in the achievement of the MDGs and in the pursuit of their overall progress.