H.E. Mr. Raymond Wolfe
Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations
G77 Ministerial Meeting
27 September 2007
Let me begin by expressing my delegationís appreciation to the Government of Pakistan for their stewardship of the G77 for 2007. Under Pakistanís able leadership, the Group has been able to pronounce itself and remain actively engaged in a number of key priority discussions in the multilateral fora. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the in-coming Chair who happens to be from my own region, on his election to the Chairmanship of the G77 for 2008. We will reserve further words of commendation to both Pakistan and Antigua & Barbuda for the official handing-over ceremony to be held next year.
I wish to make some brief observations with respect to issues of continued importance to the Group of 77 and China.
The first concerns the importance of ensuring that development remains at the forefront of UN discourse. The implementation of the commitments undertaken with respect to the development agenda remains critical. There are repeated examples, particularly with respect to financing for development, that reinforce the urgency with which the issue of implementation has to be frontally addressed and to which developed partners have to be held accountable. The development of a clear and concrete plan of action and implementation, backed by political will and the allocations of adequate resources remains an imperative. Also significant is the need to ensure that the institutional context for international economic relations is reformed to bring trade and financial policies in harmony with development objectives.
Accordingly, we have to ensure that the development agenda is not subsumed by an uneven focus on issues regarding peace and security. While both are central to the work of the Organisation, their most meaningful impact can be felt only when equal attention is given to the issue of development. It should also be recalled that peace, security and development are the essential pillars which underpin the UN system and which collectively contribute to the overall effectiveness of the work of the Organisation.
Maintaining a more objective approach to the issue of development is also essential in the context of UN reform. The system has to be equipped to respond to the demands of its constituents, irrespective of their levels of development. This is of particular importance to developing countries in order to ensure the objectivity and impartiality of the work undertaken by the UN in the field of development. For this reason, we will continue to follow closely the ongoing discussions with respect to UN system-wide coherence. We also have very high expectations of the work to be undertaken within the context of a strengthened Economic and Social Council, particularly as regards the Annual Ministerial Reviews and the Development Cooperation Forum.
We also welcome ongoing efforts to elaborate a Development Platform for the South with the proposed meeting of a group of experts in New York next month. We believe that this is an important demonstration of our determination to chart a course that is best suited to the diverse needs of developing countries.
The Group of the 77 is premised on the principles of unity and solidarity. It is built on mutual respect and on a desire at all times to try and accommodate the concerns of all delegations. These abiding principles are inviolable. They represent the core of the strength of the G77. For this reason, we have to continue to ensure that the G77 remains united in its quest to address the social and economic challenges that impact development prospects at the national level.
South-South cooperation is the embodiment of the principles of solidarity and unity that define the G77. It represents an important mechanism through which developing countries can advance their development objectives, without prejudice to the North-South dimension of international cooperation for development. We therefore welcome efforts to better harness South-South Cooperation, including through the UN system, and look forward to further discussions on how we can better streamline and build on the many initiatives that have been developed in recent years, particularly in the aftermath of the Second South Summit. We believe that the UN Conference on South-South Cooperation which the Government of Argentina has so graciously offered to host is a step in the right direction.
Finally, Mr Chairman, let me conclude by assuring you of my delegationís continued support in advancing the objectives of the G77 and in giving greater impetus to generating positive change at the global level in the interest of developing countries.
I thank you.