Statement by H.E. Mr. J. Enkhsaikhan,
of Mongolia at the Twenty-Fourth
Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77
New York, 15 September 2000
Allow me at the outset to express my delegation`s gratitude to you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this Ministerial meeting and for Nigeria`s able stewardship of the Group in the past 9 months. Let me also congratulate the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which will succeed Nigeria as Chairman of our Group in 2001 and pledge our full support.
Bearing in mind the long list of speakers, I would like to make the following brief remarks in connection with the work of the Group.
As we all remember, at the beginning of this year the Group has considered its Program of work for the year 2000. Among the priority issues were preparations and follow-ups to the South Summit, to UNCTAD X, to High-level meeting for financing for development, the Millennium Assembly as well as follow-ups to and reviews of major UN conferences and summits.
We believe that during the period under review, the Group has been able to focus on all the priority issues. At present it is important to focus on timely and effective implementation of the decisions of the above fora.
The South Summit, held in Havana, was the largest gathering of the South ever held and served as an excellent opportunity for the Group to articulate its common vision and development goals, which found due reflection in the last weeks Declaration of the Millennium Summit. Now much depends on us, members of G-77, to find the most effective ways and means of implementing the provisions of the final documents of the Summit. My delegation expresses the hope that today`s meeting will be useful in this regard and that the Statement to be adopted at the end of the day would reflect it.
The debt issues still needs to be addressed. Though in recent years many initiatives have been launched to resolve the external debt problem, there is still a need to work for an effective solution to that problem, a solution that would not jeopardize the development efforts and policies of the indebted countries.
ODA is in decline at a time when the need for it is rising, when poverty is on the increase. Therefore we have to continue to urge our developed partners to honor their pledge to provide 0.7 per cent of their GNP for development assistance.
We share the view that development financing is the most critical and core issue in international cooperation for development. In fact, all the major international conferences and summits have addressed and highlighted the indispensability of financial resources for development. However, one of the main reasons for lack of implementation of the recommendations of those outcomes is lack of adequate financial resources for development. That is why my delegation attaches great importance to the High-Level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development to be held next year as well as to its preparatory meetings.
There is still a lack of response from the developed countries on their commitments made at Rio on the provision of new and additional financial resources for the effective follow-up of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). We believe that the International Conference on the Ten-Year Review of Progress achieved in the implementation of the Agenda 21, to be held in 2002, should reaffirm the principles of the Rio Declaration and accelerate the implementation of the global program of action. In this regard, I would like to welcome the generous offer of the Government of Indonesia to host this Conference.
I would like to draw the attention of the Group to the situation of the land-locked developing countries in this globalizing and increasingly competitive and interdependent world. The handicaps and concerns of this group of countries are well known. Many of them are least-developed countries. Their problems and needs are well documented and are adequately reflected in the decisions of the many important international fora, including of the South and Millennium summits. We also hope and expect that they would be properly reflected in the future decisions of the high-level meeting on financing for development.
What is lacking, in our view, Mr. Chairman, are adequate responses to persistent appeals and as well as consistent follow-up measures on the understandings reached at those fora on this issue. It should be pointed out that increased foreign trade turnover of land-locked developing countries, and thus increased transit transportation services provided to them by transit countries, would surely result in additional job opportunities and benefits to the latter. Moreover, increased trade of land-locked countries would also translate into their faster development and even broader trade opportunities with their immediate transit neighbors or through them with other countries. In short we believe that it is an enormous untapped market of services for transit countries, services that are yet to be developed. In either case, the transit neighbors would benefit from increased transit trade of land-locked developing countries.
In this connection it is my pleasure to inform the Group that the negotiations between Mongolia, Russia and China on transit transportation framework agreement are now underway and we hope that the conclusion of this sub-regional agreement in the near future will benefit not only these three countries but the Northeast Asian region as a whole and could serve as the shortest land-bridge between Europe and East Asia.
Finally, my delegation looks forward to the first Ministerial meeting of the land-locked developing countries to be held on 18 September here at the UN Headquarters and expresses its hope that it would contribute to better articulating the pressing problems and special needs of the land-locked developing countries and seeking the optimal solutions to them.