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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
on behalf of
H.E. Dr. Alberto G. Romulo
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines

‘STRENGTH IN COLLECTIVE ACTION’


at 28th G-77 Ministerial Meeting
Trusteeship Council, 30 September 2004

My delegation extends its felicitations to you, Mr. Chairman, on your election, and the members of your delegation for leading the Group of 77 and China. The Philippines looks forward to working closely with the Qatari delegation, as we deliberate on a number of priority issues and concerns this year. I would also like to convey our appreciation to the delegation of Morocco, for their excellent leadership of our Group last year, and to the delegation of Jamaica, for assuming the leadership of our Group in 2005.

Common Issues and Concerns

Mr. Chairman, globalization and the increasing interdependence among nations, compel us to strengthen the bonds of friendship, cooperation and solidarity that characterize the work of our Group. There is also a greater need for us to push harder for the Group’s shared goals and objectives.

The Philippines believes that the collective interest of the Group of 77 and China lies in, and coincides with the attainment of the internationally agreed development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving poverty and hunger by 2015.

Indeed, next year marks an important event. Member States will undertake a critical review of the implementation of the MDGs, which our leaders have set to achieve 11 years from now. 2005 would then be a pivotal occasion for all of us to assess the extent of MDG implementation internationally, as well as in our respective countries and regions, and to determine what measures need to be installed to achieve the MDG targets.

Mr. Chairman, the achievement of the MDGs is inexorably dependent on the realization of the commitments and initiatives that Members States have made in the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development (FfD), and in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) on World Summit for Sustainable Development, among other important multilateral conferences over the recent years.

The Group of 77 and China cannot fully achieve the MDGs, if the means of achieving them are not made available. The means of implementation have been spelt out in the commitments on trade, investment, debt, ODA, mobilizing financial resources, and fostering global partnerships, among many strategies.

First, there is a need to level the international economic playing field. The international economic environment continues to be unfavorable for the developing countries. Agricultural farm subsidies of the developed countries unfairly marginalize exports from the South.

Second, despite commitments to increase ODA, contributions of the developed countries have been on the decline. Only few developed countries have reached the goal of contributing 0.7 percent of their GNP to ODA

Third, debt problems of developing and least developing countries continue to increase, eating up much of the budget for debt servicing, instead of funneling those meager resources to more productive economic activities.

Fourth, statistics on HIV/AIDS and other contagious diseases continue to rise, without much help to alleviate the conditions of those most afflicted, especially in Africa.

Mr. Chairman, we should look closely at innovative tools that will help spur economic growth, alleviate poverty and hunger, and promote sustainable development in developing countries. In this regard, the Philippines welcomes Brazil’s initiative on the fight against hunger and poverty. We need to carefully study the recommendations of the Technical Group on innovative mechanisms of financing in order to achieve the MDGs.

Greater attention should focus on how micro-credit or micro-finance, for instance, could serve as an instrument to alleviating the conditions of the poorest of the poor. The Philippines has registered a significant stride on this and we are ready to share our experiences in this regard. Moreover, wise mobilization of domestic resources, like remittances for development, should also be carefully studied.

Mr. Chairman, much have been achieved over the four decades of G-77 cooperation. But much more needs to be done before 2015 and before the MDG review next year.


South-South Cooperation

Mr. Chairman, we need to continue complementing our partnership with the developed countries by helping us help ourselves through the South-South cooperation framework.

The Philippines is convinced that South-South Cooperation remains an effective strategy for developing countries to rely on resources available to members of the developing world.

Future Action

Mr. Chairman, as we have seen over the last four decades, there is strength in collective action. We have made several strides through our close cooperation and collaboration on issues of interest to the developing world. By acting collectively, our Group has acquired a degree of strength that allow us to influence the course of the global agenda – a feat that would have been difficult, if not impossible to achieve, were countries would act individually or on their own.

Mr. Chairman, the Philippines is convinced that the same resolve should inspire the Group of 77 and China in the coming years. Member countries should maintain their close consultations in an open and transparent way. We should bring our level of cooperation to greater heights of achievement as our Group faces the manifold challenges of the 21st century.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.









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