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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
DR. ALBERTO G. ROMULO
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
MAINTAINING UNITY AND FOCUS
22 September 2006, United Nations, New York
Allow me to convey my delegation’s appreciation and gratitude to you and to South Africa for effectively steering the Group of 77 and China during the 6oth session of the UN General Assembly.
Our Group has gained the respect of our development partners by the firmness with which we dealt with them under South Africa’s able leadership.
Global attention today is focused on dramatic events that threaten the peace and pose dangers to our security. These threats have to be addressed and resolved as a matter of serious urgency.
However, we must also maintain our unity and focus on the plight of developing nations in today’s dynamic and fast-changing global economy. We must also continue to concentrate our efforts at reforming the United Nations – to make it more responsive to the pressing needs of developing countries.
A few months back, we met in Putrajaya, Malaysia, mainly to agree on strategies to promote our collective interests at the height of the reform process in the United Nations.
On the issue of UN reform, our Group has shown unity and focus. We asserted our interests even at the cost of calling for a recorded vote on the sensitive subject of secretariat and management reform. As a group, we reaped the fruits of our unity and steadfast resolve.
We have hurdled most of the reform package mandated by the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The reform process in three areas of interest to us has yet to be concluded, namely the review of mandates, UN-wide coherence and ECOSOC and development reform.
Given our unity and focused strategy, I am confident that we can again safeguard as well as advance our concerns in these reform areas.
The global economy is showing signs of fragility. The multilateral trading system is facing a trying challenge in reconciling the economic priorities of the North with the development priorities of the South.
The volatility of the global financial system could threaten sustained global economic growth, while efforts to reform the international financial architecture have fallen far short of our expectations.
Against that backdrop, we have to re-double all our efforts.
We have to reinvigorate the carrying out of universal commitments to assist our least developed members as contained in the Brussels Program of Action adopted in 2001.
We have to seize the opportunity of developing a mechanism or a process to sustain the conclusions of the high level dialogue on migration and development.
We have to move forward on debt for equity arrangements.
We have to aggressively pursue a host of other pressing issues such as the additional economic burden imposed by unstable fuel prices and the relentless onslaught of natural disasters on our fragile environment.
Beyond New York, we have to lend our support to the activities of our chapters.
In a few weeks, the Mid-Term Review of the 11th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will begin in Geneva. This meeting will be a part of a totality of events and processes where we can comprehensively pursue internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
The ministerial segment of that meeting will not only discuss key issues on the development agenda, but will also influence discussions in the General Assembly on reform of the UN’s development machinery, as well as the initial preparations for the review of the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) next year.
The FfD review conference will address implementation of the Monterrey
Consensus, and should also highlight the direction of the international
community’s efforts to strengthen global economic governance to
make globalization a genuine engine of development.
We commend you, Mr. Chairman, for concluding this MOU. As Chair of the Group of 24, the Philippines was pleased to sign this MOU.
In order to ensure our unified and focused directions in addressing the challenges ahead, we must be guided by the commitments of our leaders during their Second South Summit in Doha last June.
In this regard, my delegation proposes that, in order to galvanize our cohesion and unified direction, our Group must regularly evaluate the implementation of the South Summit outcome, by all the Chapters especially that of New York including the decisions arrived at the annual and special ministerial meetings of the G-77 and China.
This will give more focus and unified direction to our coordination during the annual session of the UN General Assembly and in other forums.
My delegation proposes that we make this review process a key feature of the regular activities of all the chapters of the Group of 77 and China.
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