Press Releases

    6 October 2005

    Unstable Commodity Prices, Limited Markets, Subsidies among Impediments Blocking Poor Countries' Access to Vital Trade, Second Committee Told

    Concluding Debate, Delegates Decry Subsidies, Protectionism, Lack of Coherence in Addressing Finance, Technology, Development

    NEW YORK, 5 October (UN Headquarters) -- Although trade had been identified as a vital tool for development, developing countries continued to suffer from unstable commodity prices, limited markets, domestic subsidies and other impediments in their efforts to benefit from the international trading system, delegates said today as the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) concluded its general debate.

    Guyana's representative, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), stressed the region's dependence on trade in a small number of commodities and services in order to attain its development goals.  There was a need for a more supportive international trading and financial system, which would include, in particular, steps to minimize the negative effects of unilateral changes to trade arrangements, which could devastate entire economies.

    Citing the example of his own country, he said that Guyana stood to gain just $8 million from the recent Group of 8 (industrialized nations) debt-relief proposal, but expected to lose about $40 million from the proposed slashing of European Union sugar prices.  That example highlighted the need to go beyond mere episodic interventions and underlined the vital importance of coherence in addressing trade, finance, technology and development.

    Similarly, Mozambique's representative said his country's dependence on a limited number of export commodities, its weak technological capacities and its limited access to credit posed severe trade constraints.  Agriculture was a strategic sector in Africa, on which 70 per cent of the continent's population depended for their income.  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) should play a catalytic role in ensuring that trade negotiations focused on the concerns of the least developed countries.

    Myanmar's representative, addressing the need for expanded markets, noted that protectionism by some developed countries and regional organizations had cut off markets for textiles and clothing, metals, raw materials and agricultural products.  As for domestic subsidies, Singapore's delegate pointed out that member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had handed out $350 billion in agricultural subsidies in 2003, an amount that dwarfed their contributions towards official development assistance (ODA).

    Nepal's delegate said that while his landlocked country had been pursuing trade liberalization and putting in place laws that were consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions, trade could only become a catalyst for development if the least developed and landlocked countries had increased trading opportunities and unhindered market access.  Implementation of the WTO provisions on special and differentiated treatment for those countries would help ensure that they participated fully in the multilateral trading system.

    Venezuela's representative said that a weak commitment to ODA and an over-optimistic belief in trade-openness underlay the current fashionable trend towards framing the development question as one of national concern.  In addition, the use of unilateral coercive measures against developing countries must be rejected as unlawful.  Further, the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility should have equal rank at other conferences, not only in dealing with sustainable development issues, but also those of climate change and the international trading system.

    Highlighting other challenges to development, speakers pointed to the persistent threat of natural disasters and the limited capacity and resources of developing countries in responding to them.  The representative of the Maldives said the Indian Ocean tsunami had destroyed 62 per cent of his country's gross domestic product, displaced more than 7 per cent of its population, and reduced 12 of its inhabited islands to rubble.  With rising oil prices now threatening to compound an already critical situation, the Maldives was forced to appeal for budgetary support from the international community.

    Other participants observed that HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis jeopardized development efforts in Africa, and urged the international community to assist in tackling those diseases.  They also noted the deepening rifts that globalization had created between developed and developing countries, and called for more South-South cooperation in the monetary, financial, scientific and technical spheres.

    Also speaking today were the representatives of Burkina Faso; Kuwait; Colombia; Congo; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Republic of Korea; Iran; Uruguay; Lao's People's Democratic Republic (on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries); Armenia; Jordan; Iraq; Nigeria; and Brazil.

    A representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) also made a statement.

    The Second Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 7 October, to hear a keynote address by Dani Rodrik of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government on the topic "In search of prosperity:  a view on national growth strategies".


    The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met today to conclude its general debate.


    MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) noted that while the economic disparities between North and South had been exacerbated by globalization, the outcome of the 2005 World Summit had provided a ray of hope.  It had lent legitimacy to the Millennium Goals and affirmed the official development assistance (ODA) target figure of 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product in developed countries within a specific timetable.  The international community had also recognized that debt cancellation would contribute effectively to eliminating poverty; agreed to help build developing-country capacities in agricultural trade; and acknowledged the importance of full employment, as well as migrants' rights.

    He said his country had developed a strategic framework to fight poverty, which was accompanied by an action programme for 2004 to 2006.  Burkina Faso was also undergoing a decentralization process that would ensure greater participation by local communities.  Its economy had grown in 2004, as it had over the past decade, at an average rate of 5 per cent.  Social services had improved and environmental protection had become a main priority.  However, the country still suffered from extreme poverty, vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and agricultural crisis.

    U WUNNA MAUNG LWIN (Myanmar), aligning himself with the "Group of 77" developing countries and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said his country was striving to achieve development without assistance from international financial institutions, but its efforts could be accelerated by external financial assistance.  Unfortunately, its right to external assistance was consistently denied by international and regional financial institutions, which should refrain from using aid as a coercive tool to achieve their demands for political and social reform in a recipient country.

    Protectionism by some developed countries and regional economic organizations still continued, resulting in the lack of market access for textiles and clothing, metals, raw materials and agricultural products, he said.  Policy decisions affecting developing countries must be made according to the principle of inclusiveness.  United Nations agencies, funds and programmes at the country level should organize their work to support Governments in preparing and implementing national development strategies.  The asymmetric distribution of benefits and risks arising from globalization must be redressed, a challenge requiring joint action by all Member States.

    MOHAMED LATHEEF (Maldives) said that no country, whether rich or poor, could claim immunity from extreme weather conditions and climate change.  As a result of the Indian Ocean tsunami, 62 per cent of the Maldives' gross domestic product had been destroyed instantly and more than 7 per cent of the population displaced.  Twelve inhabited islands had been reduced to rubble and the social and economic infrastructures in over a quarter of them damaged.  The economy was forecast to register 3 to 4 per cent negative growth this year, and now, rising oil prices threatened to compound an already critical situation, leaving the country no choice but to appeal for budgetary support from the international community.  Developing countries should be assisted in building capacity for their sustainable developing strategies and internationally agreed standards of environmental protection and preservation, such as the Kyoto Protocol, must be realized without delay.

    Despite its potential, globalization continued to deepen the rifts between developed and developing countries, with particularly bad results for the least developed countries, he said.  They could not survive on hollow words any longer and assistance played an indispensable role in their development.  The Maldives hoped for responses to its efforts to recover fully from the tsunami.  As one of the smallest and most vulnerable Member States of the United Nations, it was more reliant than ever on the full cooperation of the international community and the United Nations system.

    NASSER AL-GHANIM (Kuwait) said his country had worked with international partners in preparation for the 2005 World Summit.  The failure of any country to meet the Millennium Development Goals could be due to lack of infrastructure, financing, expertise or information technology, which deprived them of the necessary investment.  International partnership between developing and developed countries was needed to further the development agenda.  Trade was particularly important in generating investment and employment opportunities.

    He said Kuwait had established a free trade zone in 1998 to coordinate trade in the countries of the region and had made every effort to amend its legislation to comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international agreements.  Hopefully, developing countries would participate fully in negotiations at the Hong Kong WTO meeting in December.

    Kuwait had assisted several developing countries through its Development Fund, as well as the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Fund, contributing more than the internationally agreed 0.7 per cent target of gross domestic product, he said.  It had also continued to work towards the Millennium Goals, which was challenging with respect to the environment.

    FILIPE CHIDUMO (Mozambique), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said that his country, one of the most aid-dependent in Africa, appreciated the good working relationship it enjoyed with the donor community.  Mozambique looked forward to the day when the decision by the Group of 8 to cancel the debt of poor countries would be enforced, freeing up resources for poverty alleviation.  However, Mozambique was committed to taking primary responsibility for its own development and capacity-building, as well as technical assistance from abroad, would be crucial in that regard.  For that reason, the 2005 World Summit's resolve to strengthen cooperation with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was encouraging.

    Meanwhile, challenges remained plentiful, he said.  Pandemic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, jeopardized development efforts in Africa, and Mozambique required a strong commitment by the international community for assistance in tackling those issues.  With regard to trade, dependency on a limited number of export commodities, weak technological capacities and limited access for farmers to credit posed structural constraints.  Agriculture was a strategic sector in Africa, with 70 per cent of its population depending on it for their income.  Addressing that issue was also vital.  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was encouraged to play a catalytic role to ensure that trade negotiations encompassed the concerns of the least developed countries.

    BALA BHADRA BHARATI (Nepal) said development in his country had been greatly constrained in recent years due to senseless terrorism.  Determined to defeat it, the Government had been implementing targeted programmes of poverty eradication and sustainable development.  The current tenth national development plan had focused on poverty eradication, social inclusion, sustained economic growth and promotion of sustainable development.  The Government had also initiated a programme focusing on improving service delivery in remote rural areas.

    He said Nepal had been continuing its economic reforms in order to encourage the private sector to become leaders in economic development.  It had been pursuing trade liberalization and putting in place trade laws consistent with WTO provisions.  For trade to become a catalyst for development, however, the least developed and landlocked countries needed increased trading opportunities with unhindered market access.  Implementation of the special and differential provisions of WTO agreements, along with other international commitments, would help ensure full participation by landlocked and least developed countries in the multilateral trading system.

    MARÍA ÁNGELA HOLGUÍN CUELLAR (Colombia) said that in embarking on its Millennium Development Goals, her country would be consolidating macroeconomic structures capable of strengthening employment policies and education.  In turn, that would help to secure investment and increase commercial competitiveness.  But eradicating extreme poverty could not be achieved solely by relying on ODA.  Although North-South cooperation was laudable, developing countries should work towards securing South-South cooperation through direct and pragmatic exchanges, particularly in technical cooperation.  Cooperation in the monetary, financial, scientific and technical spheres; the creation of funds to fight poverty, hunger and natural catastrophes; and programmes on health and education were all valuable mechanisms to strengthen South-South relations.

    Human history had always been marked by its migration flows, and there was an urgent need to engage with that phenomenon in a coordinated way in order to minimize negative social, political and economic impacts.  Colombia supported the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration scheduled for 2006, which would be an opportunity for origin, transit and destination countries to govern migration with due respect for the dignity and human rights of the migrants and their families.

    She said her country believed in promoting shared responsibility in the fight against corruption.  Colombia insisted on the lifting of bank reserves, as well as the seizing and repatriation of funds that were the product of corruption.  The economic yields of corruption should be confronted directly.

    GEORGE TALBOT (Guyana), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that Caribbean nations faced the simultaneous challenges of integration into the global economy and achieving enduring growth and development.  The sustained cooperation and support of the international community remained vital, especially in light of a widely expanded range of threats in the region, including deep dependence on trade for a small number of commodities and sensitive services; the increased incidence and severity of natural disasters; the rising tide of transnational crime; the continual loss of skilled resources; and terrorism.

    Trade was the preferred route to development in the region, he said, adding that a more supportive international trading and financial system would complement national and regional efforts in attaining that goal.  Moreover, steps should be taken to address the adverse impact of unilateral changes to trade arrangements, which could devastate entire economies.  Guyana, for example, stood to gain $8 million from the recent Group of 8 debt relief proposal, but to lose about $40 million from the proposed cut in European Union sugar prices.  That example highlighted the need to go beyond mere episodic interventions and underlined the vital importance of coherence across the spectrum of policies addressing trade, finance, technology and development.

    He said environmental protection was especially relevant to the CARICOM countries, given their deep dependence on the natural environment for their livelihood.  Natural disasters presented a constant threat to them, but their response was constrained by limited capacity and resources.  The CARICOM called for the early establishment of the Caribbean regional node of the global early warning systems, and stressed the need to develop mechanisms to support post-disaster recovery as a matter of deep urgency.

    CHIN KIAN WEE (Singapore) said no country could afford to adopt a policy of isolationism in today's world.  However, some countries simply did not have the tools to "plug" themselves into the international grid, and the gap between the marginalized and the "plugged in" looked set to grow.  While there had been a strategic imperative for the rich to help poor countries during the cold war, that imperative was now diminished.  Yet, the world was characterized by an international order that was not sustainable.  It fostered instability, war and terrorism, and created a world that was conducive to the spread of virulent diseases.  As such, there were hard strategic reasons why all States must ensure that the development momentum was not lost.

    In a multilateral forum, Member States must recognize the fact that no one had all the answers, he said.  Each country had its own unique context and circumstances, and a sound analysis of their problems must be based on what was practical, not doctrinal.  Developing countries should rely on self-help, while accepting the need to make difficult domestic changes and recognizing that good governance and the rule of law were critical elements in creating an environment conducive to efficient and sustained resource mobilization.

    He noted that South-South exports among developing countries had doubled, increasing from 23 per cent in the 1970s to over 40 per cent in 2002-2003, which pointed to the importance of developing countries relying on each other to achieve economic development.  Developed countries should do more to level the playing field and give developing countries a fair chance to compete on a more equal footing.  Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries had given $350 billion in agricultural subsidies in 2003, which dwarfed the amount that they gave in ODA.  The Doha Round of trade negotiations represented an important opportunity to resolve such inequalities.

    JEAN-MARIE BOSSINA (Congo) said that among the catastrophic disasters and tsunamis that had hit the world was a less visible "tsunami" that killed millions daily:  the tsunami of poverty.  The Congo was grateful for the increase in development assistance pledged by the European Union, the cancellation of debt by the Group of 8 and the intention to increase the number of beneficiaries by 10 others.  However, much more had yet to be done to help developing countries with their national strategies to strengthen their hand in trade, technological advancement, and ability to participate in global economic decision-making processes.

    He said the world trade system was not yet satisfactory as a motor of development.  The international community's efforts should go more towards building the economic structures needed for developing countries to participate more fully in the world economy.  Concerted world action was also crucial in implementing Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to deal with environmental issues.

    Noting that Africa remained the weakest link in achieving a balanced, developed world, he said, it was imperative to enhance international support for NEPAD; to continue addressing the questions of debt, trade and education; and to tackle the problems brought about by diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and drepanocytosis.

    SONG SE IL (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) stressed the urgent need to create international conditions favourable to eliminating poverty and promoting development.  Under the existing international economic order, the right of developing countries to development was ignored and their opinions given little weight in international policy and decision-making.  Developed nations should increase ODA and foreign direct investment flows to developing countries with no political preconditions.  It was also necessary to improve trading conditions for developing countries by stabilizing commodity markets and strengthening the preferential system.  The multilateral trading system and the international financial structure should be reformed to guarantee equal and full participation by developing countries.

    He said that international development must be geared to support the national strategies and policies of developing countries in order to enhance their self-reliance.  Due to differences in the level and capacity of economic development among countries, there could be no specified economic model or unique solution that was universally applicable to all.  Economic embargoes, blockades or other high-handed actions against developing countries infringed on their sovereignty and produced harmful effects on their economic and social development.

    SHIN KAK-SOO (Republic of Korea), welcoming moves by developing countries to reaffirm ownership of their own development, urged them to quickly meet their commitments to increase domestic savings; reform tax administration in order to increase Government revenue; and reform the public sector to increase transparency.  The timetables set by developed countries for reaching the 0.7 per cent ODA target figure by 2015 was encouraging, and as an emerging donor itself, the Republic of Korea was committed to doing its share.

    Other ways to build partnerships with developing countries were being sought, he said, for instance, by providing the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) with an initial outlay of $10 million to build and host the Asian-Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology.  The Republic of Korea was also dedicated to the fight against corruption and urged Member States that had not yet signed the Convention against Corruption to do so.  A United Nations Governance Centre would be established in the Republic of Korea as a follow-up to the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government towards Participatory and Transparent Governance.

    Pointing out that the Asia and Pacific Region was home to two thirds of the world's poorest people and nearly 40 per cent of the total population of the least developed countries, he expressed the hope that the international community would continue to pay attention to assisting the poorest in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.  Regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it was to be hoped that the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would produce substantive results.

    JAVAD AMIN-MANSOUR (Iran) said it was imperative to strengthen national capacities for monitoring Millennium Goal progress and to expedite the implementation of national plans and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects.  The United Nations should take into account national Government policies and priorities in reaching those targets.  Lack of adequate and predictable funding remained the most important constraint for developing countries, as well as United Nations bodies working in the field of development.  More substantial and wider debt-relief measures could contribute to the kind of international environment needed to boost economies and eradicate poverty across the globe.

    He noted that growing demand, recent natural disasters, reduced oil-refining capacities at the global level, geopolitical developments and taxes on oil products in industrialized nations had recently served to raise oil prices.  The economies of oil-producing countries also suffered from fluctuations in oil prices, and since many of them imported oil by-products at much higher prices, those countries sought stable and reasonable energy prices.  To ensure oil supply, the international community must support oil-exporting developing countries with advanced oil-exploration technologies and increase foreign investment in their exploration and production sectors.  Achieving a stabilized energy market required a sound and lasting partnership, in which the interests of both energy-importing and energy-exporting countries were equally addressed.

    NURY BAUZÁN DE SENES (Uruguay), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that eligibility for assistance towards economic and social development projects should be universal, noting that middle-income countries were virtually excluded from ODA.  Many countries in that category had made strenuous efforts towards structural economic adjustments, opening up their markets and adopting adequate measures for good governance.  They required international support if their efforts were to be maintained.  Uruguay had the additional task of reducing unemployment and poverty due to the 2002 economic crisis.  To that end, it was also essential to bring about the liberalization of trade without protectionism of any kind, especially with regard to agriculture.

    On the question of external debt, she said the right balance was needed between meeting debt-financing commitments and using financial resources to satisfy national needs and internal social demands.  Uruguay supported innovative financing initiatives that would earmark resources for social investment and infrastructure projects that strengthened democratic governance and eliminated poverty and social marginalization.

    ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic), speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that efforts to mobilize domestic resources for development financing in landlocked countries had remained unsatisfactory, mainly due to insignificant increases in ODA, high transport and transit costs, narrow resource bases and small domestic markets.  If landlocked nations were to overcome financial and human resource constraints, the donor community must give them sufficient financial and technical support without imposing harsh conditions and complex procedures.

    He said that landlocked countries had remained increasingly marginalized in the world trading system due to prohibitive transport costs related to their lack of territorial access to the sea, remoteness from major world markets, poor transport infrastructure, and burdensome border crossings.  Landlocked nations must spend about 13 per cent of their total export earnings on transport and insurance services, while other developing and developed countries paid only 8 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.  Since 1993, the participation of landlocked countries in global trade had been stagnant, amounting to only 0.5 per cent for the merchandise trade and 0.6 per cent for services in 2002.  They were also heavily dependent on trade in limited primary commodities, which were subject to high price volatility and fluctuating global demand.

    Stressing the importance of ensuring an equitable completion of the Doha Round, he requested that current WTO negotiations on market access for agricultural and non-agricultural goods pay special attention to goods and products from landlocked countries.  In addition, concrete action should be taken to establish efficient transit, transport and trade facilitation systems in both landlocked and transit developing countries.

    MARINE DAVTYAN (Armenia), aligning herself with the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, stressed the need to ensure a more equitable and open international system.  While the provision of duty-free and quota-free access was essential for the least developed countries, strategies aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and diversification of their exports were also necessary.  Towards that end, Armenia called for the completion of the Doha Round of international trade negotiations at the upcoming WTO meeting in Hong Kong.

    Regarding landlocked developing countries, she said she was pleased that the Outcome Document addressed the challenges facing them.  As a landlocked country whose western border had been unilaterally closed by its neighbour, Armenia strongly condemned unilateral coercive measures and advocated their urgent elimination. Projects envisaging new, costly infrastructures that circumvented existing ones would only add to further tensions in the already complex situation of the South Caucasus region.

    She welcomed the attention paid towards the needs of Africa in the Outcome Document and the renewed commitments to strengthen cooperation with NEPAD.  National ownership of the development agenda was an indispensable part of the global partnership for development, and Armenia was paying special attention to the development of its rural areas.  No State could stand alone against the threats of a globalized world; that was true also in the case of environmental protection and confidence-building in situations of yet unresolved conflicts.

    WALID AL-HADID (Jordan), emphasizing the importance of trade as an engine of development, said that hopefully, the December meeting of the WTO in Hong Kong would lead to agreements on trade -- including in the areas of agricultural subsidies, market access, and preferential treatment -- in achieving a multilateral, open, and fair trading regime.  Next year's High-Level Dialogue on International Migration would also be welcome in determining appropriate methods to manage the multinational aspects of migration.

    In its efforts to achieve the Millennium Goals, he said, Jordan was working to eliminate the gender gap in education, increasing the number of female students over the age of 50, and to reduce newborn mortality.  It had also increased the number of births under special care, the number of people receiving potable water, and had linked over 60 per cent of the population to sanitation networks.

    He said Jordan had continued its economic reforms by adopting liberalization policies, reducing public and increasing private investment, attracting foreign investment, and transforming itself from a resource- to a knowledge-based economy.  However, although the country had maintained its growth level from 2004, its level of external debt was still a great burden.

    SROOD NAJIB (Iraq), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China, said joint partnerships were required to remedy a world wracked by poverty and disease.  External debt constituted one of the main reasons for the lack of progress on development, and the cancellation of debt by the Group of 8 countries was valued for that reason.  It was to be hoped that other debtor countries that had not done the same would do so.  In addition, Iraq appreciated the gesture by several members of the international community in helping with its reconstruction efforts.

    He said that due to the wars suffered as a result of the previous regime, and due to the imposition of international sanctions for more than a decade, Iraq suffered from the deterioration of social and economic infrastructures.  Resources were increasingly being spent on development programmes and to pay for the accumulation of external debt.  Donor countries should honour their commitments on aid so that the Iraqi people could return to the path of development.

    To create an environment conducive to investment, foreign banks were being allowed to work in the country and investment laws were being reworked, he said.  However, because of the continued terrorist attacks in Iraq, it was not easy to implement those new programmes.  The link between terrorism and the slowdown in development was now an accepted fact and practical moves must be undertaken to annihilate terrorism through effective international cooperation, facilitated by the United Nations.

    OLUFEMI ANI (Nigeria) said that an important outcome of the 2005 World Summit was its recognition of the need for a truly effective and durable solution to the debt problem.  While debt relief for the poorest nations was welcome, forgiving the debt of low- and middle-income countries would enhance their capacity to attain the Millennium Goals.

    He added that positive changes in the quality, volume and delivery of aid to developing countries, as envisaged by the Summit, would fail to have the desired impact if they were not complemented by a fundamental restructuring of world trade.  A fair, rules-based international trading system was in the interest of all countries, and ensuring the participation of developing countries in that system would demand genuine commitment by all countries to a satisfactory outcome to the Doha Round of trade negotiations.  For African countries, the abolition of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies, the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to agriculture, and guarantees of market access for African products, with no reciprocal concessions, would be important outcomes of those talks.

    The broadening and strengthening of developing-country participation in the economic decision-making and norm-setting of the international financial institutions had never been more urgent, he said.  Increased participation would mean changing the quotas, capital shares and voting rights of member countries.  A new global economic and financial architecture, commonly shaped, would enjoy legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness.

    IMERIA NÚÑEZ DE ODREMÁN (Venezuela) aligned herself with the Group of 77 and China, saying that her country had reservations about the Outcome Document, specifically its treatment of development, poverty, as well as financial and monetary inequities.  Two principles guided Venezuela's action:  first, there was no single model of development; and second, each country had a sovereign right to determine its own development path.  Those principles should always be upheld in the work of the Second Committee and the United Nations as a whole.  It had become fashionable now to frame the development issue as one of national concern; that was a subtle trap, reflecting an ideology underlined by a weak commitment to ODA and an over-optimistic belief in trade-openness.

    In addition, the imposition of conditionality violated national sovereignty and a people's right to self-determination, she said.  Similarly, the use of unilateral coercive measures against developing countries must be rejected because it was unlawful.  The principle of shared but differentiated responsibility should have equal rank at other conferences, not only in dealing with sustainable development issues, but also those of climate change and the international trading system.  In the zeal to tackle questions of institutional reform, basic human issues had fallen by the wayside.  The principle of shared but differentiated responsibility should not be forgotten.

    Regarding the current energy crisis, she said the world should not echo the opinion of developed countries, which sought to blame oil-producing countries for the rise in prices.  Other factors, such as reduced global oil-refining capacity, market speculation and geopolitical turbulence, should be added to the equation.  Venezuela had entered into a regional alliance to mitigate energy problems, an initiative which would use up 1.7 per cent of its gross domestic product for the next 10 years.  That humble contribution stood in contrast to the level of ODA and development financing given by the developed countries, but it represented an effort by the countries of the South to tackle that issue.

    RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said the international community must pursue a broader development agenda since the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document had fallen short of many developing-country expectations.  It must also ensure that the critical role of ODA was recognized, and continue to explore innovative sources of financing for development, provided that they remained supplementary to ODA.

    The Summit had encouraged international financial institutions to support South-South cooperation, which could improve the predictability of resources and expand their scope and impact, he said.  International financial support would also be needed in promoting science and technology for development, enabling affordable and suitable technology transfer and technology cooperation.  

    Additional support should also be provided to middle-income and low-income countries, including through the reduction or cancellation of their external debts.

    He noted that the Outcome Document's section on trade was deeply disappointing for many who would have preferred stronger language regarding the complete elimination of domestic and export subsidies, especially for agricultural products, which remained the cornerstone of many developing-country economies.

    S. SHAHID HUSAIN, Permanent Observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that the current analysis of the state of the world's economy triggered cautionary thoughts, viewed principally from the standpoint of developing countries and some with economies in transition.  Many OIC member States and others attending the 2005 World Summit regretted the failure to send a message to the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong on the imperative of pursuing the development dimension of the Doha work programme.  The Chairman of the Group of 77 had articulated that concern, which the OIC shared fully.

    He called for the suppression of export subsidies in developed countries in order to provide fair access to global export markets, and facilitate enhanced productivity and employment in more developing countries.  There was also a need to facilitate transfers of technology and know-how from developed to developing countries, and to lift unilateral coercive measures against developing countries.

    On the subject of terrorism, he said concerted efforts were needed to reverse the fall-out from the events of 11 September and remedy terrorism's root causes, including treacherous foreign occupations, debilitating conditionality and inequitable trading patterns.  The world's common goal should be to seek a collective effort to facilitate the journey to peace and prosperity.

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