Second Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in the General Debate of the Second Committee, UN General Assembly (4 October 2004)

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to convey to you Pakistan delegationís warm felicitations on assuming the Chairmanship of this important Committee and to congratulate all other members of the Bureau as well. May I take this opportunity to thank your predecessor my friend Ambassador Iftikhar Ahmad Chaudhry for his able stewardship of the committee last year.

Mr. Chairman,

2. The distinguished Under Secretary General as well as the Chairman of the Group of 77 have outlined the global macro economic picture. It is a picture, which is mixed with signs of global economic recovery, a recovery which is fragile and the world economy which is in some parts dynamic and in some parts stagnant but pervasively unequal. It is clear that poverty has increased despite the fact that a broad strategy for global development is in place in the Doha Round, the Monterrey Consensus and the Johannesburg Declaration but implementation is lacking. We can continue with the art of transferring blame on to each other for the failure to proceed towards the MDGs or we can utilize this Session to try and identify practical ways in which to achieve those development goals.

3. It is the belief of my delegation that we should utilize the period between now and the High Level Event in 2005 to work out a concrete plan of action that would promote a genuine partnership for development and indeed for peace because unless we achieve the development goals set out in the Millennium Declaration, we can expect that the world will be an even more dangerous place.

Mr. Chairman,

4. I would like to focus on what could be the elements of such a partnership for development that we could envisage. In the view of my delegation this could be based on four pillars.

5. The first pillar and the essential one must be good national policies and good governance on the part of the developing countries. Even the worst performing economies in our view can be turned around. Pakistanís example over the last year is testimony to that. From a stagnant and declining economy, today we have an economy which is growing at the third fastest rate in Asia. We have low inflation, ample reserves, high trade growth and hope and expectations of doing even better.

6. The second pillar of any partnership for development must be adequate financing for development. We did achieve a consensus in Monterrey but we need to flesh it out to make it more practical. There are a number of national measures, which can be utilized to maximize financing for development and these could include: resort to creation of Human Development Funds through private and public sector partnerships. It could include utilizing foreign grant assistance to retire expensive debt. To achieve the same objective through interest rate swaps. To give title to the poor people to raise loans for small business and to impose small fees on stock market transactions both at the national and international levels.

7. We could take a more vigorous direction in debt write-offs, which have been advocated now for the poorest countries. In debt swaps for social and environmental development actions our developed country partners must not give up on the goal of the 0.7% target. We welcome the commitment of the United Kingdom and France to double ODA.

8. We believe that the developed countries could use various innovative measures to reach that target. For example, raising market money and paying off the interest. We can revive old concepts which were set aside two decades ago such as the revision of IMF quotas for the developing countries, the creation of new SDRs linked to development financing and IMF compensatory financing facility linked to the terms of trade of the developing countries.

9. Thirdly, Mr. Chairman the third pillar, we believe an important one, is a fair international trade regime. We must have a Doha Round, which is genuinely a Development Round. The Framework Agreement we have reached was a hard one. It kick started the WTO negotiations. Some clear gains on agricultural subsidies have been made but the development goals and commitments are still unclear. The development content of the Round needs to be made clear. Its elements could be:

- Elimination of unequal subsidies and support together with policy space for developing countries to sustain their rural development in a liberalized trade regime. Cotton will be a test case.

- Secondly, elimination of discriminatory tariff peaks and escalation against the products of the poor

- Thirdly, non-circumvention of market access for example for textile through such measures as anti-dumping and special safe-guards.

- Fourth, operationalization of the special and differential treatment in past and future WTO agreements;

- Fifth, a resolution of the host of implementation issues that relate to the Uruguay Round Agreements

- Sixth, a development review of the TRIPS and TRIMS Agreements, given our experience with the whole issue of drugs for HIV/AIDS.

10. Reciprocity, Mr. Chairman, in the Doha Round must be related to the capacity for competition under equal conditions. And, outside the Doha Round, there is still need to develop some mechanism to stabilize commodity prices.

11. Another issue outside Doha, which cries for attention, is that of international migration. This must be a central element of any fair trading system. If capital can move and markets are free, surely labour the other factor of production must have similar freedom. Restrictive policies imposed for nationalistic or security reasons negatively affect both the exporters and importers of labour. And a new dimension in this debate is the question of outsourcing, where again, special arguments are advanced to prevent the market forces from working in favour of the developing countries. We welcome the fact that the UN Assembly has decided to convene a High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in 2006.

Mr. Chairman,

12. The last pillar of any partnership for development must be access to technology and relevant research and development. I believe, that given the constraints of the TRIPS Agreement and other related constraints on the transfer of technology we need to evolve a code of conduct to ensure that relevant development techniques, which can save lives, address hunger, promote production that such technologies are made available to the developing countries at affordable prices. Incentives can be provided also for R&D related activities that focus on the problems of the developing countries rather than as at present 90% on the problems of the richer countries.

Mr. Chairman,

13. 2005 will be an important year for the developing countries. We must focus this Event on development. We must set in motion this year the preparation for this Event and achieve a negotiated outcome adopted by consensus, which upholds and outlines a strategy for development and a partnership for development

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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