Second Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement By Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations on Agenda Item No: 54 - Science and Technology for Development - International Migration and Development - Preventing and Combating Corrupt Practices and Transfer of Funds of Illicit Origin and Returning Such Assets to the Countries of Origin (October 28, 2005)

Mr. Chairman,

Let me begin by thanking the Secretary General for providing us with comprehensive reports on agenda item 54 (a-d).

2. Pakistan would like to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

3. The world history to a large extent is a history of human migration. This age of globalization and the availability of rapid communications and transportation options, thanks to the technological revolution, have only intensified the process of migration.

4. Consequently, the number of migrants has gone up from 82 million in 1970 to 200 million today. It is now 3% of the world population, with one in 35 people an international migrant. Yet ironically, migration issues, despite their intrinsic importance and cross-cutting nature, only get sporadic and sparing attention.

5. Pakistan attaches great importance to the issue of migration and welcomes the convening of the High Level Dialogue by the General Assembly on International Migration and Development in 2006. We thank the Secretary General for his report on the modalities for the high level dialogue. We are confident that the dialogue will provide a unique opportunity for the international community to set the foundation for enhanced international cooperation by comprehensively addressing the multi-faceted phenomenon of international migration. We will constructively engage with others to expeditiously finalize the arrangements and modalities for the dialogue.

6. Foremost, the dialogue should help de-mystify the debate and myths created around this critical issue. We strongly believe in the need for more intense international cooperation and collaboration on international migration.

7. We are glad to note that international migration is one of the two new important elements introduced in the development section of the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The other being employment and job creation. We are confident that the forthcoming High Level Dialogue should be able to further flesh out the decision taken by our leaders. We may even consider including migration into the matrix of development goals.

Mr. Chairman,

8. Pakistan has also read with great interest the comprehensive report presented by the Global Commission on International Migration. The report is timely and its analyses should help sharpen the focus on international migration at a time when it is most needed. We are examining the report with the seriousness that it deserves.

9. People do not leave their hearths and homes unless they have to or unless they are forced to. The economic disparities and inequities in the international system do contribute to the global migration patterns. Denial or lack of market access to the exports of poor countries and trade distortive agricultural subsidies are critical factors in perpetuating poverty and unemployment in the developing countries that lay at the root of migration.

10. The Commission has also recognized the important linkage between international trade and migration and has called for greater efforts to bring to a successful conclusion, the WTO negotiations on services under Mode-IV dealing with the movement of natural persons. It is indeed ironical that while a lot of energy and resources are spent on securing the free movement of goods, very little is being said or done to facilitate the movement of persons - another factor of production. We must do something to cure this anomaly to secure a truly fair and genuinely development oriented global trading regime that deals equally and equitably with the movement of goods and services, including that of labour.

11. In stressing the need for greater coherence and coordination, the Commission has correctly noted that important decisions taken in areas such as development, trade and the labour market are rarely considered in terms of their impact on international migration.

12. We need to address the factors that trigger migration. We support the Commission’s recommendations for the states and private sector to consider introducing temporary migration programmes as a means of addressing the economic needs of urgent and destination countries. We feel that exploring and facilitating channels for regular migration will help maximize the developmental impact of migration both in the receiving and sending states as well reduce human trafficking and abuse of migrant rights.

13. The Commission has also rightly noted that the international community has failed to capitalize on the opportunities and to meet the challenges associated with international migration. It has called for more thinking on devising strategies to rectify the situation. The lack of capacity and absence of policy coherence and coordination undermines our ability to deal with migration issues. Most importantly, we need the political will to act and to devise realistic and doable strategies to deal with the situation at hand. This calls for a global partnership and a multi-stakeholder approach.

14. We believe that without the requisite machinery and institutional support it will be difficult to generate and sustain the much needed coherence and coordination on migration issues. We are, therefore, ready to look at the various ideas including the proposal by the Commission to establish an international global migration facility.

15. The Economic and Social Council, being the forum responsible for coordinating economic, social and environmental policies should also be able to play an important role in furthering the global discourse on migration particularly in the light of the Summit decisions on strengthening ECOSOC.

54(b): Science and Technology for Development

Mr. Chairman,

16. Development and poverty alleviation today depend on the ability of nations to transit from agriculture-based to knowledge-based economies. Industrialization is the key to high GDP growth. And this can be achieved only through production of high value-added goods. Thus, the most critical component for socio-economic advancement now is knowledge and innovation.

17. Regrettably, the development promise of science and technology, remains unfulfilled for the poor of this world. The rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer. Technology, instead of bridging the gap, often becomes a great divider. The growing technological divide between the developed and the developing countries must be bridged. Creating links between knowledge generation and development is thus one of the greatest challenges facing developing countries.

18. Our leaders at the 2005 Summit, recognizing the importance of science and technology as vital for the achievement of development goals, called for strengthening and enhancing existing mechanisms and for considering initiatives to support research and development. They also called for promoting and facilitating access to the development transfer and diffusion of technology to the developing countries. The Summit Decisions should hopefully provide the necessary impetus for urgently needed actions in this important area.

19. The President of Pakistan chairing the Global Roundtable Forum on Investment and Innovation: Scaling Science and Technology to meet the Millennium Development Goals held in New York on September 13, 2005 presented a set of proposals for specific national and international actions to help the developing countries effectively use science and technology to achieve their development objectives and goals. The actions suggested for the developing countries at the national level were as follows:

Developing countries should adopt strategies for technological learning and institution-building. These strategies should involve continuous interaction between government, industry, academia, and civil society.
Mainstream science and technology and innovation into national development strategies.
Establishment of business and technology incubators, export processing zones and production networks.
Structure their trade policies in ways designed to acquire technological capabilities. In this context, incentives for Foreign Director Investment could place a premium on technology transfer and diffusion.
20. At the international level, following actions were proposed to advance the contribution of science and technology to development:

The United Nations and international financial institutions should direct greater resources to promoting the application of science and technology and technological innovation in developing countries.
International rule-making and standard setting activities should respond to the concerns of developing countries. The developing countries should be enabled to participate fully in standard setting bodies.
The agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, and other intellectual property laws, should be reviewed with a view to enhancing their contribution to development.
The UN should initiate a process to identify developing country research and development needs and to niche opportunities for development taking into account the natural resources and other assets of individual countries.
A Global Research and Development Fund should be created.
Global campaign should be initiated for human resource training for MDGs achievement.
Developed countries and advanced institutions can provide scholarships to developing countries.
Centres of Excellence in areas relevant to agriculture and industry should be established in the developing countries through external cooperation. Similarly, high quality “virtual universities” and virtual means of research could be created to spread knowledge, innovation and technological application.
21. We are ready to engage with the other Member States to translate these suggestions into concrete policy actions.

54(d): Preventing and Combating Corrupt Practices and Transfer of Funds of Illicit Origin and Returning Such Assets to the Countries of Origin

Mr. Chairman,

22. Corruption including the problem of the transfer of funds of illicit origin is an evil which threatens the peace and prosperity of societies across the globe. It is a pervasive phenomenon, which afflicts both the developed and the developing countries.

23. Recognizing the adverse impact that corruption can have on development, our leaders expressed their resolve to make the fight against corruption a priority at all levels.

24. We have taken a number of measures at the national level to fight corruption and are addressing both preventive and curative aspects of this problem.

25. Corruption, however, is a trans-national crime that calls for concerted international action, particularly measures to return illegally acquired assets to the countries of origin. We strongly feel that efficient and prompt return of such assets acquired through corruption to the countries of origin acts as a major deterrence against corrupt practices.

26. We thank the Secretary General for undertaking analysis, in his report, of the impact of corruption and that of the outflows of assets acquired through corruption on economic growth and sustainable development. The report acknowledges that corruption poses a severe threat to sustainable development. The report also notes that proceeds derived from corruption have a cancerous effect on economies and politics worldwide. IMF estimates that the total money-laundered annually is in the range of $ 600 billion to $ 1.8 trillion with a significant portion of it involving funds derived from corruption. We hope that the elements examined in the Secretary General’s report in the context of the impact of corruption on development could be further amplified and analysed more extensively in future. This becomes imperative in the light of the decision of our leaders on assigning top priority to tackling corruption.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.