The Group of 77 and China, meeting Saturday a few hours in advance of the opening of the UNCTAD XIII quadrennial conference here, urged that UNCTAD be strengthened and called for a greater role for the United Nations in “international financial and economic governance.”
The declaration adopted at the Thirteenth Ministerial Meeting of the G77 said “(T)he key message of UNCTAD XIII is of particular resonance in today’s world.”
The theme of UNCTAD XIII is “development-centred globalization.” Echoing several recent UNCTAD reports, the Ministerial declaration said reform of global economic and financial governance is needed to ensure that the world economy spreads its benefits in ways that spur steady, long-term economic growth in less-wealthy nations. The declaration said such reform is “crucial.”
UNCTAD’s main areas of work – research, technical cooperation with developing countries, and consensus building among the organization’s 194 member States – should be strengthened, the G77 said, as UNCTAD is “pre-eminently placed to respond to the current and emerging global challenges facing developing countries.” The Ministers asked for greater focus by the organization on helping developing nations expand their productive capacities – that is, their national abilities to produce broader varieties of goods, and goods of greater sophistication.
Elsewhere in the four-page outcome document, the Group expressed “serious concern at the lack of progress in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations” and urged a conclusion to the round that results “in a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and development-oriented outcome.”
It said the aftereffects of the global economic crisis, particularly as they are felt by developing countries, require continued attention. The declaration added: “It is. . . imperative that the global and monetary and financial system fully supports sustainable development, and that the multilateral trading system truly ensures that trade, among other factors, serves as an engine for development.”
And the G77 expressed opposition to “protectionist measures and unilateral economic pressures, especially by the leading industrial economies.” The Group said it “firmly rejects the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic, financial, and trade measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries. We urge the international community to take urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of such measures.”