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Implementation of development commitment top priority, says Munir Akram

01 March, 2007

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NEW YORK: South-South Cooperation offers the most exciting opportunities to the developing world to promote sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

This was stated by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations and Chairman Group -77 and China, while addressing the opening ceremony of the Forty-first meeting of the Chairmen/Coordinators of the Group of 77 Chapter in Rome.

Mr. Munir Akram proposed among other things strengthening of the review of the South's Trade and Commerce Organization setting up of an Eminent Persons Group to further elaborate the South Platform and strengthening of G-77 Secretariat.

Securing the effective implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) and Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADG's) agreed to at the major UN Summits and Conferences are the highest priority of Group of 77 and China for the year 2007.

Mr. Munir Akram stated that we need to focus on adequate financing for development, debt cancellation for poorest countries, Foreign Direct Investment and mobilization of additional development finance through innovative measures. A determined effort is also needed to revise and conclude the Doha Round of trade negotiation as soon as possible, he stressed.

The huge agricultural subsidies and support resorted to by the rich must be eliminated progressively, similarly restrictions on technology transfer and acquisition need to be reviewed, Ambassador Munir Akram emphasized.

The Group-77 and China will strive to secure an active voice and equitable representation for the developing countries in international economic governance, in particular in the decision making structures of the Bretton Wood Institutions apart from revitalizing the dialogue with G-8, stated Ambassador Munir Akram.

Ambassador Munir Akram called on the international community as well as various institutions to provide necessary support to G-77 - Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation for the South (COSTIS) in order to further promote the development of collaborative programmes between scientific institution and organization.

On the UN reforms, Ambassador Munir Akram said that the Group of 77 and China needs to take the lead in ensuring an effective role for the ECOSOC's Annual Ministerial Review and its new role as Development Co-operation Forum. On the Report of High Level Panel on UN System Wide Coherence , he identified adequate quantity and quality of financing of Development Co-operation as well as intergovernmental governance as some of the important issues that need to be addressed.

The G-77 he said, opposes withholding of assessed contributions to the United Nations as an instrument of influence and subscribes to the principal of capacity to pay, to ensure financial stability.

Ambassador Munir Akram said that the Group of 77 will endeavour to maintain unity and safeguard its interest in the reform process and believes that the reform process should lead to further consolidating the democratic character of the UN.

Dr Lamya Ahmed Al Saggaf , Permanent Representative of Kuwait , Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi Secretary General UNCTAD and Director General of OPEC Fund were among some of the prominent participants of the meeting.

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