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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Jul16/20)
22 July 2016
Third World Network

 
UNCTAD-14: G77 and China call for "ambitious Outcome"
Published in SUNS #8288 dated 22 July 2016


Nairobi, 21 July (TWN) - The Group of 77 and China have called for adoption of "an ambitious Outcome" at the fourteenth session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, now holding a weeklong meeting at Ministerial level.

Addressing the plenary on Tuesday (19 July) on behalf of the G77 and China, Tanzania's Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Charles John Mwijage said the "Outcome" of the Nairobi Conference must strengthen UNCTAD's capacity to meet its goal of supporting developing countries in pursuing development through trade, by deepening their integration into the multilateral trading system, and fulfilling UNCTAD's role as the focal point in the UN system for trade and development.

The Conference, he said, meets at a time of great challenge and uncertainty. Since the last session of the Conference in Doha (UNCTAD-13 2012), "global growth has been slowing down and looks set to remain below its potential, possibly for some time to come."

"Trade is growing at a slower rate than global output and capital flows are becoming increasingly volatile. Furthermore, commodity prices have entered a downward phase and interest rates are expected to rise in the coming months, raising serious concerns in developing countries about the sustainability of debt positions, both sovereign and private. All of this implies important constraints on the opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic growth of developing countries.

"Indeed, the global economic system remains decidedly undemocratic and deeply unbalanced; socio-economic gaps, within and across countries and communities, are wide, and heightened cross-border economic and financial architecture are a source of instability as well as growth.

"The distribution of global income remains extremely unequal, and in absolute terms the income inequality between rich and poor countries has continued to grow.

"The varied growth enjoyed by most developing counties since the start of the millennium can be attributed partly to their own efforts. These modest gains are now being eroded; deteriorating with the rise of austerity economics in these same economies.

"We are encouraged in the midst of these difficulties," the Tanzanian Minister continued, "by the far-reaching global decisions taken by consensus in 2015 - beginning in March 2015 with the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. In July, (came) the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and then, in September 2015, world leaders adopted the comprehensive and ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"With Agenda 2030, we committed ourselves to eradicating poverty, including extreme poverty, in all its forms and dimensions. In December 2015, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC agreed, with similar ambition, to address the challenges related to climate change. In the same month, the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization adopted several key decisions that reaffirmed the centrality of development in the WTO's work.

"It is now urgent and critical that we seek to find effective solutions, to enable all countries, in particular, developing countries, to implement the ambitious development agenda to which we have all committed. For this, we must take advantage of the ambitious goals that we have agreed and move from decisions to action. This is the goal to which this 14th UNCTAD Ministerial Conference must be dedicated."

The theme of this Conference, "From Decisions to Action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development", must be reflected in all the work here in Nairobi.

"We must, therefore as Ministers, agree an ambitious Outcome at this Ministerial, which strengthens the capacity of UNCTAD to meet its goal of supporting developing countries in pursuing development through trade, by deepening their integration into the multilateral trading system, and fulfilling UNCTAD's role as the focal point in the UN system for trade and development.

"We must, also, embrace UNCTAD's role in addressing, through its three pillars, the range of trade and development challenges impeding the sustainable development prospects of developing countries. UNCTAD must continue its vital work in monitoring and assisting in addressing global challenges arising from the imbalances in the global financial and economic architecture.

The Ministers of the Group of 77 and China, Tanzania said, have issued a Ministerial Declaration setting out in more detail, "our views and recommendations on the mandate and further work of UNCTAD, as well as on other global and critical issues of concern to our Group."

Tanzania asked, in keeping with the usual custom, that the Ministerial Declaration of the Group of 77 and China be circulated as a Conference Document. The G77 and China is ready to work with all of the UNCTAD family to ensure the success of this Conference."

 


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