STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR HECTOR TIMERMAN, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ARGENTINA, AT THE OPEN DIALOGUE OF THE GROUP WITH THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL TO THE GROUP OF 77
(New York, March 4, 2011)
We appreciate the gesture of the Secretary General, Mr. Ban, in accepting our suggestion to meet the Group of 77 and China, a gesture which recognizes few historical precedents. We highly value his disposition to participate in this forum in an interactive dialogue on economic and financial aspects at a global level, at a time in which due to the world economic crises and to recent events of high international repercussions, dialogue among different actors is particularly necessary.
Argentina, as Chair of G77 during 2011, has undertaken with deep conviction the responsibility entrusted to us to continue to coordinate positions and work together among developing countries in order to take stances on the challenges presented by the multilateral agenda. In particular, with regard to issues linked with the international financial architecture trough the promotion of integrated policies, which include the human dimension, decent work, health and development of our people.
The international community must again pursue in 2011 its efforts to find solutions to the challenges we face on environment. The Group of 77 will continue to insist on the basic principles of shared but differentiated responsibilities in order to seek, among other things, better transfer of technologies and resources to developing countries so that we may play fully our role in the protection of the environment.
It is key that developing countries reinforce our own capacities promoting South – South cooperation, the philosophy of which highlights the role of the recipient country and recognizes the capacity of association to reach goals of mutual benefit
We remain hopeful that despite the financial and economic crises of two years ago, the international community will deepen its joint efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals and ensure an effective international action intended to close the gap between the stronger economies and those still developing
This year, during the 66° General Assembly, we must tackle the 2012 – 2013 budget. The G 77 and China will continue to sustain that adequate level of regular resources must be destined to social and economic development. These responsibilities of the Organization may not receive priority attention by the media. However, this is one of the most relevant functions of the United Nations and one in which it has achieved some of its most positive results of major relevance in the day to day life of millions of people.
We must pay particular attention to an adequate support of the capacities of the United Nations to assume an active and efficient role in the coordination of international efforts in the field of multilateral cooperation and assistance.
It is appropriate to recall that the international economic crisis, which is still to come to an end and which specially affected developing countries, has forced the latter to seek the best ways to manage the impact on the most vulnerable populations, whilst continuing to promote our sustainable development.
Argentina considers that the only real way out of the present crisis is to attend to these challenges from a perspective of social inclusion with particular attention being paid to education, health, social justice and decent work.
We observe that instability surrounding certain recent internationals events have many of these elements as their root causes. The responses to these situations must recognize the existence of a shared interest. We believe that developed countries have in this a special role, not only as the originators of the recent economic and financial crisis, or by the necessary sense of solidarity that should be associated with their condition of strong economies, but also because it is in their direct interest. In a globalized world. the consequences of these crisis will not spare them. Neither in terms of security, nor in economical terms, nor in terms of migratory pressures, nor in many others ways.
In this sense it is important for the Group to make known and to have its voice heard in order to reach timely and efficient actions towards global equity, whichever the fora where issues may be discussed. Some key examples:
A - Reform of the international financial system.
United Nation´s contributions to the debate on international reform are indispensable to reach results acceptable to our countries. The conclusions of the 2009 report of the Committee of Experts that advised the President of the General Assembly on this question continue to be valuable and we must seek to enrich and foster those contained in the chapter related to the reform of the global system of reserves. The G77 and China has been a strong promoter of the expansion of the system of Special Drawing Right (SDRs) in the past and it is appropriate that we reinforce this position at a time in which the convenience and the ways to expand the role of the SDRs in the international monetary system are being seriously considered.
The G77 and China will continue to promote substantive reforms in the governance of the International Financial Institutions. The Reforms agreed in the IMF on 2008 and 2010 are only a modest progress (voting power of developing countries as a group will increase from 42.1% to 44.7% once the reforms agreed on November 2010 are implemented). Moreover the working arrangements in the Bretton Woods institutions have changed little after the 2008 - 2009 crisis, when they demonstrated profound shortcomings to prevent these problems of unprecedented magnitude, and continue to keep criteria that are unacceptable to developing countries, on matters such as conditionalities.
B – Commodity prices volatility
The high prices of commodities that we see today are benefiting the terms of trade for developing countries which, in general, are exporters of commodities, particularly in historically challenged regions such as South Saharan Africa. For this reasons the structure of relative prices in the new international context has created opportunities we must take advantage of to promote our development. However, we must also lend the highest priority to the challenges faced by an important group of vulnerable economies, which are net importers of food goods and the grave problems created to them by the increase in the cost of their imports.
We know that the policies of massive subsidies to agricultural production and protectionism by some of the main economies in the world are an important cause of the divestment in agricultural and rural development of developing countries over the past forty years.
Because of all of the above, international cooperation is key to promoting financial nets aimed at guaranteeing food security, with rapid disbursement, through the provision of the required adequate and timely assistance to countries facing this situation. We are confident that the IV Summit on Least Developed Countries (LDSs), to take place in Istanbul - Turkey, will allow us to find the appropriate answers.
C – Restructuring of Sovereign Debt
Financial speculation and lack of transparency on the financial markets are deservedly associated to the volatility of asset markets and also commodity prices. Shameless speculations by hedge funds seeking exorbitant financial gains at the expense of the most vulnerable economies have generated hurdles to deep restructuring by developing countries. It is time to change the rules that govern sovereign debt restructuring to correct this anomaly
Misión Permanente Argentina ante las Naciones Unidas