OPENING ADDRESS BY THE MOST HON. P. J. PATTERSON PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA AT THE SECOND SOUTH SUMMIT OF THE G77 AND CHINA DOHA, QATAR


On behalf of the entire G77 and China, I begin by expressing our very deep gratitude to you, Your Highness Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, your Government and people for hosting this Second South Summit and for all the splendid arrangements and kind hospitality extended to all of us.
Five years ago we met in Havana at the dawn of the new Millennium and resolved to pursue together a common endeavour in responding to the challenges of globalization and to redress the inequities which have crippled our development.
We pledged in our Havana Declaration and Plan of Action, to no longer remain a “passive witness to a history not of our own making .” but to “exert every effort to shape the future.”
To fulfill our purpose, we agreed:
To seek to promote change in the international environment, including the arrangements for global economic governance.
To increase economic and technical cooperation among our countries; South-South Cooperation.
In respect of the first, we have achieved some progress. At our insistence, the international community:
Established at the Millennium Summit in 2000, some important goals and targets to reduce the worst of the social deprivations of our people, namely hunger, lack of shelter and poverty and how we deal with major health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases;
In subsequent encounters on the international front, there has been the mirage of some success in negotiating programmes with bold visions of development co-operation. The outcomes from Monterrey, Johannesburg, Almaty, Brussels and Mauritius Conferences fashioned important frameworks to address our broad concerns, including specific programmes for developing countries facing particular structural problems.
But in spite of these agreements, implementation has generally been inadequate and follow through has been slow.
Millennium Development Goals
The review of the millennium development goals has clearly established that we are not on target and a dramatic effort will be needed if our expectations are to be met.
Overseas Development Assistance is now still less than 1/3 of the target of 0.7%.
Since 1998, developing countries have become net transferors of capital flow to developed countries, with this estimated at US$312 billion in 2004.
Direct Foreign Investment is still concentrated in few countries.
The rules governing intellectual property continue to make access to technology, even for medicines to deal with the most critical pandemics, expensive and at times prohibitive.
Developing countries remain marginalized, especially in respect of global economic governance.
Our Group needs to intensify the struggle and meaningfully engage our partners in a renewed impetus for timely delivery.
South South Cooperation
In terms of our second goal, we have enjoyed some successes in South-South Cooperation. We have witnessed:
A spread and strengthening of regional economic groupings and cooperation arrangements, not only within regions, but across continents;
Trade among developing countries has increased from 40% to 50%;
South-South bilateral projects in areas such as health, education, energy and construction are beginning to make a positive difference.
We have to admit, however, that our level of cooperation has been much less than we expected in the Havana Programme of Action.
Two major reasons for our limited success:-
We lack the capacity or have simply failed to provide the financial resources to deliver on our objectives
We did not provide the institutional mechanisms required at either the technical or political level to ensure or facilitate effective follow through.
Additionally, the global challenges confronting developing countries have expanded significantly in scope, thereby straining our resources and undermining our capacity to achieve our stated objectives.
Unprecedented wealth is being created, but too many countries and too many people have been denied any share of it. Everywhere, our people are demanding a greater voice in the decision-making processes.
Governance
Much is said these days about good governance and it seems to have different meanings. For some, it means the adoption of one political template and a single economic model. As there is no one antidote for every malady, so there is no magic prescription that can be applied to every situation.
We all readily subscribe to government which is transparent, accountable and which ensures integrity. We are all committed to devising policies and economic programmes which achieve social development goals and promote sustainable growth for our people.
To realize this, we welcome a partnership with the donor community, but not with unacceptable restrictions or conditions. Developing countries must have the policy space to pursue development options appropriate to their own specific circumstances.
Development co-operation must be based on respect for diversity and the proper exercise of sovereign choices.
Strengthening Co-operation
Within our Group, we have not adequately exploited the potential for cooperation. South South Cooperation should not be an empty slogan. Instead of more meetings, we need to establish contacts and identify avenues for greater cooperation. We also need to develop mechanisms for promotion and implementation of projects.
These things do not happen by chance. It requires a renewed determination and greater activism to follow through viable programmes and prospects, including negotiating forms of triangulation.
This should involve the business sector more actively especially as we seek to revive the operations of the G-77 Chamber of Commerce & Industry. This is all the more important in the light of the new economic geography which is emerging.
There are new and important growth centers in the developing world providing stimulus as locomotives of development through demand and supply.
We should confront collectively the negative conditions and tendencies in the existing global system. There should be more equity and balance in the flow of resources whether it is through increased Overseas Development Assistance, through Foreign Direct Investment flows or through the benefits from trade.
Debt Relief Initiatives
We support the initiative of the President of Brazil, to mobilize innovative sources of finance to address the issue of hunger and poverty.
We welcome the commitment of the G8 Ministers of Finance to cancel $40 billion debt owed by eighteen of the world’s poorest countries and the promise of further relief to twenty additional countries.
We also welcome the initiative of the British Prime Minister to create an International Finance Facility to front load official development assistance to facilitate achievement of the MDGs.
This recent initiative towards debt relief, while timely and commendable, needs to be expanded.
We contend that the urgent requirements of other developing countries should not be overlooked. In particular, Small Island Developing States, because of their fragile economies and vulnerabilities to natural disasters cannot be forgotten.
But there is more to be done beyond the pledging of new resources.
There is need to deal with systemic issues which operate to the detriment of developing countries. In the trade regime, the financial and monetary system and the rules of access to technology still hold severe inequities which restrict our development prospects. Unless the rules change, we will not be able to break free from the bondage of underdevelopment.
The Doha Round
The Development Round on trade which was launched here in Doha held the promise of a focused development orientation. These negotiations have stalled. To maintain the momentum and credibility, meaningful progress must be made in the negotiations when the WTO Ministers meet in Hong Kong later this year. Nothing less will suffice than results which fulfill our expectations for reform in the trade regime to support development efforts.
Improved market access for developing countries including, the reduction of agricultural subsidies in developed countries and trade arrangements based on special and differential treatment, are essential measures to promote economic growth and structural transformation in developing countries and fairer rules for access to technology should be the outcome.
Trade liberalization must be linked to development financing for trade capacity building, debt relief and increased investment flows.
The case for a new global financial architecture is compelling and irrefutable. We must manage in a more equitable and efficient way the operations of the international financial and monetary system. This is important for stability, efficiency and the prevention of crisis.
Our Message
Globalization and interdependence which are the hallmarks of the current global economic order require a broadened level of consultation and decision-making in order to formulate international economic policies.
Let our message from Doha be loud and clear – “We must enlarge the dialogue between North and South.” We gather here in Doha as the G8 prepares to hold its Summit in Gleneagles next month. We always meet separately. What is the reason why we can never meet together for common dialogue?
On our side we are ready and willing to engage in such an encounter for global partnership and co-operation. We are ready to participate in strengthening a global system which works for the benefit of all; and we are ready to do it now.
It is a political oxymoron to advocate the spread of democracy within our national borders while seeking to entrench autocracy within the international system. Nowhere are reform and the distribution of voting rights more necessary than in the international institutions.
The Bretton Woods institutions have remained impervious to change since their inception.
And so, the call for reform should not be confined to the corridors of the United Nations. It must also be heard in the halls of those institutions which exercise such a dominant influence over our daily lives.
Let the word go forth from Doha that the demands of developing countries for an audible voice and full participation in international economic governance can no longer be resisted and ignored.
Reform of the Multilateral System
The ongoing debate in the international community has risen with intensity over the past year on the crucial issue of the reform of the UN and its main organs. This debate has been focused on the need for enhancing the capacity of the world organization to respond more efficiently and more effectively in addressing the current global challenges relating to development and security.
These remain matters on which urgent consensus has to be forged. For developing countries in particular, our critical concern is to ensure that the reform process promotes and safeguards the UN’s role in economic cooperation and sustainable development.
We dare not lose the opportunity which is offered at the forthcoming High Level Plenary of the General Assembly to open new directions in global economic relations.
Several of the proposals by the President of the General Assembly are supportive of the interests of the developing countries. These will assign a central role to development and contain measures to increase funding for development cooperation.
Once again, I assert that the primacy of the role of the United Nations General Assembly must be restored.
Our Doha Plan of Action for 2005, outlines the critical need to ensure that in the reform of the United Nations, development is given high priority. The relevant organs, agencies, institutions, funds and programmes of the UN system must be appropriately strengthened and empowered to support that priority.
Development Agenda
Development is a fundamental underpinning to achieving the overall goals and objectives of the UN.
Any reform must make a significant impact on the:
Transfer of resources for development through implementation of commitments in economic co-operation.
Strengthening of the UN and particularly in its role as a participant in policy making in international economic affairs
This necessarily means more empowerment to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the promotion of development co-operation, in the formulation of economic and financial policies and in the management of the global economy.
It should activate a process to eliminate systemic inequities in trade, finance and access to technology.
The Way Forward
As developing countries we are ready for change; we are ready for reform; and we are ready for a qualitative difference and change in the partnership with the developed countries.
This can only happen when there is a commitment to the strengthening of multilateralism and genuine economic co-operation for the benefit of all mankind. The partnership we seek must be based on the principle of inclusiveness which seeks to bring all nations within the fold. None should be excluded on the basis of selective political discrimination.
We reaffirm today that the application of coercive, punitive measures against individual states should be abandoned. It destroys that spirit of united effort and undermines the principles of mutual respect, tolerance and friendly relations which form the true basis for peace and development.
We will succeed if reform efforts for building a more effective United Nations concentrate on the fundamentals.
These are the challenges facing the majority of mankind: the struggle for survival against its most dangerous enemies, poverty, ignorance and the ravages of hunger and disease.
As Chairman of the G77 and China, I promise to work with my colleague Heads of State and Governments as we seek to advance South-South co-operation, and at the same time to bridge the North South divide.
We are strategically placed here in 2005 to launch a new platform for co-operation and for change in the international system. We should strive to establish a new platform for South/South Co-operation and to implement an agreed program to achieve significant results over the next five years.
I invite the Summit to take the political decision to make these a reality. Let us determine to do it here in Doha and now.

JIS Social