JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has stated that the United Nations should not allow its mandate to be usurped, but that a reformed UN should give priority focus to development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. He said the United Nations was established to bring peace and security to the world and play a major role in promoting development. As such Mr. Patterson said the UN should not allow any part of its mandate to be compromised.
The Prime Minister was speaking in New York on Saturday (Sept. 17) at the opening session of the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations. The presentation was delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China of which he is Chairman.
Mr. Patterson said the UN reform should empower the organization and provide the resources and clear mandate that would enable it to achieve the development goals. He said there should be a system-wide coherence that must involve the Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization, in respect of policies and operational activities that impact the achievement of the agreed development goals.
“We cannot allow the Bretton Woods Institutions to remain forever impervious to our calls. To attain the agreed development objectives, there must be a renunciation of the ill-conceived policies imposed on a number of developing countries under structural adjustment programmes three decades ago,” Mr. Patterson said.
The Prime Minister also cited the need for the resources of the development arms of the UN to focus on development priorities identified by Member States. He said the reform should also promote dialogue and partnership, review trends particularly resource mobilization, and the implementation of measures that would ensure the accomplishment of the MDGs within the agreed time frames.
Mr. Patterson spoke of climate change and the importance of the issue of shared responsibility. He said developing countries have long maintained that climate change and other unsustainable pressures on the environment were in need of urgent attention, and that developed countries must take the lead in changing production and consumption patterns and ensure the transfer of environmentally sound technology to developing countries.
He said changes were also required in the level of commitment and support to fight desertification and land degradation, resources for the management of waste as well as the change towards the promotion of a culture of re-cycling.
Prime Minister Patterson also used his presentation to speak on the matter of disarmament, which he said was linked to development. He said approximately one trillion dollars were spent annually on weapons and military equipment and noted that if such resources were channeled into development, the world would not only be more prosperous, but it would also be more safe and secure.
He said the concern was not only about nuclear weapons but the proliferation of guns ‘of every description’ which endanger the lives of ordinary citizens, undermine the rule of law and threaten social stability.
“Those who manufacture these weapons must exercise greater controls and support anti-proliferation,” the Prime Minister stated.