Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
      UNIS/GA/1722
        1 November 2000
     World Cannot Remain Divided Between Rich and Poor and Remain Peaceful 
    And Secure at Same Time, Second Committee Told

    Committee Continues Consideration of 2001 Least Developed Countries Conference
     
     

    NEW YORK, 31 October (UN Headquarters) -- The world could not remain divided between rich and poor and remain peaceful and secure at the same time, Nepal’s representative told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this morning, as it continued its discussion of issues related to the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries which will be held in Brussels from 14 to 20 May 2001.

    The least developed countries were facing many problems today, he continued, all of which needed to be addressed urgently.  He supported a four-pronged approach to help the least developed countries catch up with the rest of the world, which included duty-free and quota-free access to world markets, debt reduction, enhanced ODA and foreign direct investment. 

    The representative of Benin hoped that the programme of action to be adopted at the Conference would help to achieve tangible results, so that by 2020 the United Nations would be able to abolish the category of least developed countries.  The programme should be very specific in terms of numbers and have performance indicators to be able to record both successes and failures.  In addition, mobilizing new resources would be crucial for its implementation. 

    Ethiopia’s representative believed the success of the Conference depended not only on how much additional development financing was injected into the least developed countries, but also on how fast the international community broke the vicious cycle of poverty and integrated those countries into the increasingly globalized world economy.  Though the implementation of the programme of action was the responsibility of all stakeholders, its preparation and prioritization should remain the sole responsibility of the least developed countries.

    To put it simply, stated the representative of Mozambique, the least developed countries had been marginalized and excluded from the globalization process.  He challenged the international community to show firm political will to harness and manage the globalization process, and hoped that it would seize the opportunity provided by the Conference to translate commitments into deeds. 

    Uganda’s representative said that while the least developed countries had taken measures to implement their commitments, the substantial increase in development assistance promised by industrialized countries had not been forthcoming.  Against that background, it was necessary to reach agreement on a more feasible approach to international cooperation.  The stakes at the Conference were very high for the millions languishing in the least developed countries.
     
     Also this morning, the representative of Romania introduced a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, and the representative of Kazakhstan introduced one on transit environment in the landlocked States in Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours.

    In addition, the representative of Nigeria (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) introduced a draft resolution on implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) including the establishment of the Millennium Solidarity Fund for Poverty Eradication.  

     Statements were also made by the representatives of Ukraine, Bangladesh, Sudan, Pakistan, United States, Yemen, Haiti, United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the Southern African Development Community), Togo, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, Myanmar, China and Zambia.  The observer for Switzerland also spoke.  

     The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. today to conclude its discussion of the Conference, consider the report of the United Nations University and take up protection of the global climate for present and future generations of mankind.  

    Committee Work Programme

     The Second (Economic and Financial) met this morning to continue its consideration of the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.  (For background, please see Press Release GA/EF/2136 issued on Friday, 27 October.)  

    Introduction of Draft Resolutions

     SORIN DUCARU (Romania) introduced a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/C.2/55/L.16).  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would invite the Secretary-General to undertake consultations with the Secretary-General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, with a view to promoting cooperation and coordination between both Secretariats.  It would also invite the specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations system to cooperate with both Secretaries-General in order to initiate consultations and programmes with the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and its associated institutions for the attainment of their objectives.  

     The text is sponsored by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Fiji, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Malta, Morocco, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.  

     Oleksii I. HOLUBOV (Ukraine) said that Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization had transformed itself into an organization that served an important political purpose and effectively contributed to promotion of the principles of the United Nations Charter.  New partnerships were also being developed within the organization to combat international crime and address technological and environmental disasters.

     MADINA B. JARBUSSYNOVA (Kazakhstan) introduced a draft resolution on transit environment in the landlocked States in Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours (document A/C.2/55/L.19).  That text would have the Assembly call on the United Nations system to continue studying, within the scope of the present resolution, possible ways of promoting more cooperative arrangements between landlocked States in Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours, and to encourage a more active supportive role on the part of the donor community.  

     The Assembly would invite the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the governments concerned, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Europe and relevant regional and international organizations in accordance with approved programme priorities and within existing financial resources, to continue elaborating a programme for improving the efficiency of the current transit environment in the newly independent and developing landlocked States in Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours.  

     The Assembly would also invite UNCTAD, in close cooperation with the regional economic commissions, within their respective mandates and current resources, as well as with other relevant international organizations, to provide technical assistance and advisory services to the newly independent and developing landlocked States in Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours, taking into account the relevant transit transport agreements.  

     Also, the Assembly would invite donor countries and multilateral financial and development institutions, within their mandates, to continue to provide those States with appropriate financial and technical assistance for the improvement of the transit environment, including construction, maintenance and improvement of their transport, storage and other transit-related facilities and improved communications.  

     The text was sponsored by Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lao Democratic People’s Republic, Mongolia, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

    Statements

     ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said that the preparations for the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries looked promising.  His delegation felt that an additional meeting of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee was needed.  There was a widely shared feeling that good progress was necessary to ensure a good Conference.  His delegation was satisfied with the outline of the draft programme of action.  It was now looking forward to the actual draft.  The major global conferences of the nineties had generated a wealth of ideas on how to approach the problems of development.  The draft should capture all of the agreements that had emerged out of those processes.  The UNCTAD Secretariat should ensure the coordination of participation by all agencies and stakeholders. 

     Bangladesh believed the outcome of the Conference should focus on the eradication of poverty, he said.  Strong support was needed for the least developed countries’ efforts to address this vital area.  The Conference should also focus on the reorientation of aid programmes as well as the reduction of the debt burden.  The programme of action should place an emphasis on creating conditions that would draw foreign direct investment.  Quota-free and duty-free market access for all products from all least developed countries should be the aim of the outcome of the Brussels Conference.  He called for the international community to work together for the success of the Conference and an outcome that would make a real difference to the least developed countries. 

     OUSSOU EDOUARD AHO-GLELE (Benin) said that the category of least developed countries included poor, weak and vulnerable countries as well as those whose situation would further deteriorate unless effective measures were taken.  It would remain an open-ended group unless the international financial architecture was reformed.  The success of the Conference would depend on the will to look for solutions to current problems and to the extent that the preparatory process contributed to its success. 

    He also hoped that the programme of action would help to achieve tangible results, so that by 2020 the United Nations would be able to abolish that category of countries.  The programme should be very specific in terms of numbers and have performance indicators to be able to record both successes and failures.  There was a need to quantify the objectives to be achieved.  In particular, attention should be paid to strengthening the capacities of those countries with regard to new technologies.  The most important problem after the adoption of the programme would be its financing.  Mobilizing new resources would be crucial for its implementation.  It would be desirable to adopt specific commitments for financial contributions at the same time as the adoption of the programme.  

    The Conference should develop appropriate structures at the regional, national and international levels, he added.  At the international level, the Secretary-General should establish a United Nations commission to work on the implementation and follow-up of the programme.  The draft resolution on the Conference should be submitted by the Committee Chairman rather than a group of countries.

     MUBARAK HUSSEIN RAHMTALLAH (Sudan) said his delegation shared the view of the bureau of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee on the increased marginalization of the least developed countries.  Those countries had not shared the benefits of globalization over the last decade.  The most important conclusion of the report of the Secretary-General on the Least Developed Countries was that the volume of official development assistance (ODA) had contracted.  It was necessary to elaborate an active internal policy on the basis of a crystal clear approach.  In light of the Secretary-General’s conclusions, there was a dire need for the Third Conference on Least Developed Countries to adoption an action-oriented programme of action.

     It was obvious, he said, that the success of the Conference would lie in increasing ODA, writing off debt and improving access to world markets for the developing countries.  Regarding the outline of the programme of action prepared by the UNCTAD Secretariat, his delegation stressed the need for the new draft outline to be based on priorities that could be implemented.  The Sudan supported the call for an additional official session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Conference.  He hoped that the Second Committee and the Fifth Committee would endorse that session.  

     BERHANU KEBEDE (Ethiopia) said that the programme of action adopted by the Conference had to be different both in form and quality from the previous ones.  It should have an inherent mechanism to tackle old and emerging challenges of development facing the least developed countries.  It also had to have measurable and implementable goals, as well as targets and means of achieving them.  It had to clearly stipulate in a balanced manner the role of government in those countries.  The national plans of action had to serve as inputs to the international programme and action.  Further, coherence and consistency between the national and international programmes had to be maintained.  

     Though the implementation of the programme of action was the responsibility of all stakeholders, its preparation and prioritization should remain the sole responsibility of the least developed countries, he continued.  The Conference had to designate a strong intergovernmental body to monitor and follow up the implementation of the programme of action.  It also had to come up with a clear proposal on how to strengthen, both in terms of finance and human resources, the Office for the Least Developed Countries in UNCTAD.  The success of the Conference depended not only on how much additional development finance was injected into the least developed countries, but also on how fast the international community broke the vicious poverty cycle and integrated them into the increasingly globalizing world economy.  

     ALAMGIR BABAR (Pakistan) said that in certain cases the situation of the least developed countries had worsened.  The development programme and polices of these countries had been rendered ineffective due to the challenges posed by globalization and liberalization.  The Third Conference must identify obstacles and build on the lessons of previous programmes.  Pakistan believed that the Third Conference must focus on four priorities:  enhanced levels of ODA; a durable solution of the debt burden of least developed countries; improved market access for least developed countries; and an enabling international financial environment. 

     Global policy must take into account the effects of globalization, he said.  Globalization posed a serious risk of further marginalizing the least developed countries.  In order to ensure that the Third Conference succeeded, the international community had to find the political will to achieve the realization of the set goals.  In this age of prosperity, it was preposterous that so many people lived in dire poverty.  It was important to let the world know that United Nations documents such as the Millennium Declaration would be followed up by action.  The international community must commit itself.

     OLIVIER CHAVE, observer for Switzerland, said that as the number of least developed countries had grown to 48 from 25 in 1971 he was convinced of the importance of the Conference.  The participation of least developed countries in world trade had dropped by 40 per cent. Through bilateral economic cooperation, Switzerland was directly involved in those countries.  The least developed countries would have to make an essential contribution to the drafting of the new action programme.  He hoped they would be in a position to submit their national action plans, which would contribute to the general action programme.  Those national plans should be developed in a complementary way with the Comprehensive Development Framework and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.  Only then would they be an effective tool for nations and the donor community.  

    Five sectors should provide the basis for the new action plan, he said.  First, good governance would allow least developed countries to strengthen their social, economic and political development.  It would also stimulate the participation of civil society in public administration.  Second, special priority must be given to education, particularly of girls.  Third, access to adequate health services was important.  Fourth, attention must be given to the full integration of informal sectors in the areas to be acted on.  Finally, the funding of the action programme must include significant measures to increase the financial resources granted to the least developed countries. 

     JAY SNYDER (United States) said that assisting the least developed countries to achieve sustainable development was a high priority of his country’s foreign policy.  His delegation was committed to working with the international community to produce a results-oriented programme of action for the Third Conference.  He hoped that the preparatory process and the Conference itself would serve not only as a discussion event, but also as a problem-solving forum with concrete, tangible ideas. 

     The continued drafting of tailored, individual country action programmes remained the most effective way to encourage the governments of the least developed countries to identify problems and seek solutions, he said.  The task of sustainable development should not be placed solely on government, but development should involve all willing participants and partners, including the private sector and civil society.  The United States strongly encouraged participation in the conference and the preparatory process by the private business community and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Both developed and developing countries must put aside traditional differences of opinion and commit to working to achieve sustainable development.

     AHMED A. AL-HADDAD (Yemen) said he was satisfied with the preparatory work that was being done and thanked the European Union for their offer to host the Conference.  It was very important to have the necessary political will to find true solutions for the social and economic problems of the least developed countries.  The solutions proposed were clear, but uncertainty lay in the commitment to implement them.  It was important to set priorities in the programme of action.  Actions for poverty eradication must have priority.  Yemen had attached great importance to that subject and had carried out reforms to intensify investment in the country.  

    Also, he continued, the international community must be committed to increasing ODA in order to have enough funds to address the challenges of least developed countries.  He hoped the Conference would generate enough political will on behalf of the developed countries to help the least developed countries.  He called on the international community to make the Conference a success so that the least developed countries could achieve the aspirations of their people.    

     PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) said that the upcoming Conference would provide the least developed countries with an opportunity to identify the factors that continued to bring down their standard of living.  So far, a number of meetings at the expert level had been held, and his delegation welcomed the progress that had been made.  Haiti welcomed the generous offer by the European Union to hold the Conference and thanked those members of the Union that had pledged support for the least developed countries to attend the Conference.  In preparation for the Conference, Haiti had set up a National Committee, which was open to all members of civil society and the business community, as well as NGOs.

     Over the past decade, the number of least developed countries had increased from 42 to 48, he said.  At the international level, the drop in ODA and the high debt rate of the least developed countries had added to the many economic and social problems of those countries.  At the national level, the development of the least developed countries had been slowed down by poor mobilization of resources and political conflict.  Those countries had become dependent on foreign aid, which had witnessed a decline.  The Haitian Government had undertaken to improve the economy of its country, but was still encountering many obstacles to reaching sustainable development.  For the governments of the least developed countries, the stakes were great.  He hoped that a true world agenda would come out of the Conference. 

     DAUDI N. MWAKAWAGO (United Republic of Tanzania), speaking on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said that the major factors contributing to the worsening situation in economies of the least developed countries were, among others, the twin processes of globalization and trade liberalization, the declining trend in ODA to those countries, the problem of debt, lack of adequate investments, conflicts and natural disasters.  Globalization could be positive if the benefits accruing from it were shared equitably among all participating countries.  It was necessary to undertake measures leading to the integration of least developed countries into the world trading system in a meaningful and beneficial manner.  

    That could be attained, he continued, through improved production of goods and services as well as unhindered markets for goods from least developed countries.  It was worth noting the decision of the European Union to grant duty free, quota free access to products from least developed countries.  He urged that those measures be incorporated into the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

    One of the major impediments to development was the prevalence of conflicts in some countries in Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Burundi and Sierra Leone, he said.  In some instances, all of Africa had mistakenly been portrayed as engulfed in conflict.  That image had a negative effect on economic activities, since it discouraged potential investors.  Hence, it was important to put African conflicts in their proper perspective. 

     SIMWABA AWESSO (Togo) said that the Conference was a very important event where the international community should show solidarity in order to relaunch growth in the least developed countries.  Despite two previous Conferences in the past decade that had been aimed at putting the least developed countries on the road to growth, the situation of these countries had not improved.  Half of the population of the least developed countries lived on less than one dollar a day, and one child out of 10 died before he or she was a year old.  The Conference had to be used as real catalyst for growth.

     His delegation had read with interest the report of the Secretary-General on the progress made for the Conference, he said.  Togo welcomed the adoption of the draft agenda and supported the call for the Conference to focus on the elimination of poverty.  It also welcomed the introduction of a high-level group to monitor progress of the programme of action. 

    In his report, the Secretary-General had emphasized that national level preparation was of fundamental importance for the Conference.  In that regard, it was important for the developing countries to participate in the preparatory process with their development partners.  Togo appreciated that contributions had been pledged by the European Union to finance the Conference, which Togo believed would give the international community an opportunity to implement the goal of reducing the number of people living in poverty by 2015.

     ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) said that as both a least developed and landlocked developing country, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic took the Conference very seriously.  There was a need for new institutional and policy changes to humanize globalization.  First, the asymmetries, which made it difficult for least developed countries to be beneficial participants, must be removed.  Trade liberalization could proceed faster in developed countries in order to remove all quotas, duties and agricultural subsidies.  Commitments to poverty eradication and the integration of least developed countries into the world economy must be matched by concrete actions in the areas of ODA, trade, debt relief and foreign direct investment.  In order for all of that to happen, the cooperation of all stakeholders was required.  

     Sixteen of the 48 least developed countries were landlocked States, he said.  Their geographical handicaps continued to adversely impact their international trade performance and overall economic development.  They needed greater international financial and technical support in their efforts to mitigate the adverse impact caused by such geographical disadvantages.  Therefore, the issues related to the landlocked least developed countries should be adequately addressed in the preparatory process.  

     CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said that the Conference would give the international community an opportunity to devise a comprehensive strategy for achieving economic growth and sustainable development in poor countries.  The least developed countries were experiencing a gloomy socio-economic situation characterized by poverty, illiteracy, weak economies, pandemic diseases and lack of basic infrastructures.  Official development assistance had been declining steadily and foreign direct investment had not been forthcoming.  The debt trap had been suffocating while conflicts and pandemic diseases had been regular features.  To put it simply, the least developed countries had been marginalized and excluded from the globalization process.

     In this regard, Mozambique challenged the international community to show firm political will to harness and manage the globalization process, he said.  That was essential for the sustainable development of the developed countries themselves.  His delegation welcomed the decision by the European Union to grant duty and quota-free access to cover essentially all exports of the least developed countries.  The writing of the external debt of the least developed countries could enable them to effectively tackle the scourge of poverty and underdevelopment by increasing public investments in non-productive sectors such as education and health.  Mozambique hoped that the international community would seize the opportunity provided by the Third Conference to translate commitments into deeds. 

     SARUN NERAL (Cambodia) said that the least developed countries acknowledged that their successes and failures depended on their concerted efforts.  At the same time, in an interdependent world, the problems of underdevelopment could not be resolved without genuine partnership and the consistent support of the international community.  

     He hoped the Conference would be held in a spirit of solidarity and touch on the issue of a more open multilateral trading system as an effective means to promote growth and development in the least developed countries.  The Conference could also take a decisive and more realistic step to meet the internationally agreed target of halving poverty by 2015.  There was also a pressing need for a substantial transfer of increased financial and technological resources to enable least developed countries to participate fully in the global economy.  

     With assistance from the Asian Development Bank, Cambodia was preparing to launch its second Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2001-2005, which focused on poverty-reduction activities in the most afflicted areas, he said.  However, given its weak human resources, it would need continued external assistance to implement that Plan.

     RAMBHAKTA P.B. THAKUR (Nepal) said that the Millennium Summit had contributed to bringing the development agenda to the forefront of the international agenda.  Most heads of State and government had shared the view that development was a means to promoting peace, justice and prosperity for everyone.  In that context, his delegation welcomed the Third Conference on Least Developed Countries.  Nepal commended the Secretary-General for underlining poverty as the most important cause of underdevelopment.  It also appreciated the European Union and Norway for their profound commitment to making the Conference a success.

     The world could not remain divided between the rich and poor and remain peaceful and secure at the same time, he said.  The least developed countries were facing many problems today, all of which needed to be addressed urgently.  This could not be achieved without help.  His delegation supported a four-pronged approach to help the least developed countries catch up with the rest of the world.  This included duty-free and quota-free access to world markets, debt reduction, enhanced ODA, and foreign direct investment.  Nepal hoped that the Conference would be steeped in a spirit of magnanimity and would help to make a difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people. 

     NYUNT SWE (Myanmar) said that during the 1990s, some fundamental changes had taken place in the world economy.  However, the least developed countries were not able to benefit from the global trends of the past decade.  There was an urgent need on their part to reduce poverty, accelerate growth and development, and set themselves on a path to sustainable development.  They were still entrenched in poverty and marginalized.  He hoped that the Conference would address the plight of the world’s vulnerable and that its outcome would benefit all least developed countries without any discrimination.  He welcomed the Millennium Declaration, in which States undertook to address the special needs of least developed countries.  The Declaration had also called on industrialized countries to take special measures in the area of market access.

     He acknowledged that the least developed countries themselves had the priority responsibility for their development, he said.  At the same time, for their national efforts to be successful, international assistance was crucial.  Due to the absence of external assistance, Myanmar was carrying out its rural development programmes on its own.  It would be better able to carry out its national development plans if it received the active support of all development partners.

     HUANG XUEQUI (China) said that even though there had been rapid advancement in information and communication technologies and other sectors of society, the situation of the least developed countries had continued to worsen.  In spite of many conferences on the subject of the least developed countries, the international community had not had much success in dealing with the issue.  The Chinese delegation had great hopes for the Third Conference on Least Developed Countries.  It hoped that the programme of action would help the least developed countries on their way to sustainable development. 

     China noted with appreciation the inputs by parties at the national and regional levels, he said.  It was his delegation’s hope that this positive momentum could help to achieve success at the Third Conference.  The developed countries should make more international commitments for the integration of the developing countries into the world economy.  On matters of trade, ODA, and external debt, arrangements must be made in favour of the least developed countries.  Examples of this included a waiver of external debt and the increase of ODA without conditionalities.  China was faced with serious developmental problems, but it had provided the least developed countries with many development projects as well as foreign direct investment.  It called on the developed countries to do their part. 

     BEN LUKWIYA (Uganda) said that the Conference had been borne out of the need to ensure a sustainable future for the world’s most vulnerable.  While the least developed countries had taken measures to implement their commitments, the substantial increase in development assistance promised by industrialized countries had not been forthcoming.  Against that background, it was necessary to reach agreement on a more feasible approach to international cooperation.  The stakes at the Conference were very high for the millions languishing in the least developed countries. 

    The programme of action, he said, should define a new approach for international cooperation, be action-oriented and focus on achieving results.  It was necessary to share the benefits of globalization and enhance the capacity of the least developed countries to fully participate in the process.  To improve the terms of trade, duty and quota-free access for the products of least developed countries was critical.  They should also be compensated for losses due to agricultural subsidies.  

    In addition, he said, bio-technology and information and communication technology were necessary to enhance the capacities of least developed countries.  There was also a need to integrate into the new programme of action the need for new and additional sources of funding for its implemententation.  Since there was now a better understanding of the problems of the least developed countries, the prospects for the Third Conference were better than for previous ones.   

     MWELWA C. MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) said that the convening of the Third Conference of the Least Developed Countries would provide opportunity to redress the plight of the world’s most vulnerable peoples by adopting a global “New Deal”.  For the globalization process to yield maximum benefits there was a need for genuine partnership between developed and developing countries.  Zambia and other least developed countries had had to implement far-reaching structural and macroeconomic policies but had continued to experience high levels of poverty. 

    At the global level, the continuous decline in ODA and the high external debt of the least developed countries were impediments to sustained economic growth.  For the least developed countries to integrate into the global economy and the multilateral trading system, concrete action would be required to tackle both the supply and demand side constraints affecting performance.  The support of the international community was of critical importance to influence growth and development in these fragile economies.  In that regard, the developing countries required an increase in aid to address the financing gap.  Official development assistance should reach the target of 0.15 per cent of the GNP of developed countries.

     The high level of debt continued to drain the limited resources of the least developed countries.  The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative was welcome, but it was not moving at the proper speed to benefit the least developed countries.  The international community must work together to promote sustainable development. 

    Introduction of Draft Resolution

     AUSTIN PETER ETANOMARE OSIO (Nigeria), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, provided an update on the status of the submission of future draft resolutions.  He then introduced a draft resolution on implementation of the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), including the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund for Poverty Eradication (document A/C.2/55/L.18). 

    The resolution would have the Assembly call for strengthened efforts at all levels to fully and effectively implement the relevant resolutions and decisions of the United Nations and all agreements and commitments adopted at United Nations major conferences and summits organized since 1990, as well as the Millennium Declaration, as they related to the eradication of poverty.

    Also by the terms of the text, the Assembly would call upon all governments to take concrete action to formulate and implement their national poverty alleviation strategies with a view to achieving the goal of halving by 2015, the proportion of the world’s people whose income is less than one dollar a day.  It would also decide to establish a World Solidarity Fund for Poverty Eradication, which would contribute to the eradication of poverty and to the promotion of social and human development in the poorest regions of the world.

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