2005.07.28: Cluster I (Development) Issues of the Revised Draft Outcome Document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Shin Kak-soo, Deputy Permanent Representative, at Informal Meeting of the Plenary of the General Assembly

Mr. President,

1. On behalf of my delegation, I would like to thank you for your dedicated work to produce the revised draft outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 60th session of the General Assembly.

2. In general, the revised outcome document comprehensively reflects member states’ positions, accommodating their various proposals and concerns, including our own. We hope that the process of preparing subsequent drafts of the outcome document will be more inclusive, transparent and open.

3. Since this is the first time that my delegation speaks, I want to comment on the format of the current draft as a whole. We believe that a more succinct and focused document would better serve to express the collective commitment of the leaders of member states to global peace and prosperity. My delegation hopes that our future efforts will sharpen the focus of the document to orient it more towards specific actions and priorities. Technical details can be included in an annex.

4. Along with today’s statement, I am submitting my delegation’s concrete suggestions on the draft outcome document, as you requested.

Mr. President,

5. The revised text addresses in a more balanced way than the previous draft the mutual responsibility and accountability of both developed and developing countries for achieving development goals. Indeed, such shared efforts are not intended to put additional burdens on either side, but rather to help each side reinforce the other’s endeavours.

6. With regard to paragraph 22 bullet 4 under the sub-heading “financing for development,” we can go along with the current formulation, which welcomes the establishment of timetables by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for ODA. However, the text should be revised so that it takes note more generally of the efforts of a number of emerging donors, including the Republic of Korea, to make substantial increases in their official development assistance.

7. With reference to paragraph 22 bullet 8, we share the recognition of the important role that foreign direct investment plays in promoting development. The draft text should also accommodate the truism that investment needs fertile ground. Developing countries should be encouraged to continue to improve their economic and legal environments to make them conducive to greater inflows of foreign investment.

8. About paragraph 23 bullet 3, the size of the debt reduction and cancellation for such countries and the unforeseen and possibly undesirable ramifications over longer term, if any, to their sustained access to international financial assistance should be carefully studied before we reach any consensus. In this sense, we would like to propose that this part be put in bracket so that we can continue our deliberations on this basis.

9. With regard to paragraph 29, deeper South-South cooperation has vast potential to facilitate the attainment of the Millenium Development Goals. In this context, the unique and growing role of countries with development experiences should be noted alongside the role of developed countries. The best practices of such countries with development experiences can be an important catalyst to facilitate South-South cooperation and can substantially contribute to devising concrete development policies of developing countries.

10. Health issues are critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, since three out of eight MDGs are related to health issues. In reference to paragraph 34, we welcome the added emphasis on HIV/AIDS and other health issues. We are also pleased to see that the draft text adequately incorporated the need for long-term public funding for the development of new medicines to address pandemic and endemic diseases. Moreover, we believe that disease prevention should be highlighted. Accordingly, the essential role of vaccines and the vital necessity of the reduction in vaccine-preventable diseases should be highlighted in the draft text. Institutions like the International Vaccine Institute can contribute significantly in this regard.

11. Equal participation of men and women in public decision making bodies is an important element in promoting gender equality and empowering women. However, eventually women’s representation should be increased in all sectors of society. Paragraph 35 bullet 6 should reflect this necessity.

12. Reduction of widening knowledge and information gap in the age of globalization is becoming a critical requirement in achieving development in the age of globalization in light of rapid advance in the development of information and communications technology. Such gaps occur at domestic level as well. Paragraph 37 bullet 5 seems to be vague if “digital divide” refers to gaps at domestic or international level. The language could be clearer if we reflect that digital divide should be bridged at all levels.

13. We support the draft text on countries with special needs in paragraphs 39 to 42. However, it should be emphasized that the Asia-Pacific region is home to two thirds of least developed countries (LDCs) and 40 percent of the population of LDCs. If this situation is not duly recognized and properly addressed, the attainment of the MDGs may not be within reach.

Thank you.