2006.10.02: General Debate of the Second Committee

H.E. Ambassador Cho Hyun, Deputy Permanent Representative

Madame Chair,

1. Let me first congratulate you on your election as Chairperson of the Second Committee, and also to congratulate the members of the Bureau. I am confident that under your able leadership, this Committee will yield fruitful results throughout its course of work.

Madame Chair,

2. The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the importance of global partnership in achieving the MDGs. As we enhance our efforts to implement the global partnership, we must make sure that developing countries take primary responsibility and ownership for their development while developed countries fulfil their commitments.

3. My delegation is encouraged by recent increases in official development assistance (ODA). It is particularly noteworthy that many developed countries have established timetables to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income (GNI) for ODA. Nevertheless, as the Secretary-General pointed out in his report, even with these positive trends, the projected level of ODA for the next five years will still fall short of what is needed for developing countries to achieve the MDGs. The current situation therefore calls for both increased support and faithful delivery.

4. My government recognizes its responsibilities in this regard and has been faithfully honouring its pledges. As we announced at the World Summit last year, we will double our ODA by 2009 and further triple it to around $3 billion by 2015. As part of these efforts, we will also substantially increase our development assistance to Africa under our Initiative for Africa’s Development.

5. While ODA remains an essential component of development assistance, innovative sources of financing, such as air-ticket solidarity funds, need to be further explored. In this regard, we welcome the recent launch of UNITAID, an international drug purchasing facility aimed at scaling up access for the poor in developing countries to diagnostic kits and treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. As announced at the launch ceremony, held on September 19, my Government is now taking the legislative steps for financial contributions to UNITAID. Innovative programmes like UNITAID, however, should not be seen as a substitute for existing ODA, but rather as a supplement.

6. Nevertheless, development aid alone cannot ensure sustainable development in the long run. Aid, debt relief and trade are widely regarded as vital to development. Of these three, I subscribe to the view that trade far outweighs the other two. The history of development in many countries, including my own, has shown that promoting trade offers a larger and more permanent benefit for self-reliance of developing countries. This is true because development is a dynamic process, and trade fosters this dynamism by delivering wide-ranging opportunities.

7. In this context, we strongly support the early resumption and completion of the Doha Development Round of WTO negotiations, aiming to create a freer multilateral trading system with special attention to the needs of developing countries. We know that during the General Debate of the 61st session of the General Assembly, many Member States similarly urged early resumption of the Doha negotiations. To restart the negotiations, we must consider new ideas and accept that every party, especially the key players, will need to compromise.

8. In the meantime, my Government supports Aid for Trade, particularly for least developed countries (LDCs), and will expand duty-free and quota-free access for LDCs. We will also increase our contribution to the Integrated Framework for LDCs and expand our training programmes on WTO rules and regulations.

Madame Chair,

9. Sustainable development cannot be achieved until the least developed countries are fully integrated into the global economy. In this regard, the recent High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries was a valuable opportunity to strengthen the global partnership for the development of LDCs. As the Secretary-General noted in his report, despite improved economic performance by the LDCs in recent years, most of them are still lagging behind the goals set in Brussels. If present trends persist, few LDCs will meet the targets of Brussels Programme of Action. It is thus imperative that we redouble our efforts to implement the respective commitments set out in the Brussels Programme of Action and build closer cooperation between LDCs and their development partners.

10. In addition, effective implementation of the development agenda will not be possible without full recognition of the crucial role of women in all social and economic areas. In fact, women and girls are the most effective agents for development. The empowerment of women and mainstreaming of gender perspective into policymaking and implementation should therefore be central to our efforts for social progress and economic development.

Madame Chair,

11. As recognized at the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, international migration is another area which requires closer cooperation among States for fully realizing their development potentials. Migration is a multi-dimensional and global phenomenon that echoes many aspects of globalization. To maximize the benefits and contain the social disruption caused by migration, we need to devise comprehensive and coherent migration policies in all countries concerned, with due consideration of specific situation of each country. In this regard, the recently established Global Migration Group (GMG) should serve to enhance coordination, cooperation and coherence among international organizations working in the field of migration and development.

12. Turning to the issue of reforming the international financial institutions, my delegation believes that improving their governance structure will require adequate voice and participation of developing countries. In this context, the recent ad hoc quota increases by the IMF for the four most underrepresented economies, including that of the Republic of Korea, were steps on the right track to reforming its governance structure. But there is still much to be done. Many countries’ quotas still need readjustment to reflect their changing economic weight. Indeed, a new quota formula should be established based on the consensus of all Members. We expect similar efforts to be made at the World Bank.

Madame Chair,

13. We welcome the Secretary-General’s report on Sustainable Development. My delegation believes that we should stay on this track and accelerate our efforts to attain sustainable development, keeping in mind that environmental sustainability is a key factor in attaining other MDGs such as the eradication of extreme poverty.

14. In this regard, we look forward to the report of the High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment. We hope it will propose specific schemes and strategies.

15. We are pleased to note that the 14th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development concluded fruitfully, identifying barriers to development and best practices in the thematic cluster of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and the atmosphere, and climate change. We expect that the 15th session, in 2007, will serve as a platform for more consolidated policy options, paving the way for substantial improvements to sustainable development approaches. We also expect that the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will produce substantive results and call for prompt and effective action.

Madame Chair,

16. The 2005 World Summit provided valuable opportunities for strengthening our common will and efforts to achieve the MDGs. During the last session, discussions in the General Assembly and ECOSOC focused on finding effective ways to implement our leaders’ renewed commitments. We have had some successes so far, but much more needs to be done. My delegation hopes that this Committee will further expand our broad consensus and draw concrete action plans for the implementation of our commitments. I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation in this important process.

Thank you.