Statement Adopted by the Special Ministerial Meeting of the
Group of 77 and China, Putrajaya, Malaysia, 29 May 2006
We, the Ministers
of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia,
on 29 May 2006, having reviewed developments in the follow up to the 2005 World
Summit Outcome in the areas of United Nations System Wide Coherence, Management
and Secretariat Reform, Mandate Review and on providing predictable financial
resources to the United Nations, state the following:
1. We reaffirm our
determination to further strengthen the role, capacity, effectiveness and efficiency
of the United Nations in the field of development, and thus improve its performance,
in order to realize the full potential of the organization, in accordance with
the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and to respond
more effectively to the needs of Member States and in particular to the new global
challenges facing the United Nations in the twenty-first century and in this regard
we emphasize the need for creating an enabling environment for development and
enhance global political will to assist developing countries to achieve their
development goals and that to achieve the internationally agreed development goals
including the Millennium Development Goals we must succeed in mainstreaming development
as the central pillar of the United Nations agenda.
2. We stress that the
outcomes of all major United Nations summits and conferences have laid the foundations
to promote development, commitments have been made, including on systemic issues,
all that is now needed is the full implementation of all commitments made at all
the major United Nations summits and conferences in the economic, social and related
3. We strongly believe that the United Nations should be provided
with the needed support to develop its full potential in the field of international
development cooperation. To that end, the realization of the right to development
should be given utmost priority by the United Nations. We emphasize that the full
implementation of all commitments made at the major United Nations conferences
and summits in the economic, social and related fields, should be integrated and
equitably mainstreamed into the work and activities of the United Nations, including
the right to development, the environmental and social corporate responsibility
and accountability and policy space. The United Nations system should examine
ways to take account of these agreed principles in its process of decision-making.
We emphasize that given its universality and legitimacy, the United Nations is
the apex of multilateralism. Nothing should be done to undermine its pluralism
and its diversity.
5. We attach utmost importance to the full implementation
of development commitments, including those relating to the strengthening of the
Economic and Social Council, made in the outcomes of the major United Nations
conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields, including
the World Summit Outcome. We are concerned at the slow progress in the process
of consultations initiated to implement the 2005 World Summit Outcome decisions
on development and call upon the developed countries to demonstrate political
will so as to reach substantive agreements on development follow-up and strengthening
of the Economic and Social Council.
System Wide Coherence
6. We emphasize
that the System Wide Coherence process must be aimed at strengthening multilateralism
and promoting equity and development including development cooperation in the
United Nations. This should be achieved through an enhanced global partnership
for development, including more effective assistance to developing countries.
7. We emphasize that there is a need to establish an effective and comprehensive
accountability and monitoring mechanism to track the implementation by developed
countries of commitments undertaken in the major United Nations conferences and
summits in the economic, social and related fields and various inter-governmental
bodies, to support national development strategies of developing countries.
We further emphasize that the United Nations is the premier international organisation
and system, addressing sustainable development in its three components: namely
economic development, social development and environment protection. In that regard,
its role should be strengthened so as to cover the normative, analytical, policy
and operational aspects of development, bearing in mind that the normative work
of the organization is the outcome of an inter-governmental decision making process
and is addressed to the full membership of the United Nations.
9. We stress
that the fundamental characteristics of the operational activities for development
of the United Nations system must be, inter alia, their universal, voluntary and
grant nature, their neutrality and their multilateralism, as well as their ability
to respond to the development needs of recipient countries in a flexible manner.
We emphasize that the United Nations General Assembly resolution entitled "Triennial
comprehensive review of operational activities for development of the United Nations
system", A/RES/59/250, constitutes the policy framework agreed at the inter-governmental
level for the operational activities of the United Nations system and that the
System Wide Coherence process must take into account these periodic reviews, at
the inter-governmental level.
11. We note with concern that the multilateral
development system lacks good global governance. There is a need to substantially
improve coherence in mandates and roles, accountability and representation. Therefore,
we support an analysis of the entire multilateral architecture. The System Wide
Coherence process should focus on areas where better coordination and coherence
is needed. Total or immediate restructuring of the United Nations activities or
architecture should not constitute a goal in itself. Efficiency and effectiveness
is not always guaranteed by the collapse or merging of institutions. The research
and studies that will be undertaken by experts on the System Wide Coherence process
should focus on the major reasons hindering the achievement of the internationally
agreed development goals including the MDG's. This process should show due regard
for the political sensitivities of mandates and should not be a pretext to eliminate
12. We stress that the System Wide Coherence process
must take into account national conditions, and ensuring respect for national
ownership, strategies and sovereignty. Greater policy space must be given to the
developing countries to enable national development strategies to be comprehensively
nationally owned. The United Nations work in development must be fully aligned
and complementary to nationally owned development goals. The concept of coherence
has to be considered in terms of the policy and institutional framework of the
United Nations and should take into account the different approaches which currently
exist in the pursuit of national development strategies.
13. We underscore
that the United Nations should continue to have a holistic and comprehensive approach
towards development. The System Wide Coherence process should also address areas
such as trade, finance and macro-economic policy. Therefore the System Wide Coherence
process should not limit the United Nations role into niche issues.
We emphasize that one of the fundamental reforms required would be for the United
Nations, which is the most representative global organization, to mobilize the
highest political commitment, and to provide policy directions and guidance to
the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and other relevant
organizations and institutions that have an impact in the development of many
countries. Key to promoting good governance at the international level would be
the active voice and effective participation by developing countries in the international
decision-making processes, in particular the Bretton Woods Institutions, which
is central to promoting the legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness of the international
financial system and international financial institutions.
15. We stress
that the System Wide Coherence process should enhance inter-governmental oversight
and coordination, including through the strengthening of the role of the Economic
and Social Council in that regard.
16. We underscore that any changes that
might need to be introduced to the current system, both at the country level,
or at the level of the headquarters, should not lead to additional financial burden
to developing countries or to unnecessary administrative costs or unwieldy management
structures. Such changes should not disrupt on-going development plans and activities.
The one-size fits all approach should not be applied. Diversity, different levels
of development, cultural differences as well as regional and sub-regional specificities
require implementation changes at the country level based on a case by case basis,
taking into account national priorities and strategies and with the consent of
the government concerned.
17. We stress that the United Nations system both
at the headquarters and at the country level, with regards to the delivery of
mandated activities and efficient management should be fully accountable to the
Member States. The oversight role of Member States over the mandated activities
of different governing bodies of the funds and programmes of the United Nations
should be strengthened further.
18. We stress that the objective to achieve
System Wide Coherence should not be a cost cutting exercise. Reductions in administrative
expenses should be redirected to programmes in each country. The principles of
cost recovery should be harmonized, and its proceeds retained and spent on development
19. We underscore that financial resources should have the characteristics
of predictability, sufficiency, flexibility and sustainability. For the last three
decades, in general, unpredictability, insufficiency and inflexibility and unsustainability
of financial resources have characterized the United Nations funds, programmes
and agencies at the country level, thus crippling their ability to implement programmes
successfully. The United Nations should avoid shifting resources from development
activities to other activities which are donor-driven and not in line with the
priorities of developing countries. We stress that core resources because of their
untied nature should continue to be the bedrock of the operational activities
and these resources should not be diverted away from core issues of development
to donor driven priorities. The challenge of the gap between development mandates
and resources needs to be given priority.
20. We reaffirm that the resident
coordinator system, within the framework of national ownership, has a key role
to play in the effective and efficient functioning of the United Nations system
at the country level, including in the formulation of the common country assessment
and the United Nations development Assistance Framework, and is a key instrument
for the efficient and effective coordination of the operational activities for
development of the United Nations system.
21. We reiterate the important
role of UNCTAD as the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated
treatment of trade and development and interrelated issues in the areas of finance,
technology, investment and sustainable development. We commit ourselves and call
upon the international community to work towards the strengthening of UNCTAD,
to enhance its contribution in its three major pillars, namely consensus building,
research and policy analysis, and technical assistance especially through increased
core resources of UNCTAD. We further reiterate the need to operationalize the
new functions mandated by UNCTAD XI in the areas of policy space, corporate responsibility
and new and emerging fields of information and communication technology and to
reinvigorate its intergovernmental machinery.
22. We underline the important
role of the United Nations Regional Commissions to further contribute, within
their respective mandates to the review of progress made in the implementation
of and follow-up to the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits
in the economic, social and related fields at regional level. In this regard,
we stress the need to provide the necessary resources, particularly through the
United Nations regular budget, for the Regional Commissions, in order to enable
them to fulfill their mandates effectively.
Secretariat and Management Reform
We reaffirm our strong support to the United Nations, and to all collective efforts
aiming at enhancing its ability to fully implement its mandates and to ensure
the effective delivery of all its programmes, in particular in the social and
economic development field. We firmly believe that the legitimacy and viability
of any reform measures depend ultimately on the broad support of Member States
of the United Nations, as well as of the United Nations staff who dedicate themselves
to the values and principles of the Organization. We emphasize that measures to
reform the United Nations should respond to the unique intergovernmental, multilateral
and international character of the United Nations. We call on the Secretary-General
to fully implement General Assembly resolution 60/260 on "Investing in the
United Nations: for a stronger Organization worldwide", and stress that proposals
that were not endorsed by the General Assembly should not be re-submitted.
We affirm that the sovereign equality of Member States, as enshrined in the Charter
of the United Nations, must be respected, including throughout the reform process,
irrespective of the contributions that individual Member States make to the budgets
of the Organization. Any attempt to change the governance arrangements exercised
through the General Assembly, its Main Committees and subsidiary and expert bodies
or to exclude some Member States from contributing to the decision-making processes
in the Organization contradicts the spirit and letter of the Charter. We support
the provisions of General Assembly resolution 60/260 which upholds the role of
Member States, through the relevant Main Committee of the General Assembly, in
the consideration of budgetary and administrative matters.
25. We strongly
support the oversight role performed by the General Assembly, as well as its relevant
intergovernmental and expert bodies, in the planning, programming, budgeting,
monitoring and evaluation. We reaffirm that the reform efforts are not intended
to change the intergovernmental, multilateral and international nature of the
organization but should strengthen the ability of Member States to perform this
oversight and monitoring role. We stress the right of the entire membership of
the United Nations to pronounce on the administration of the Organization, including
on its budgetary matters.
26. We stress the importance of ensuring that
the Secretariat meets the highest standards of accountability, transparency, integrity
and ethical conduct. We therefore urge the Secretary-General as a matter of priority
to define accountability in the Organization, establish clear accountability mechanisms
to the General Assembly, and propose parameters for the application of accountability
and instruments for its rigorous enforcement.
27. We welcome the management
reforms adopted so far by the General Assembly. We stress that reform of human
resources management, Administration of Justice, and procurement should reflect
the international character of the Organization. In this regard, we:
support a more fair and transparent system of internal justice where staff members
are held accountable for wrongdoings, irrespective of their nationality and seniority.
We stress that corrective measures have be taken to prevent and address any instances
of mismanagement, fraud and corruption, whilst ensuring that due process is followed;
(ii) underscore the need to provide concrete measures to ensure greater market
access by businesses from developing countries in United Nations procurement;
(iii) stress the need for establishing clear mechanisms to increase the
representation of developing countries in the Secretariat, in particular in the
senior echelons where positions in practice have invariably been held by nationals
from a few countries.
28. We recognize the efforts by
the Secretary-General to facilitate the mandate review exercise, which is intended
to "strengthen and update" the programme of work of the Organization
and enable it to deliver it's existing and new mandates more effectively. We stress
that the one time review is limited to mandates originating from decisions adopted
by the Principal Organs of the United Nations that are older than five years and
have not been renewed since. Mandates that are older than five years and have
been reaffirmed in the past five years do not fall within the scope of the exercise.
The review should fully respect the politically sensitive mandates.
We stress that setting the priorities of the Organization, as reflected in legislative
decisions, remains the prerogative of Member States. We emphasize that the exercise
should not change the inter-governmental nature of the decision-making, oversight
and monitoring processes, or re-define the roles and responsibilities of various
Organs of the United Nations as identified by the Charter. We further stress that
such an exercise is not aimed at cutting the costs of the Organization or to reduce
the budget levels and fund more activities from within the existing resources.
We agree that any savings that may result from the outcome of the exercise should
be redirected to the activities of the Organization in the development area.
We underscore the importance of addressing the implementation of mandates and
assessing the reasons for less than full or non-implementation. We also believe
that Member States should be willing to increase the financial and human resources
that have been allocated to programmes if the lack of resources hinders the full
implementation of mandates or activities. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment
to ensure that mandates, in particular those related to development, receive adequate
resources. We urge all Member States to illustrate their commitment to the Organization
through a willingness to provide adequate resources to all mandate programmes
and activities, especially those related to development.
financial resources to the United Nations
31. We emphasize that the Secretary
General should receive adequate and predictable resources to undertake effectively
the numerous tasks entrusted to the United Nations, as mandated by Member States.
We regret the exceptional and unprecedented measure of restricting the expenditures
of the Organization by authorizing the Secretary-General only to enter into expenditures
limited to fifty percent of the approved budget of 2006. We underline that the
measure imposed upon the Organization has adversely affected programme delivery
in the Organization. We stress that this limit on the expenditure of the Organization
shall be automatically lifted upon the request of the Secretary General at the
appropriate time. We call on all Member States to act accordingly.
We agree that the financial stability of the United Nations should not be jeopardized.
We believe that efforts to use the size of financial contributions to push for
the adoption of certain proposals are counterproductive and violate the obligations
of Member States to provide resources for the Organization, as enshrined in its
Charter, and in accordance with the principle of capacity to pay.
of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
29 May 2006