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African countries say developed countries must not break promises made to less developed

12-08-2011 09:39 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ombeni Sefue, permanent representative of Tanzania to the UN, said here Wednesday that developed countries must fulfill their stated commitments to help Africa with its ongoing development challenges.

"The ongoing economic and financial difficulties facing developed countries should not be the reason for them not to live up to their commitments to developing countries," he said. "We welcome the declared commitments of some of them along these lines, and we urge others to do likewise."

Sefue's statement came as he spoke on behalf of the African Group at the UN General Assembly's 5th High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development. The dialogue was organized under the theme "The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: Status of implementation and tasks ahead."

"The overriding objective of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, was, and still remains the scaling up, the leveraging and the improvement of financing for agreed development outcomes, including in Africa," said Sefue.

The Monterrey Consensus was a partnership plan adopted in Mexico in 2002 that sets out guidelines for wealthier and poorer countries in their shared goal of international development through fairer trade, increased investment, and more official development assistance (ODA).

In 2008, the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development reviewed the progress made on the Monterrey plan, reaffirming the consensus but acknowledging that many challenges still remain in its implementation.

Sefue said that for its part, Africa has lived up to most of the commitments it made in Monterrey and Doha to a large extent.

"These are commitments we would like to renew, including, but not limited to, national ownership of the development agenda, domestic resource mobilization, sound economic and social policies, good governance, and the rule of law, peace, and stability," he said. "The results of implementing our commitments are encouraging and we believe that had there been greater external support, the results would have been even better."

Sefue said that while aid to Africa increased by four percent in 2010, the international community failed to fulfill all of the commitments it has promised to, including those made by developed economies at the Group of 8 (G8) Summits.

"In addition, we still need to improve the quality of aid, its predictability, and effectiveness," he said.

Many African countries, Sefue explained, are attempting to use trade and diversification of their exports in order to spur development.

"They want to trade themselves out of poverty," he said. "But while support in terms of aid for trade improved over the last few years, the global trade regime remains unfavorable. African economies continue to suffer from unfair trade laws and practices and marginalization at the global level, with the continent's share of global trade being 3.1 percent only in 2009."

The Doha Round of global trade talks began in 2001, but have remained in deadlock due to disagreements between developed and developing countries. Sefue urged "progress on substantive issues, " specifically development, in the Doha negotiations.

Furthermore, said Sefue, Africa needs to have a greater presence in international economic governance and reforming world financial systems.

"This requires bold decisions, beyond what we have seen so far, " he said. "The African Group also reiterates its long standing position on the need for the reform of the international monetary and financial system to enable effective realization of development."

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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