The developing countries want to have more access to the markets of the rich nations, more space in the United Nations (UN), financial help to end hunger in their countries. In all, they wish to grow. And for this they ask the world for priority.
This was the tone of the speeches that closed Thursday, June 16, in Doha, the Second South Summit, meeting of the 132 developing countries that form the G-77 and China.
The demands above also directed the two documents of the summit, the Action Plan and the Political Declaration. They were approved unanimously by the heads of state and their representatives at the end of the meeting.
“The developing countries should have priority at the UN. We have 132 members in the organization and we can make this happen,” said the president of the G-77 and China, Jamaican prime minister, Percival Patterson.
The group wants the United Nations reform to really happen in September, during the general assembly, in New York, and allow for greater participation of the G-77 countries in the organization. One of the demands is the expansion of the Security Council from the current 15 members to 24.
In the political declaration, the heads of state of the group also asked to speed up the negotiation process for opening the developed nations’ markets at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The G-77 document says that developing countries are subject to a series of non-tariff restrictions to sell their products in the developed markets.
According to the document, the greatest urgency is in the agriculture sector. Many countries subsidize their agriculture, which ends up pushing prices way low in the world market. The problem of the volatility of prices is mentioned in the G-77 document.
The countries also call the international organizations, citizens, companies and governments to collaborate with the world fund to fight poverty.
During the closing ceremony for the Second South Summit, Patterson spoke about the matter. “The initiative by the president of Brazil (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) makes us identify new sources of financing for the eradication of hunger and ailments on planet earth,” he said.
Lula gave the idea during the UN general assembly, in September last year. Brazilian diplomacy is working together with another five countries to start identifying new mechanisms to collect funds to fight hunger.
A financial mechanism already stipulated for this is to direct 0.7% of the rich nations’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to help the poorer countries.
The summit document summons the developed countries to meet the measure unconditionally. It also asks for the foreign debts of the nations with lesser economic conditions to be cancelled.
The heads of state reinforced the importance of increasing trade between the developing countries to promote internal economic growth of the nations. They asked the governments to adopt measures to promote this trade.
They also ask that the negotiations about the Global System for Trade Preference (GSTP), for the reduction of trade tariffs amongst the developing countries, be concluded yet in 2006.
Technology transfer from developed nations to the poorest ones is another request, as is the plea for regional and international cooperation to fight against epidemic diseases and for contribution to the fund to fight Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
Cuba and Palestine
The political declaration also asks for the United States to end their embargo against Cuba, which, according to the document, is not in conformity with UN resolutions. It also asks for dialogue regarding sanctions imposed against Syria.
With regard to the conflict between the Israeli and Palestinians, the declaration asks for a fair solution. The document also states that Palestine has the right to establish an independent state.
The Third South Summit is being scheduled for 2010, in Africa.
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