Sumario: EU Presidency Statement - Globalization and Interdependence (19 October 2006: New York)
Statement by Ms. Tarja Fernández, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union, UN 61st Session; Second Committee, Agenda Item 55: Globalization and Interdependence, New York
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
The wide range of issues under this agenda item this year from economies in transition to culture and development reflects well the multidimensional nature of globalisation. At the core of our work here is of course to find ways to create conditions and opportunities for countries and people to better benefit from globalisation. All reports under this agenda item point out that the outcomes of globalisation are still spread unevenly. Therefore, attention is also needed for the social dimension of globalisation. We realize that the problems and challenges every nation faces are increasingly of a global nature. Globalisation can also offer the means to tackle the most acute problems of our time including extreme poverty.
The EU welcomes progress achieved in further integrating countries with economies in transition into the world economy as well as their efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs. We recognize the need for further international support to address the specific concerns of the countries with economies in transition while at the same time emphasizing the key importance of creating conducive national environment through i.a. implementing market-oriented reforms, promoting good governance, rule of law and anti-corruption.
The EU warmly welcomes the Secretary General's timely report on the role of innovation, science and technology in pursuing development in the context of globalisation.
The report analytically addresses the interrelationship between information society and development. The digital divide is both a consequence and a cause for inequalities. From the economic and social development point of view the digital divide leading to an even wider knowledge divide between developed and developing countries is a challenge to future development policy planning. We are convinced that ICT is not only a way to speed up development, but can also allow leapfrogging - passing several levels of technological development. ICT's role in promoting freedom of expression, democracy and transparency should also be given the serious consideration it deserves, in light of the importance of these factors in fostering economic and social progress.
The report highlights the role of private sector and investments, especially venture capital. However, the report does not make sufficient reference to the need for innovation policies to be accompanied by broader policy reforms that will create the right environment for innovation, such as macroeconomic stability, an active competition policy and predictable and transparent legal regimes. Holistic innovation policies must include this broader dimension. Furthermore, innovations and ICT should be integrated into the curriculum and teaching and learning methods. At the country level without domestic incentives and a more equitable income distribution, science and technology do not necessarily reach the poor.
The EU would like to emphasize that the multi-stakeholder participation in the WSIS and in its follow-up should be preserved and applied also in the present and future work of the CSTD.
The report considers the development dimensions of intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights can play a vital role in the course of the development process for developing countries, but it is important that developing countries are able to take advantage of all the flexibilities available within the TRIPS Agreement. We are pleased to report that, since this report has been published, the WIPO Assemblies have agreed to continue discussions relating to a proposed development agenda. The report highlights the importance of protecting genetic resources and traditional knowledge held by local communities and indigenous people. It should be noted that appropriate forms of protection may also be found outside of present intellectual property rights systems.
The Secretary General's report on corruption clearly points out that corruption is a major obstacle to development and a key element in economic underperformance. Corruption takes its toll especially on those who are the most vulnerable, the poorest of the poor and those who live at the outskirts of the formal economy. Efforts to combat corruption must therefore include strong measures to address the strengthening of the full rule of law and ensuring citizens' equal access to justice. The European Consensus on Development, adopted in December 2005, emphasises the importance of fighting corruption in order to achieve sustainable development. Corruption is tackled as part of our efforts to reduce poverty and to promote development efforts as well as through our support for the processes of democratic governance. In this regard, the EU recalls the importance of a broad conception of governance as including not only the fight against corruption, but also the respect of human rights, adherence to democratic principles and the rule of law as well as economic, financial, social and environmental management".
There is a need for increased international co-operation in the global fight against corruption, particularly in strengthening the identification, seizure and repatriation of assets and the delivery of appropriate and effective technical assistance. International co-operation and the sharing of good practice will reinforce the importance of good governance, transparent democracy and the rule of law. In this regard, the European Union is convinced that the entry into force of the UN Convention against Corruption is the key legal instrument to set global standards to counter the various manifestations of this crime and urges countries, which have not yet done so, to sign and ratify this convention. The EU welcomes the first Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, taking place in Jordan in December this year. We hope that the Conference will provide an opportunity to discuss how to ensure the proper implementation of the Convention, including effective review mechanisms and the roles civil society and the private sector can play in fighting corruption.
The High Level Dialogue in this same building a month ago discussed the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development. The dialogue took place in an constructive spirit. Most states agreed that well managed legal migration can contribute to development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The discussion proved that international migration and development can and need to be discussed at the global level. The EU stresses that it is vital to integrate migration concerns and issues, including the benefits that migrants' remittances bring to the economies of countries of origin, into poverty reduction strategies and the development agenda. At the same time we have to apply a development perspective and include the development aspects into national and regional immigration policies. Knowledge-sharing and capacity building are crucial as well as the focus on the female and male migrants themselves. These and many other issues were raised in the statement of the Presidency of the European Union delivered at the High-Level Dialogue. Copies of the statement are available at the back of this conference room.
We hope to continue the dialogue in the same positive spirit of the HLD. The first second committee side-event on diasporas proved that fruitful dialogue can continue in the UN context.
The first global forum on migration and development to be organised next year by Belgium will offer a welcome opportunity for senior government officials and other stakeholders to discuss issues related to international migration and development in a systematic and comprehensive way.
I thank you, Madame Chair.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.