Globalization must be more inclusive, top UN development official says

Globalization must be more inclusive, top UN development official says

Mark Malloch Brown
Building a more inclusive globalization from which all nations can benefit is one of the major goals of the United Nations, the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has told the "Group of 77" developing countries.

"Speaking on behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, I want to assure you today that for the UN as a whole and the UN Development Programme in particular, that role lies at the very heart of our agenda for the new Millennium," Mark Malloch Brown said yesterday at a G-77 meeting in Iran, the current chair of the group. "Working to implement your vision of a just and equitable future for all developing countries is the guiding principle of all our work."

Noting that 66 countries were now poorer than they had been a decade ago, and that more than 60 million Southern children still died every year from preventable diseases that their Northern counterparts rarely faced, the UNDP chief said such statistics were "stark and unacceptable facts" that the Group of 77 had long recognized.

"It is why last year in Havana you adopted a courageous and ambitious Declaration and Programme of Action committed to forging 'a new global human order,'" he said. "And it is why you singled out the UN's unique potential as a multilateral partner to help integrate developing countries into a globalizing economy, on terms that further our shared goals of gender equality, poverty eradication and growth with equity."

One way the UN is helping to promote a more equitable globalization process is through a "Dialogue of Civilizations" spearheaded by President Khatami and the Government of Iran, Mr. Malloch Brown said. Noting that such a dialogue was critical to successfully addressing the broader issues of global legitimacy and equity, he stressed that "only by embracing the world's rich diversity can we build the respect and mutual understanding needed to successfully manage global integration."

Looking ahead, the UNDP chief said that if the world really wanted to bring the poor from the margins to the mainstream, fundamental changes were needed at both the global and national levels in terms of integration. He urged the G77 to use three upcoming events - a Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization, a Financing for Development Conference, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development - to take action on their commitments to using trade to drive human development.

Mr. Malloch Brown spoke in Tehran at the 10th meeting of the Inter-governmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries.