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International Support for the NGHO

NGHO 2012 – Support from India

by Mirror Correspondent

On December 18, 2012 The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to include the role of the United Nations in promoting a New Global Human Order (NGHO) on the agenda for its sixty ninth meeting. In the process of placing the NGHO on the agenda at the United Nations a number of discussions took place over the period 2000 to 2012. We present below one such discussion which was made during the General Assembly fifty-fifth session, 40th Plenary meeting; which took place in New York on Wednesday, 25 October 2000, at 3 p.m.

Mr. Chakraborty (India): First of all, on behalf of my country, my delegation and myself, let me express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you for giving me the chance to deliver a statement from the podium of the highest level of the Assembly.
All of us want to create a better world for our children and our children's children; a world free of animosity, devoid of hatred, unfettered by any type of deprivation, whether physical, social or mental, and devoted to the perpetual quest for human happiness. This is the vision that has been offered to us by the late President Cheddi Jagan of Guyana. We commend Guyana for focusing the attention of the international community on a new global human order.

There is a popular belief that rapid change is something that has come upon global society of late. In some senses, this is obviously true. We have technologies today that can shrink the world, for many purposes, virtually into a village. There are, for example, the revolutions in the areas of air transport and telecommunications in all their aspects, the 9 A/55/PV.40 transmission of texts, images and the spoken word.

These revolutions in turn connect with the revolution in satellite technology in outer space. It is a remarkable fact, indicative of the compression that has taken place in scientific and technological developments in the course of this century, that the Wright brothers were experimenting with aerial flight earlier in this century, that the internal combustion engine was made not long before that, that the radio was invented thereafter and that it seems to us that the television was invented just the other day.

While there are people alive today who were born before the first motor car was seen on the road, today we already have the Internet, through which one can instantly access data the world over and in effect carry on a global conversation. It also seems just the other day that calculating machines were introduced in offices, while we already have both personal and professional computers with phenomenal capacities and speed. India itself has developed a gigaflop PARAM supercomputer that can do a trillion calculations per second. The new sciences of biotechnology, genetic engineering, robotics, optical fibre, new materials, laser applications and many others have emerged and are having a profound impact on economic life, professional and personal lives and medical sciences.

There is a second aspect of change in the contemporary world, which relates to the globalization of economic forces. Today, capital markets, investment flows and increasingly even trade flows are progressively less amenable to national control. We have recognized that economic strength, and therefore national strength, cannot be preserved by pursuing autarkic policies or total reliance on generating capital investments internally. Developing countries need to use these forces to their advantage, while at the same time ensuring that unacceptable or negative consequences do not flow from the unacceptable intrusiveness of others.

In the immediate post-colonial era the developing countries were the demanders, or the countries which set the agenda of demands. The South claimed from the North favourable regimes of trade, development assistance and financial instruments to advance its social and economic development. Certain positive results were achieved, such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in trade, and agreement that 0.7 per cent of the gross domestic product of the countries of the North would be earmarked as development assistance. There was an acknowledgement that in order to redress the severe and chronic imbalance in economic capacities, developing countries needed special and preferential treatment.

However, the earlier climate appears to have been greatly influenced by imperatives of the cold war, as the roles have now been reversed, and it is the North that has taken on the role of demanders vis-à-vis the South. The GSP regime is shrinking and development assistance has yielded to the new orthodoxy of the marketplace. The aggressive agenda that is appearing before the South, in terms of labour standards or social clause, intellectual property rights, competition policy, global investment regimes seeking right of investment and national treatment, open public procurement policy, business ethics — not to speak of prescriptive good governance and human rights — is an agenda developed and articulated by the North in their self interest, and the developing countries are being forced to respond to this agenda.

This role reversal is one of the key characteristics of the changing world before us, which requires a calibrated but firm response that takes advantage of the possibilities to promote economic and social growth and the advancement of capabilities but that does not threaten or destabilize essential economic, political and national interests, social and cultural identity and essential independence of action. In today’s world, give-and-take is essential, and a web of mutual dependencies is developing. We have to ensure through enlightened international actions that this interdependence is to mutual benefit and not weighted against developing nations.

I have so far touched on aspects of economic and technological change, as these are the most visible areas of transformation. I would now like to refer to some of the deeper aspects of change. To preserve the values, insights and riches of our cultures while moving into the future is what gives continuity within transformation. Without our own inheritance we would come to the world empty-handed. Our inner world must be stable while the outer world changes around us.

In a historical perspective, Indian society has been in the throes of profound transformation since the beginning of the century. In a fundamental way, the freedom movement and the liberation of India that it brought about transformed the world itself by 10 A/55/PV.40 unleashing anti-colonial forces everywhere and setting an example of peaceful political independence of colonial societies. Thereafter, India has been an active agent of change, giving meaning to values of participatory democracy, respect for individual faiths and freedoms and a deep commitment to preserve variety and richness in society.

Those are the guiding principles of a sane and humanistic world order as a whole, and they have been resoundingly endorsed in the Millennium Declaration.
We believe that the principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility are the foundations on which human society should be organized, and we will continue tolabour for their full application on the world stage.

Another development of this century that is of crucial significance is the transformation that we have experienced in the role of the State. From an agency that controlled and regulated all spheres of human activity we move into a phase wherein the State must become more supportive, caring and encouraging of people’s individual and collective endeavours. It must release, and not contain, the energies and genius of its people. It would be an error, however, to assume that the days of the State are over. The State continues to have a crucial role and relevance; there is no viable substitute for the sovereign State. Even globalization can work only through State intermediaries. To diminish, marginalize or ignore the State would also be bad practice because the weaker the State is rendered, the less it shall be able to promote the interests of its citizens.

The State needs to be strengthened functionally, not weakened.

Today the world stands at a crossroads of history. The technological breakthroughs and the process of globalization have produced new avenues for sustained economic growth. At the same time, that has clearly been accompanied by intensified poverty, unemployment and, consequent to these, social disintegration. Economic growth by itself has not meant much to vast sections who live in poverty, without shelter and in hunger and deprivation.

The challenge is to change the very concept of growth and development. We have to strive towards the uplifting of people in the largest sense, and not simply in terms of sectoral advances. True growth should be represented not by growth in the rates of gross domestic product or a comfortable balance of payments position alone, but by the elimination of poverty and the misery and indignity associated with it. All people should have a share in the dividends of economic prosperity. Weaker sections cannot be mere spectators to the enjoyment of the fruits of progress only by those who are already more advantageously placed. It is clear that market forces and growth alone will not be adequate; and targeted national approaches supported by an enabling international environment, but not imposed by it, are important to promote social justice.

Any model of development based on uneven rewards will not be supported by those who are not beneficiaries of the growth strategy and will lead to stress on the social fabric. The credibility of any growth strategy has to be based on full participation by all members of society in its formulation and implementation and in the benefits to be derived from it. The essence of human development should be to empower vulnerable groups in society to take advantage of the process of development.

Empowerment entails access to five basic requirements — food, health care, shelter, education and employment — and it is our resolve to make them available to the entire population of India within a decade through our National Human Development Initiative for people-centred development. Many critical challenges are ahead of us.
Impediments to the sustained economic growth of developing countries abound. They are related to protectionist tendencies in developed countries, lack of political will on the part of many of them to implement the commitments undertaken with regard to the provision of development finance to, and amelioration of, the debt burden of developing countries, or even, in the guise of human-rights-related concerns, impediments to exports from developing countries, denial of technology and know-how under unilateral export regimes, and the application of intellectual property rights that tend to act as non-tariff barriers.

All of these contribute to an accentuation of the vicious cycle of continued and aggravating poverty.The development dimension and the needs, priorities, capacities and potential of developing countries should be at the centre of any global vision for the coming decades. Without that, the processes of globalization and deregulation, and the prosperity, stability and security that they are expected to usher in, will neither materialize nor be sustained. Growth with equity, economic development with social justice and, 11 A/55/PV.40 in the final analysis, the creation of a world where there is lesser injustice and greater happiness, must be our shared goal if humanity and solidarity are to have any meaning at all.

We fully share the views of the Permanent Representative of Guyana set out in document A/55/229 on the essential need to build the democratic instruments necessary for human development. We also believe in the need for a reinvigorated and enlightened international partnership in the true spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility to achieve the fullest development of every human being and nation. What is of prime importance is to have a clear vision and the commitment to implement it through intensified dialogue and interaction and in a spirit of shared partnership and cooperation. We hope that this will indeed be forthcoming as we move forward in our discussions on the new global human order.

NGHO 2012 – Support from Pakistan

By Mirror Correspondent

On December 18, 2012 The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to include the role of the United Nations in promoting a New Global Human Order (NGHO) on the agenda for its sixty ninth meeting. In the process of placing the NGHO on the agenda at the United Nations a number of discussions took place over the period 2000 to 2012. We present below one such discussion which was made during the General Assembly fifty-fifth session, 40th Plenary meeting; which took place in New York on Wednesday, 25 October 2000, at 3 p.m.

Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan): My first word must be one of appreciation to you, Sir, for bringing this body back to its own venue. I think we all now feel at home.

The Government of Guyana has taken a very timely initiative by putting on the agenda on the United Nations the proposal of the late President of Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, regarding the new global human order. No organization is better placed than the United Nations to promote such initiatives. We thank Guyana and extend our full support to its efforts to pave the way for a global order that is humane, just, fair and equitable.

Human Development:

The famous Pakistani economist and initiator of the Human Development Report, late Dr. Mehboob-ul-Haque, once said: “Development must deal with the entire society, not just with the economy, and people must be put at the centre of the stage.” His vision is now shared throughout the world. There is a widespread consensus today that the purpose of development is not to enlarge incomes, but to enlarge people’s choices, and that these choices include decent education, good health, cultural identity and many other areas of human well-being. The United Nations conferences and summits on economic and social development held during the last decade also made significant contributions to building consensus around this concept of development. Despite this universal agreement on people-centered development, the number of people living in poverty has increased.

In more than half of the developing countries the richest 20 per cent today receive more than 50 per cent of the national income. In many countries the per capita income of the poorest 20 per cent now averages less than one tenth of that of the richest 20 per cent. Unemployment is also on the rise in developing countries. Twenty-five years from today the world’s population will have increased to 8 billion people. It is estimated that of these 8 billion, 4 billion will live on less than $2 a day, and 1.8 billion on less than $1 a day. This means that of the additional 2 billion people, 1.5 billion will be living far below the poverty line. That would indeed be a dismal legacy for our children. It is evident that growth and development have not automatically reduced inequality and cannot do so.

The growing size of the pie does not ensure that everyone will get his or her piece of pie. In reality, for the large majority, prosperity has remained “pie in the sky”. The fact of the matter is that the market-driven process of globalization, which is ostensibly integrating national economies into the world economy, is asymmetric, with some winners but many losers. As I said in the Second Committee yesterday, economic globalization is turning into corporate colonialism. It seems that now corporations are to set the social policies of developing countries. These inclusionist policies cannot be sustained — socially, culturally, morally or politically.
Disparities between the rich and the poor.

We must take measures to preempt these moves; otherwise, the North-South divide might become unbridgeable. The South Summit Declaration, adopted in Havana last April, stressed the need for a new global human order aimed at reversing the growing disparities between rich and poor, both among and within countries. It was stated that this would be achieved through the promotion of growth with equity, the eradication of poverty, the expansion of productive employment and the promotion of gender equality and social integration. The proposal from Guyana for a new global human order seeks to build a strong political consensus and a broad-based global partnership to promote development and eradicate poverty.

We fully agree with the observation in the explanatory memorandum that political will and an enlightened international partnership are essential ingredients of any strategy designed to meet the challenges of underdevelopment. Global challenges need sustained global action. We hope that the preachers of globalization and globalism will not be carried away by a non-globalist outlook of globalism and will realize the imperatives of a new human order based on justice, equity, welfare and dignity for all, not just for the chosen and privileged few. The iron curtain is no longer there. Let there be no poverty curtain that cuts across the face of our Earth, separating excessive affluence on the one side from abject poverty on the other. There is no room for marginalization or exploitation in the new human order.

The strategy for a New Human Global Order

The Government of Guyana has presented a comprehensive strategy for the promotion of a new global human order. The strategy addresses all aspects of human development. A number of practical proposals have been made to bridge the income and technological gap between the developed and developing countries. There are many useful proposals to make the international economic and financial system development-oriented. Pakistan is generally supportive of the objectives of this strategy. However, the policy actions suggested in the strategy paper would, obviously, need to be further elaborated and thoroughly examined. We believe that further deliberations on the strategy could achieve two very important objectives.

 First, the discussions would lead to better understanding of the philosophical framework of the proposals. Secondly, they would promote effective and coherent implementation of the proposed policy actions. Our delegation looks forward to actively participating in such deliberations. We believe that the existing institutional framework and arrangements for economic regulations devised by the developed countries are adaptive neither to the new forms of global economic interdependence nor to the integration of developing countries into the international economy.

A strengthening of the multilateral process is essential for the sharing of the benefits of global prosperity. The Government of Guyana is calling for a new development paradigm. The time has come for a major paradigm shift in the pursuit of economic and social development.

The role of the United Nations:

We share the view that the United Nations has a central role in shaping this paradigm. The United Nations should be empowered to effectively perform this role. To that end, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization should be brought into a close working relationship with the United Nations, as envisaged in the Charter. We hope that consensus on the implementation of the strategy to operationalize the new global human order will lead to the realization of the long-cherished goal of human-centered development.
That would be, indeed, a major accomplishment. I would like to end my statement with a quote, again from Mr. Haque, regarding the impact of human development reports on the development paradigm. He wrote: “Along with my colleagues, I was not quite prepared for the enormous impact that these reports had on international thinking and on national development strategies. Obviously, the world was ready for a new development message.”

Well, we are confident that the world is now ready for a new global human order to tame the extreme forces of the market and to make globalization a positive force for development.