Expressing concern over declining levels of funding for United Nations operational activities for development, several speakers in the General Assembly this afternoon put forward a variety of proposals to redress that situation as the Assembly concluded its discussion of restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields.
The representative of Norway expressed regret at the lack of commitment by Member States to secure funding for operational activities for development. The Nordic countries had previously suggested an alternative three-tier funding system, based on assessed contributions by all Member States, multi-layer negotiated pledges and voluntary contributions, he recalled, suggesting that other alternatives could include proposals to introduce transport taxes on air tickets.
The representative of Indonesia said there was a dire need to increase the resources for operational activities for development, and for the delivery of those resources in a predictable, continuous and assured fashion. The developing countries had kept their side of the partnership agreement, but funding from the developed countries had not been forthcoming. He added that the Bretton Woods institutions, which were supposed to coordinate with the Organization, had drifted away and should be brought into line with the policies of the United Nations system.
The representative of Bangladesh said it was frustrating to observe that development had been by-passed as the work of the United Nations focused more on peace and security issues and short-term emergency issues. Any restructuring and revitalization exercise had to be able to address the crucial issues of international trade, finance, debt and technology transfer.
The representative of Ukraine expressed support for the creation of an economic security council which would have weight and influence comparable to the Security Council. Such a body would have a mandate to coordinate international development cooperation and to eliminate any forms of economic aggression, particularly the threat or use of embargoes, boycotts and trade and financial blockades. In that way, it would contribute to respect for national independence, non-interference in internal affairs, and mutual benefit.
Also taking part in the debate were the representatives of Malta, Cameroon, Canada, Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Zambia, Venezuela and Hungary.
The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 20 November, to commemorate the Year for Tolerance.
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