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Resolution adopted by consensus* by the 122nd IPU Assembly
(Bangkok, 1 April 2010)

The 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Deeply concerned about the adverse impact of the international economic and financial crisis on the most vulnerable nations and sectors of the global community and on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015,

Bearing in mind that the current financial and economic crisis has its origins in developed countries, and that a broad international dialogue, conducted under United Nations auspices with the active participation of all countries, is required to lead the world on the path of economic and social recovery,

Concerned that, according to the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and regional development banks, foreign direct investment in and remittances to developing countries, especially in Africa, will have declined dramatically in 2009-2010,

Underscoring the importance of increased financing for development, including the need to meet the long-standing target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries, of wider and deeper debt relief to developing countries, and of ongoing efforts aimed at identifying additional, innovative sources of financing for South-South and triangular cooperation,

Noting that, although ODA from OECD-DAC countries (Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation-Development Assistance Committee) rose by 10 per cent in real terms in 2008 (after an 8.5 per cent decline in 2007), it probably declined again in 2009, owing to the economic crisis,

Recalling that MDG 8 (Develop a global partnership for development) calls for an open, non-discriminatory trading and financial system that includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction, both nationally and internationally,

Noting that, according to the UN Secretary-General, important progress has been made towards all eight MDGs, but the world community is not on track to fulfil its commitments, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,

Recalling UN General Assembly resolution 58/220 of 23 December 2003 (Economic and technical cooperation between developing countries), which proclaims 19 December United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation,

Taking note of the Ministerial Declaration adopted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 at their Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting, held in New York on 25 September 2003, in which they once again underscored the importance and increased relevance of South-South cooperation,

Noting the G20 Summit held on 2 April 2009 in London and its willingness to boost the global economy, in particular by disbursing US$ 50 billion to developing countries to counteract the economic and social effects of the crisis and thereby strengthen human development in those countries,

Recalling the relevant IPU resolutions, in particular those adopted at the 92nd Inter‑Parliamentary  Conference (Copenhagen, 1994) on International co-operation and national action to support social and economic development and efforts to combat poverty, the 104th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (Jakarta, 2000) on Financing for development and a new paradigm of economic and social development designed to eradicate poverty, the 107th Inter‑Parliamentary Conference (Marrakech, 2002) on The role of parliaments in developing public policy in an era of globalisation, multilateral institutions and international trade agreements, the 112th IPU Assembly (Manila, 2005) on The role of parliaments in establishing innovative international financing and trading mechanisms to address the problem of debt and achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the 115th IPU Assembly (Geneva, 2006) on The role of parliaments in overseeing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular with regard to the problem of debt and the eradication of poverty and corruption, the 118th IPU Assembly (Cape Town, 2008) on Parliamentary oversight of State policies on foreign aid and the 120th IPU Assembly (Addis Ababa, 2009) on The role of parliaments in mitigating the social and political impact of the international economic and financial crisis on the most vulnerable sectors of the global community, especially in Africa,

Deeply concerned that climate change poses risks that may unravel many advances in reducing poverty, compounding the negative consequences of the economic crisis,

Welcoming the outcome document of the Eleventh session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XI), which salutes the important role of parliaments in international development cooperation,

Recalling the reports of the UN Secretary-General entitled The state of South-South cooperation (23 August 2007 and 24 August 2009)and Promotion of South-South cooperation for development: a thirty-year perspective (27 October 2009),

Considering that the outcome document of the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South-Cooperation, held in Nairobi from 1 to 3 December 2009, fails to mention the positive role that parliaments can and should play to develop South-South cooperation and make it more efficient,

Underscoring that in a globalized world, South-South and triangular cooperation are more important than ever to achieve sustainable development in developing countries, given that economic development, social progress and environmental protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing goals,

Recalling that the South has a number of success stories, best practices and lessons learned in addressing major development challenges, such as microfinance, which have brought about a profound societal transformation in many countries, such as Bangladesh,

Aware that South-South cooperation has a long history (the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation was established in the late 1970s) and an essential role to play in developing countries,

Convinced that organizations within the UN system, due to their universal membership, neutrality and political independence, represent essential vehicles to catalyse, support and strengthen South-South cooperation,

Recalling that financing for development, as set forth in the Monterrey Consensus, is about tapping all available resources, not only development assistance and debt relief, but also financing from domestic resources, fair trade, foreign investment and remittances, all of which are all complementary,

Noting the growing volume of ODA flows from southern contributors, and observing a lack of accessible and comprehensive information on these flows,

Considering that there is a need for standards, rules and regulatory frameworks that are able to enhance South-South cooperation, as well as for methodologies for gathering information on South-South flows of assistance and other forms of cooperation,

Noting that the private sector, civil society actors and individuals are assuming a new and dynamic role in South-South cooperation,

Underscoring that achieving the internationally agreed development goals will not be possible without progress on gender equality and women's empowerment,

Emphasizing that women are active and successful in building South-South non-governmental networks for improving their status and addressing major economic, social, environmental and political concerns,

Noting that the agenda for South-South cooperation has expanded significantly to include not only economic and technical cooperation, but also good governance, health and disease control, environmental issues and transnational security threats,

Also noting that capacity-building programmes in the framework of South-South cooperation have made a significant contribution to the achievement of the MDGs,

Strongly concerned that some donor countries tend to make light of the weakness of democratic governance in beneficiary countries in order to acquire their natural resources,

Noting that OECD donor countries have partnered with middle-income developing countries to provide development assistance to the least developed countries,

Considering that the rationale underlying triangular development cooperation is that southern countries, which are still themselves developing, are better placed and have the relevant experience to respond to the needs and problems of other developing countries,

Underscoring that triangular development cooperation programmes can be more cost effective,

Considering that regional integration is an essential process which can overcome, by common accord, political, physical, economic and social barriers that divide countries from their neighbours and foster collaboration leading to economic growth, expansion of regional trade and investment, management of shared resources, regional public goods and climate change, and the prevention of disasters,

Stressing in this respect that regional and subregional organizations play a prominent role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding and are important partners of the United Nations in promoting international peace and security,

Also stressing that South-South cooperation and integration are highly complementary to North-South cooperation, along with regional integration among developing countries,

Considering that regional initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) and the Pacific Plan may further enhance regional cooperation with a view to meeting development, democracy, good governance and security challenges,

Aware that no single model of regional integration can be imposed since all integration strategies have to be adapted to particular interests and circumstances, but that general features can nonetheless be identified which impede or foster integration processes,

  1. Calls on Northern and Southern parliaments and governments to support and develop South-South and triangular cooperation as an important tool to achieve the MDGs;

  2. Invites Southern and Northern parliaments and governments to align their South-South cooperation agenda with the MDGs;

  3. Urges Southern parliaments and governments to see to it that the funds allocated to MDG-related programmes and sectors are effectively used for these programmes;

  4. Invites Southern parliaments and governments to implement the results of the successive South summits;

  5. Also invites Southern parliaments and governments to take legislative or other initiatives in support of South-South cooperation efforts that foster achievement of the MDGs;

  6. Recommends that donor parliaments and governments, in addition to traditional bilateral and multilateral aid flows, contribute to the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation to ensure sufficient funding for South-South projects and initiatives;

  7. Urges parliaments to ask their governments to ensure that future UN documents on South-South cooperation make due mention of the important role that parliaments have to play in fostering South-South cooperation and making it more efficient;

  8. Calls on the United Nations, working with other global institutions, to establish an effective mechanism to monitor, discuss and evaluate the progress and delivery of the commitments made by the international community in support of South-South and triangular cooperation for development, while ensuring they are oriented towards achieving the MDGs;

  9. Invites the UN and its specialized agencies, such as UNDP and UNCTAD, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of South-South cooperation by better coordinating and streamlining the various institutions, initiatives and guidelines dealing with it, especially within the UN system;

  10. Invites Northern parliaments and governments to ensure that a substantial part of development assistance serves to promote South-South and triangular cooperation;

  11. Recommends that Northern parliaments require their governments to allocate a substantial part of their ODA to triangular cooperation mechanisms which, besides being more cost effective, allow successful Southern donor countries to share their experiences and best practices;

  12. Urges Southern donor parliaments and governments to develop good practices concerning South-South ODA and cooperation, taking into consideration, among others, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action;

  13. Invites Southern donor governments to renounce tied aid in favour of other forms of support that fully take into account the needs of the recipient countries and are in line with their national development strategies;

  14. Also invites donor and beneficiary country parliaments and governments to put in place consistent and transparent accounting of both North-South and South-South ODA flows, and of other forms of cooperation, including in-kind contributions and shared natural and knowledge resources;

  15. Recommends that Northern and Southern parliaments increase oversight of their South-South and triangular cooperation activities;

  16. Requests Southern parliaments to strengthen mechanisms to oversee government implementation of development plans and programmes and regional and subregional agreements that focus specifically on the MDGs;

  17. Invites Southern parliaments and governments to analyse how South-South approaches can be applied to development issues and how policies and projects that have succeeded in reducing poverty in some developing countries could be replicated elsewhere to accelerate achievement of the MDGs;

  18. Also invites Southern parliaments and governments to conclude the São Paulo round of negotiations of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP), which has the potential to generate significant additional trade flows;

  19. Calls on Northern and Southern countries that are in a position to comply to give duty-free and quota-free market access to all exports from the least developed countries, including the 3 per cent of tariff lines that are currently covered by the tariff line exclusion (with the exception of arms);

  20. Invites Southern parliaments and governments to improve the platforms for exchanging views among developing countries on South-South cooperation, flows of trade and direct investments in order to coordinate their actions in these areas;

  21. Encourages Northern parliaments and governments to make Aid for Trade available for enhancing South-South cooperation;

  22. Invites Northern parliaments to encourage their governments to urge multilateral institutions, such as the Bretton Woods institutions and regional development banks, to develop and foster the implementation of programmes that promote trade and investment between countries of the South;

  23. Encourages Southern parliaments and governments to actively promote South-South investment and technology transfers by ensuring a secure and stable investment environment, thereby reducing transactions costs and enhancing legal security;

  24. Invites parliaments to actively support South-South non-governmental networks created by women for improving their status and addressing major economic, social, environmental and political concerns;

  25. Calls on both Northern and Southern parliaments to step up their support for the parliamentary structures of regional organizations in order to consolidate the regional integration and cooperation required to achieve the MDGs;

  26. Invites parliaments and governments to recapitalize Southern regional development banks in order to help establish or develop regional development funds;

  27. Also invites Southern parliaments and governments to develop South-South regional cooperation in order to manage regional public goods, including water resources, ecological assets such as cross-border forest basins or natural reserves and cross-border energy resources, and control disease more efficiently,

  28. Encourages Southern regional and national parliaments to hold their governments to account for their efforts to achieve the MDGs through South-South cooperation mechanisms and requests that the oversight capacity of these parliaments be strengthened in this respect;

  29. Also encourages regional and subregional parliaments to promote and immediately initiate an exchange of information and best practices on South-South and triangular cooperation strategies and initiatives, and also invites governments to facilitate such exchanges in cooperation with national parliaments and the UN system;

  30. Urges Northern donor parliaments to ensure that their governments honour ODA commitments, despite the economic crisis, given the importance of predictable aid flows for the realization of South-South and triangular cooperation;

  31. Urges parliaments to oversee implementation of the present resolution and government action to implement the recommendations of the United Nations High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation.

* The delegation of Iran (Islamic Rep. of) expressed reservations on preambular paragraph 24 in relation to the concept of "gender equality".

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