United Nations System Asked to Increase Use of Resources in Developing Nations

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United Nations system asked to increase use of resources in developing nations

The High-level Committee on the Review of Technical Co-operation among Developing Countries (TCDC) concluded the work of its fourth session (28 May-5 June, New York) by increase its use of equipment, services, experts and consultants available in developing countries.

In its decision on implementing the 1978 Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing TCDC, the Committee also requested the Secretary-General to increase procurement from developing countries for the United Nations system, and encouraged the transfer of knowledge through expatriate nations as a useful experiment. An analytical review and evaluation of that experiment was requested.

Chairman Hamed Zeghal (Tunisia), at the meeting's outset, said the purpose of TCDC was not to replace the technical assistance provided by the developed countries or the United Nations, but to reduce, however slightly, the serious imbalance existing in international relations, and to contribute to the development of countries of the southern hemisphere.

G. Arthur Brown, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the need for TCDC existed in an even more aggravated form because of the increasing gloom of the international economy and dwindling resources for multilateral co-operation. The TCDC Information Referral System (INRES), launched to fill information gaps in TCDC capacities of developing countries, had progressed considerably. Inquiries from many developing countries were being received and information on capacities were being actively disseminated.

In closing remarks, Chairman Zeghal said that recent developments had demonstrated the failure of individual efforts to overcome the difficulties faced by the international community. There was no indication that the global economic crisis would end soon. Natural disasters experienced by developing countries had only complicated the problems of development. The spirit of understanding shown by countries from the North as well as the South, he said, had contributed to the success of the work of the Committee. Representatives had reaffirmed the principles contained in the Buenos Aires Programme of Action.

BAckground: The Buenos Aires Plan of Action is a set of guidelines for promoting and strengthening TCDC in order to support greater national and collective self-reliance among developing countries. Adopted by the 1978 United Nations Conference on TCDC, which was organized by UNDP and the General Assembly, the Plan called for the establishment of the High-level Committee. The body meets every two years and is open to all States participating in UNDP, as well as to the United Nations Council for Namibia, national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity, and other subregional, regional and interregional, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Debate: The Committee held a general debate on the review of progress made in implementing the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and decisions of the High-level Committee, and organizational and supportive arrangements for TCDC--administrative, legal, information and financial.

Ahmed Tawfik Khalil (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, said that although the primary responsibility for TCDC rested with developing countries, a much higher level of commitment was required from developed countries. Continued and strengthened support and assistance by the United Nations system to economic co-operation among developing countries was needed, and the spirit of TCDC should permeate more fully the entire United Nations system. …