The Second Committee (Economic and Financial), chaired by Roble Olhaye of Djibouti, addressed a large number of sensitive issues concerning globalization and development, such as the diminishing flow of official development assistance (ODA), trade and development, environment and development, foreign debt reduction initiatives, the eradication of poverty, transfer of technology, international cooperation, new international financial architecture and foreign direct investment.
Mr. Olhaye described the session--which successfully completed its work on 22 December when the General Assembly followed its recommendations and adopted 37 resolutions and 10 decisions--as "a wonderful learning process". The Committee's debates were largely held against the backdrop of globalization. There was widespread agreement that globalization offered many opportunities for economic growth, but many developing countries felt it widened the gap between rich and poor.
Following the Committee's recommendations, the Assembly called for increased international cooperation to address the challenges of globalization through the enhanced participation of developing countries in the international economic policy decision-making process; integrated consideration of trade, finance, technology transfer and development issues by the relevant international institutions; and continuation of a wide range of reforms of the international financial system. The Assembly further decided to convene a high-level intergovernmental event in 2001, to address national, international and systemic issues relating to financing for development in the context of globalization and interdependence of the international community.
Diminishing flows of ODA, together with the international financial crisis of the last two years, led the Assembly to call upon developed countries to achieve the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall ODA. Several delegations stressed the need for adequate and predictable financial resources for implementation of development programmes and for an increase in foreign direct investment.
Trade liberalization was intensely debated, particularly within the context of two major global forums on trade: the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting in Seattle; and the tenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD X) in Bangkok. Developing countries called for greater access to global markets with preferential treatment...