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Statement by H.E. Zachary D. Muburi-Muita

Madam Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the African Group on the agenda item 51 entitled: Globalization and lnterdependence with its sub-items (a-c).

  1. Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence,
  2. lnternational migration and development;
  3. Preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of funds of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The African Group associates itself with the statement delivered by the representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

We thank the Secretary-General for his repods on the impact of international policies, processes and obligations on the implementation of national development plans and strategies. The reports, inter alia, highlight the challenges developing countries in general and African countries in particular face in managing the negative global impacts on their development.

Madam Chair,

It has been stated the globalization offers both opporlunities and challenges. Globalization has brought new challenges to sustained economic growth and sustainable development in Africa. Africa remains marginalized in the globalizing world, thus confirming that the benefits and costs of globalization are very unevenly distributed. ln an increasingly globalized world but unevenly distributed global economic benefits, flexibility and policy space for African countries in pursuing their national development policies became the first casualty. Development is increasingly being determined by factors outside the continent's boundaries. Africa's contribution to global decision- making and norm setting in areas of trade, finance, investment, technology and even migration is minimal. On the other hand, crises whose origins are outside Africa affect the continent the most and threaten to marginalize it further leading to a lot of suffering. While Africa acknowledges primary responsibility for its own development, global programs and policies should support our regional and national efforts in order to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs and to facilitate an equitable sharing of the benefits of globalization. ln this regard, the Group calls for the strengthening of international development cooperation with Africa and the enhancement of the global padnership for development.

Madam Ghair,

As other factors of production become globalized, labour will always follow suit. Africa has not been spared from experiencing the complexity of migration and its diverse impacts on development. lnternational migration, like globalization itself, has both benefits and challenges to receiving, transit and countries of origin of migrants. However, a perception has been created in the industrialized world as if migrants only benefit their countries of origin. Recognizing the need to address this phenomenon and to contribute to the global efforts at cooperation and coordination in the field of migration and development, the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union adopted the African Common Position on Migration and Development in July 2006 in Banjul, The Gambia.

The policy recognizes the uneven impact of international migration on development and Africa's role in its management thereof, while condemning the selective approaches to migration adopted by industrialized countries that criminalize the migration of non-skilled Africans while at the same time poaching the continent's skilled personnel in which African Governments have invested heavily. The issue of respect for the human rights of migrants and their dependants is of paramount importance to Africa. ln this regard, the Group is the view that migrants and African migrants in particular are no less than other human beings. They should be protected and their rights should be respected. We therefore support the ongoing exchange of views within the context of the Global Forum on Migration and Development that aim at finding an international common ground on this important issue in order to maximize its benefits while minimizing its negative effects. The Group furlher trusts that eventually migration and development will come back to the United Nations, which is the appropriate forum for deliberations on global issues.

Madam Chair,

The African continent has experienced a number of incidences of corrupt practices whereby public assets have been unscrupulously transferred to banks abroad and then transformed into private possessions. African countries' requests to have those assets returned to the rightful owners have always not been favourably considered.

We therefore, welcome the high number of Member States that has already ratified or acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Group also urges those Member States and other organizations that have not yet done so, to speed up their processes of ratification and/or accession to this vital instrument.

On our pad, the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Combating Corruption and Related Offences, which was adopted in July 2003 by the African Union's Second Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique, entered into force in August 2006. So far 43 African countries have either signed and/or ratified the Convention.

A number of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the continent also have in place similar instruments which is a demonstration of our resolve to fight this heinous crime. Regional and sub-regional efforts can however, only bear fruit if there are supportive efforts at the global level in this regard. lt is important that all countries and peoples should condemn corruption wherever it occurs and whoever commits it. There should be no safe havens for corruption practitioners and their ill-gotten assets on this planet.

The African Group trusts that the United Nations will continue playing its important role in all these areas of globalization with a view to ensuring that benefits of globalization are evenly distributed across the globe.

I thank you.

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