24 September 2009
H.E. Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki
Minster of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Thirty First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of G-15
(New York, Thursday 24 September 2009)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to the Member States of the Group of Fifteen for honoring the invitation and for your participation in this Meeting. In the spirit of collective understanding and in the light of our past experiences, it is my hope that, this session would review and examine the current issues and difficulties that the Member States are facing. It is also my hope that through furthering our cooperation and coordination, additional steps could be taken for both tackling those difficulties and granting more impetus to the functioning of the Group itself.
We are of the view that the Group can be an important and influential forum for coordination and cooperation among its developing member states. Meanwhile, the Group can provide a platform for promotion of dialogue and cooperation between developed and developing countries. Taking into account all these potentials, the Group has not only the necessary elements for playing an effective role in the regional and international transactions and developments but also has the ability of speeding up the process of economic prosperity and development of its peoples.
We maintain the view that the political, cultural and economic commonalities of the Member States particularly in the areas such as multilateral trade, energy, investment, south-south cooperation and information technology constitute the necessary grounds for further enhancing the cooperation among ourselves. To this end, it is for us as members to reassess the strategic role of the G15 and to redefine relations inside the Group as well as the interactions with non-member states.
As I mentioned earlier, G-15 consists of countries which are rich in natural resources. They also generally enjoy decent infrastructural, industrial and technological capabilities with significant levels of economic and political influence at international level. However, in order to judge how far the G-15 as a Group has been able to reach its objectives and to realize its potentials, a scrutiny needs to be done over implementation of its plans and programs and ultimately over the actual weigh of the Group in international economic affairs.
While it is argued that globalization has brought economic prosperity to developing countries, a large portion of developing world is still apparently marginalized. Furthermore, the globalization, through interdependence, has made the developing countries more vulnerable to the adverse impacts of external fluctuations and instabilities originated mostly from industrialized countries and their policies. Without any intention to depict a grimy picture, it is evident that poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy and pandemic diseases prevail in many parts of the developing world. We as G-15, representing one third of the world population, must not be an innocent observer to world developments or simply fall victim to the Globalization with all its implications. To this end, establishing a responsive mechanism, which could improve the Group’s role and could meet the interests of the members and other developing countries, is essential.
For developing countries in general and members of the G15 in particular to get back on track and to overcome the current global challenges including the current economic crisis, an international trading, monetary and financial system that is universal, open, equitable, non-coercive, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory is needed more than ever. Only such a system may transform globalization into a positive force for change in favor of all, benefiting all countries, and contributing to the prosperity and empowerment of developing countries, not to their continued impoverishment and dependence on the developed world.
Taking into account particularly the impacts of the current international financial crisis on G-15 countries, no other option is left for us but to engage constructively and actively in the ongoing international discussions over global challenges.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, during its chairmanship, and being mindful of strengthening south–south cooperation, has attached great importance to the attainment of goals and aspirations of G15. We made significant efforts to address the issues confronted by the Group with the aim of giving momentum to the current activities of the Group. In this regard, the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted several gatherings including a meeting on Water Resources Management and Rural Development which was held in Tehran. My country has also come up with initiatives and proposals in the field of renewable energy resources and established mechanisms for furthering cooperation in this area, with an important and positive impact on securing future energy needs. Given the past performance of the Group, the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to present following proposals for further strengthening the G-15:
– Shifting the overall approach of the Group from project-orientation to policy–coordination, particularly on the international economic and financial subjects.
– Applying a Clustering Approach with a view to encouraging and facilitating implementation of those plans and activities which fall within priority areas of some Member States while providing the chance for others to join them as and when they find it appropriate.
– Giving necessary instructions to PRs meetings in Geneva for establishing proper mechanisms for coordination among member countries on trade, financial and economic issues at the international bodies such as WTO and UNCTAD.
Honorable Heads of Delegates
At the end, I might reiterate that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the G-15 could act as an influential and important establishment for coordination and adjustment of policies within the larger group of developing countries.
Once again, I thank the distinguished Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegates to participate in this meeting. I hope that we could see an enhanced G-15 through more cooperation and exchange of views.
Thank you very much