between developing countries and countries with economies in transition in promoting implementation of development programmes and projects. They welcomed the launching of the NAM Business Forum on South-South Co-operation on 23 to 24 February 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, at the XIII NAM Summit, welcomed the activities of the NAM Centre for South-South Technical Co-operation (NAM CSSTC) in Jakarta, the contribution by the South Centre in Geneva, and recognised the role of the Centre for Science and Technology in New Delhi.
The Ministers welcomed sub-regional co-operation initiatives such as ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy) and BIMST-EC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Co-operation), where a number of projects are now in the pipeline, as excellent frameworks for socio-economic development among neighbouring countries. They also welcomed the Asia Co-operation Dialogue (ACD), initiated by Thailand in 2002, as a forum that can tap into the inherent strengths of Asian countries for sustainable development and mutual prosperity.
Critical Economic Situation in Africa
267. The Ministers acknowledged that the socio-economic situation in Africa remains precarious, despite the critical role played by Africa and the African people in the world economy over centuries, and despite the many efforts made by African countries, individually and collectively, to lay a solid foundation for Africa's development. In the context of globalisation and liberalisation, they remained concerned that the decline in ODA and other financial flows to Africa will increase the marginalisation of the continent in the global economy. In addition, they were also deeply concerned that FDI flows to Africa still account for a mere 2% of the total FDI flows to developing countries, and that its share in global trade accounts for less than 1%. They continued to call for the reversal of this negative trend as well as for solutions to be found to the unsustainable debt burden and the inequities in the international trade arena, both of which hinder
Africa’s development prospects.
Furthermore, they recognised that FDI can only
complement concessional finance and not replace it.
The Ministers commended the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as representing the collective determination and commitment of African governments and people to take control of their future development and assume their pressing duty to fight poverty by placing their countries on the path of sustainable economic and social development. They also welcomed the endorsement of this initiative by the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Secretary-General as well as the support for the initiative by the G8 and the EU amongst others. They underlined the importance of these steps in achieving one of the most important goals of NEPAD, namely the establishment of a new relationship based on partnership and mutual responsibility and accountability between Africa and the international community, to overcome the Continent’s marginalisation. In this regard, they expressed the Non-Aligned Movement’s sincere endorsement of, and support for the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
The Ministers shared the approach to development as embedded in NEPAD and which is based on a thorough evaluation of past experience, in particular the realisation that Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development cannot be achieved through an approach solely or predominantly based on the aid-and-credit pattern, which has failed.