The Executive Director of the South Centre, an Intergovernmental Organization of the Developing Countries based in Geneva, Dr Yash Tandon, has urged the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to direct its energies and future efforts towards addressing the obstacles to change in Africa.
He said 'at the systemic level there are still many serious and formidable obstacles to change towards a more equitable and just world that needs urgent collective action by the global community' adding that 'Africa looks more mired than the rest of the South in the quagmire of the past, but there are signs of growth in Africa too'.
Dr Y. Tandon made this known in a statement dubbed 'Towards National and Collective Self Reliance of the South' at the General Debate of ongoing UNCTAD-XII in Accra yesterday .
According to him these challenges include recognising the three pillars of security, development and human rights set by the UN reform process as interdependent, recognising that the Millennium Development Goals are not a simply statistical game of numbers, or one of finding money and recognising that the Washington Consensus is dead, and therefore there is need for fresh thinking on development, financial architecture, and climate change.
Others he said includes recognising that 'development is self-defined and the fact that the North cannot define it for the South, recognising that aid and charity are the wrong way towards addressing systemic and developmental issues, especially of Africa as well as recognising that the UN, imperfect as it is, is the only truly global inter governmental system, and the need to work through it.
He pointed out that UNCTAD understand that power and access to knowledge is the key to hard-nosed negotiations and called o them to lead the way towards finding ways and means of exiting from aid dependence for the countries of the South..
Dr Tandoh noted that 'difficult as they may seem, UNCTAD should be bold enough to face them as the price for not taking action is something developing countries can ill-afford. And in this effort, UNCTAD will find in the South Centre a willing ally. The South