Ineke Mules for AL JAZEERA
Wednesday September 24
Tension between delegates of developed and developing countries was evident during morning’s first ECOSOC press conference following the release of the committee’s draft resolution.
In response to a question concerning the ongoing work of Non-Governmental Organisations in developing countries, Bangladesh accused the majority of NGOs of encouraging corruption in fragile political environments.
India acknowledged the important role of NGOs in helping to meet the Millennium Development Goals; however ultimately seconded Bangladesh’s statement and raised concerns regarding reports that most of the income from imports goes back to developed countries.
The delegate also referenced the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami as an example of the potentially disastrous consequences when aid organisations are concentrated in only a few areas.
India also took aim at the rise of grass roots organisations; claiming that too many NGOs on the ground also results in split incomes among the population.
In typical fashion, the delegate for the US reaffirmed their ongoing commitment to foreign aid, while remarking that they are under no legal obligation to lower tariffs.
The US went on to assert that developing countries need to build stronger political and social institutions instead of relying on the work of international aid programmes and NGOs, implying that they need to work harder to stem corruption.
The delegate for Brazil agreed that although the majority of NGOs are currently working separately to achieve goals in developing countries, collaboration between organisations is vital in order to properly achieve their goals.
When pressed for comment, the delegate for Nigeria steered discussion towards the impact that developing nations have on the effects of climate change, at which point the other delegates expressed their unanimous opinion that all states have a moral obligation to protect the environment.