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Third World Network wins G77-UN award

NEW YORK: The Third World Network (TWN) has been presented the 1996 award for South-South cooperation during a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77.

At the presentation ceremony at the United Nations on 27 September, Third World Network Director, Martin Khor, received the award from Costa Rican Foreign Minister Fernando Naranjo (current chairman of the Group of 77) and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Gus Speth.

The annual Group of 77/UNDP Award for TCDC/ECDC is given to institutions that contribute to technical and economic cooperation among developing countries. The TWN is the second recipient of the award, which was first given last year to the Geneva-based South Centre.

In his speech, Speth said the award was given to the TWN in recognition of "its outstanding efforts to promote economic cooperation among developing countries by providing analyses on issues of major concern to the Group of 77 and generally supporting the negotiating strategy of the Group."

The citation on the plaque presented to TWN stated that: "The Award recognizes, in particular, TWN's efforts in identifying major issues of interest to the developing countries and in providing analyses that have enabled these countries to adopt common positions on these issues."

"It also recognizes the importance of various publications of the TWN such as Third World Economics and the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS) and acknowledges the potential of the TWN to make an even greater contribution in the future to the promotion of South-South cooperation."

In his acceptance speech, Khor said the award to TWN marked a milestone in the relationship between Third World governments and civil society organizations, of which TWN is a representative. "It also marks the growing recognition by the United Nations system of the growing importance of non-government organizations."

Khor said the TWN had attempted to mobilize the best talent and energies of the NGOs and experts to support policy makers and diplomats of the South in fora such as the 1992 Earth Summit, the 1995 Social Summit, the Biodiversity Convention and the World Trade Organization.

He added that for the past 16 years, the SUNS Bulletin had been produced to provide news and analyses of various negotiations and developments in an effort to articulate and communicate the view of developing countries. "In countries of the South, our network of NGOs help bring the views and aspirations of communities to the attention of policy makers." Khor added that "in this era of globalization and liberalization, it was imperative for civil society to work with governments of the South to defend and promote our collective interests to better the lives of our communities and people." He said the award would motivate TWN to "facilitate greater collaboration between the people and across the continents wherever the South exists."

Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Leo Michael Toyad, in his speech, congratulated TWN for receiving the award. Indonesian Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, extended felicitations to the TWN on receiving the award for "its invaluable contribution to the advancement of South-South cooperation."

The G77 Ministerial Declaration, adopted at the end of the meeting, included a reference that the Ministers congratulated the TWN "for its contribution to the advancement of South-South cooperation and its valuable support to the Group of 77 at various United Nations Centres."

TWN was formed in Penang in 1984 at a seminar organized by the Consumers' Association of Penang on "The Third World: Development or Crisis?" The TWN's international secretariat is based in Penang. It also has regional offices in Africa, South America, India and Geneva.

TWN's activities include publications (such as the daily SUNS Bulletin, the fortnightly magazine, Third World Economics, and the monthly magazines Third World Resurgence and African Agenda), research, organizing of seminars and participation in UN meetings. (TWN/SUNS3838)

 

 

 

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