At the outset, let me thank the Secretariat of G77 for convening this annual meeting. Â On behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I also convey our sincere appreciation to Fiji for its efficient and successful leadership of the Group of 77 and China. Â Our commend and gratitude goes to the previous chair of the group as well for their contribution to negotiations on the Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the future we want.
The Group of 77 and China by its 132 member states has demonstrated to be a key development forum, promoting the socio-economic needs of developing countries in various international foras. Recent decades have proven that development is the most fundamental requirement for achieving peaceful and prosperous societies. I would like to welcome Kiribati for the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China and looking forward to work together to achieve our goals.
There is a clear link between development goals and peace, good governance, effective and stable institutions. Having gone through decades of incessant conflict, we are keenly aware of the difficulties associated with state building and development. It is more than a decade that Afghanistan embarked on a comprehensive effort to improve security, promote development and strengthens good governance.
With the generous support of our international friends and allies, today, we are witness to notable achievements in a number of spheres, particularly in improving socio-economic conditions for our citizens. Consistent with our commitment to meet our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2020, life for ordinary Afghans has changed for the better. The absolute majority of our population now has access to basic health services; close to 9 million children are enrolled in schools around the country, investing in their future; the rate of child and maternal mortality has decreased significantly. The GDP per capita that was 174 in 2002 has substantially increased to 742 in 2012.
Afghanistan in July last year, finalized its comprehensive strategy to address its development needs throughout the transformation decade 2015-2025 and beyond. Â â€œTowards Self-Relianceâ€ encompasses Afghanistanâ€™s vision for growth, revenue generation and infrastructure development, inter alia regional resource corridors and extractive industries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me emphasize on the importance of a strengthened and scaled-up global partnership for development. We will best be able to achieve our development goals if we strengthen collaboration and partnerships, which, undoubtedly, is vital for enabling our citizens to lead prosperous lives. Â It is imperative that we adopt a comprehensive approach in our cooperation and increase more collaboration between developing countries in the framework of South-South cooperation. We cannot overstate the importance and the central role of the UN in coordinating international assistance, whether it is financial or social.
As a least developed, land-locked and a conflict affected country that is still to a great extent, reliant on Official Development Assistance (ODA) to effectively implement its development goals, Afghanistan calls on developed countries to demonstrate greater flexibility and political will to meet and scale up their commitments to developing countries, particularly LDCs and post-conflict countries. To ensure aid effectiveness, it is more important that donors take into consideration the principle of country ownership of recipient countries, reducing the allocation of ODA outside of government systems and instead channeling more funds through core budgets and transparent trust funds.
In the framework of South-South cooperation among 132 members of G77 and China, we all can gain through exchange of knowledge in the areas of science, technology and innovation (STI), as well as the potential of culture, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, made at the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, environmental, social and related fields.
Migration remains inadequately reflected in development frameworks, development agendas and sectorial policies at both national and global levels. Therefore, comprehensive policy formulation at the national, regional and global levels is needed to positively regulate and mobilize flow of migrations of developing countries in particular LDCs around the world towards contribution to development, in particular remittances and public financing.
Afghanistan welcomes the ongoing efforts under the United Nations, to create an ambitious post 2015 development agenda and supports the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are of the view that this agenda needs to be inclusive and be developed based on the experiences and achievements of the MDGs and other international agreed development goals.
We reaffirm our commitments towards the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The Conference was a historic event in garnering a renewed commitment for effective strategies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty, advance social equity and protect our environment.
Afghanistan associates the position of the G77 and China on major international issues and believes that the G77 can play an important role in the framework of the United Nations, towards achieving peace, prosperity, socio-economic development and environmental protection for all. We hope and are positive towards achieving the goals and objectives of our group that will validate in the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77 in June next year.