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Best Chance To Unlock Desperately Needed Financial Resources
Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference
on Financing for Development. January 14, 2002
Monterrey Conference offers us the best chance
we had, for many years, to unlock the financial resources that are so
desperately needed for development. If we are to seize that chance, we must
focus very sharply, in the few weeks remaining to us, on how best to achieve
Conference agenda is substantial and balanced - the fruit of very careful
negotiations. The Conference itself must produce tangible results under all the
main headings on that agenda, whether of a national or international or systemic
results would make it a success?
it must strengthen and sharpen the consensus that now exists on the policies,
mechanisms and institutional frameworks which are required, within the
developing countries, to mobilize domestic resources, as well as to attract and
benefit from international private capital flows - and particularly from foreign
direct investment. Agreement to conclude a comprehensive international
convention against corruption - providing, for example, for the repatriation of
illegally transferred funds -- would also be a major step forward.
Monterrey must build on the momentum achieved in Doha with the promise of a new
development round of trade negotiations. In particular, the Conference should
pay attention to areas that will not be covered in those negotiations, but are
of vital importance to developing countries - such as commodity prices.
Monterrey must mark a turning point in the history of official development
assistance (ODA). We simply cannot allow the decline of ODA to continue, if we
want our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals to be taken seriously at
all. The Zedillo Panel calculated that, to reach those Goals by 2015, we need
another $50 billion of official development assistance per year -- and the World
Bank has come up with very similar figures. That means doubling the present
figure of ODA - which may sound ambitious, but would still leave us well short
of the recognized goal of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for the donor
countries. Why don’t we take that extra $50 billion as an immediate,
short-term target, to be announced at Monterrey and achieved within two to three
years? It is certainly achievable, if all those who have not yet reached 0.7 per
cent make a new, and real, effort.
we need a clear commitment from creditor countries to implement the Highly
Indebted Poor Countries initiative fully and promptly, and indeed to go beyond
the present terms of that initiative so as to ensure that from now on the debts
are really sustainable. But, we also need to explore new ways of dealing with
the debts of middle-income countries. We must do everything we can to prevent
the tragic experience of Argentina from being repeated elsewhere. There is an
emerging consensus that existing methods for resolving sovereign debt crises are
unsatisfactory, and that we need to find ways of ensuring that the burden is
more equitably shared between the debtor country and its creditors. I hope that,
at Monterrey, governments will give the political impulse needed to speed the
development of such a new approach.
there is a real need for the developing countries to have a bigger say, when the
management of the global economy is being discussed. I think everyone now
recognizes this. The Conference must come up with practical ways to achieve it.
finally, the Conference must agree on effective follow-up mechanisms, to make
sure that whatever it decides is actually done. These mechanisms should build on
what has been achieved in the preparatory process, in which the United Nations
has been the center of a strong coalition, bringing together, as we heard, all
those who had a part to play - different ministries in both donor and developing
countries, the private sector, civil society organizations, the Bretton Woods
institutions and the World Trade Organization. We are working in an
unprecedented spirit of cooperation. It has also thrown up some very promising
ideas. It is a partnership we need for the future.
believe we can achieve results on all these issues, but only if we succeed in
focusing attention on them at the highest political levels during the weeks
ahead. That is why I have asked two men of unrivalled experience in the field -
the South African finance minister, Trevor Manuel, and the former Managing
Director of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus - to serve as my
special envoys and help rally support. I am delighted that they have both agreed
to do so and they are both here with us today.
succeed, I believe this Conference really can help developing countries take
advantage of the global market, and thereby make a real difference in the lives
of poor people all over the world. And that is what it must do, if the
Millennium Development Goals that our leaders agreed to in September 2000 are to
be more than wishful thinking.
that spirit, I wish you all success in your deliberations.
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