Address to the Summit of the International
Conference on Financing for Development, 21 March 2002
Honourable Chairman, President Vicente Fox, Your Excellencies,
Heads of State and Government, Your Excellency, Mr Kofi
Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Distinguished
This historic meeting in Monterrey is a declaration
of hope to the peoples of the world that the leadership
of countries of the world is committed to "eradicate
poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote
sustainable development as we advance to a fully inclusive
and equitable global economic system".
Our presence here signals unequivocally that we will
act together as a potent force for global change. We
are here to break new ground and to extend the frontiers
of what is possible to attain balanced global development.
The mission which brought us here started, in earnest,
at the Millennium Summit eighteen months ago where we
stated that "We are committed to making the right
to development a reality for everyone and to freeing
the entire human race from want."
We have since been through the meeting of the World
Trade Organisation in Doha, which committed to a development
trade round. In Monterrey we must reach explicit commitments
on the financing of development. We must then proceed
with even greater clarity of purpose to Johannesburg
in September this year to map out the detail for sustainable
This gathering has been favoured with a consensus document.
This consensus must be accepted as a foundation on which
we must build now.
We welcome the announcements made by both the European
Union and the United States of America in the past few
days substantially to increase the ODA commitments.
We are greatly encouraged by the discussions here in
Monterrey between representatives of governments and
the private sector on the steps towards increased investment
flows. We accept the proposals developed in round-tables
here to improve on the coherence within countries and
between the multilateral organisations. But, we must
urge that more be done, soon.
If the world continues on the current trajectory, the
combined threats of under-development, poverty, environmental
degradation, ill health and disease, and conflicts over
natural resources will undermine the prospects for political
stability and prosperity across the globe. It is this
which creates the urgency for an agreement on sustainable
But, to deliver on this agenda, we must return to the
mandate of this Summit, of mobilising sufficient resources
for sustainable development.
On international trade, we must urge that the post-Doha
negotiations be treated with urgency. This must include
the provision of increased market access for products
from developing countries. We must call on the OECD
countries to act on the more than $360 billion of agricultural
subsidies, which lock out imports from developing countries.
On Official Development Assistance, we appeal for a
greater focus on the objective of defeating poverty
and underdevelopment, simplification of procedures and
greater transparency in the awarding of grants.
Perhaps it is appropriate to recall that the greatest
tragedy of ODA is that it peaked at 0.35% of GNP in
1990 and has been in decline ever since. At a level
of 0.23% of GNP currently, it is a far cry from the
On External Indebtedness, we appeal for a drastic revision
of the terms and conditionalities applicable to the
HIPC initiative. Unless we can staunch the outflow of
scarce capital from the poorest countries, we will never
enable the governments in poor countries to marshal
the resources to improve on the quality of public services
or to address the infrastructure deficits.
Of great importance, we must, all of us, commit to
a partnership of mutual accountability between North
and South to effect the necessary changes, as represented,
for instance, by the New Partnership for Africa's Development,
NEPAD. The premise of this partnership must be an unambiguous
commitment to solving problems together, in a spirit
of joint responsibility among governments and with the
private sector and other organs of civil society.
At the same time, we must commit to improving the coherence
between the multilateral institutions, to encourage
the leadership of these institutions to undergo programmes
of organisational transformation, and to assure them
of our unstinting support.
The world we live in has the capital, technology and
the human skills to end poverty and under-development.
The world's poor need this expression of hope, hope
that we will take the correct decisions to end their
We must, here in Monterrey, agree to find the resources
to end the misery and degradation. At the Johannesburg
World Summit for Sustainable Development, we must then
fill in the detail, and do so in confidence, knowing
that the plans will be fully financed in the future.
Our responsibility as leaders together is to confirm
that the trust of our peoples is well-founded. We cannot
afford to fail.
I thank you.