30/10/2003
Press Release
GA/10197



Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary

49th Meeting (Night)


CONCLUDING HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE, GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEARS CALLS FOR RENEWED POLITICAL


WILL, FURTHER ACTION TO IMPLEMENT DEVELOPMENT FINANCING COMMITMENTS


Wrapping up the ministerial-level dialogue on development financing, General Assembly President Julian R .obert Hunte (of St.Saint Lucia ) , President of the General Assembly, ccalled on the senior officials of governments and multilateral organizations , as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector present –- indeed, on all those committed to sustainable development -– to act on and implement the ideas and proposals put forward in the last two days.

As the eventsession drew to a close, he summarized the discussions undertaken, highlighting the frank nature of debate and the general consensus that more needed to be accomplished on financing for development, notably with in respect toof recent disappointing developments in international trade and financial transfers.  Many had spoken of the need for greater coherence among Ggovernment policies and lauded the more intimate involvement of national policy makers in development issues.  They also called for the resumption of multilateral negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework as soon as possible.

The Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue had been organized in follow-up to the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, which United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said, broke new ground by bringing together all relevant stakeholders under the world body’s umbrella to develop a policy framework to guide their respective efforts to dealt with development financing issues at the national, regional, international and systemic levels.


That policy framework, known as the Monterrey Consensus, explicitly recognizes that each country has a primary responsibility for its own economic and social development; that national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment; and that peace and security were essential for sustainable development.  The Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue marked the beginning of a biennial process of assessment and forward planning towards universal implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.


Comprising a series of plenary and informal meetings and interactive ministerial round tables with the participation of relevant stakeholders, the two-day event Dialogue gave development stakeholders a chance to review the post-Monterrey aid report card.  The round tables, held yesterday, addressed a variety of themes including regional dimensions in implementing the Monterrey Consensus; coherence and consistency of international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development; the link between implementing the objectives of Monterrey and the Millennium Summit; and the link between the Monterrey objectives and the achievement of an equitable global economic system.

The Assembly met in plenary this morning to hear addresses from the Secretary-General, as well as other senior United Nations officials and representatives of the international financial institutions.  Mr. Hunte also today chaired an informal interactive dialogue today, in which all relevant stakeholders were invited to engage in a policy dialogue on the status of and collaborative steps ahead in implementing the outcomes of Monterrey, including by informing the meeting of national activities undertaken in that regard.

Among other points emphasized by Mr. Hunte in his concluding remarks were the important role played by regional cooperation in trade issues, concern over the volatility of the commodities market and the exposure of developing country farmers to market vulnerability.  It had been suggested that the United Nations consider such issues in a more comprehensive and focused manner.  Other proposals included providing development assistance to counter declines in commodity prices ;, guaranteeing minimum commodity prices ;, and, from civil society, a more meaningful relationship between the Organization and the WTO.

In spite of recent increases in the flow of official development assistance Large gap between expected flows and that needed to realize mdgs recognized. Support agricultural development in developing countries. Had expressed disappointment with slowness of hipc in delivering relief and there were questions about it effectiveness. “topping up” renewals for hipcs at conclusions of their programmes. Considerable interest in further international work to resolve sovereign debt crises. Thought un could help facilitate such decisions, such as proposal for study group under auspices of UN. While common elements, different support needed for groups such as developing countries, middle income countries and sids. Need to strengthen international cooperation on tax matters and strong interest of sg’s proposal to upgrade ad hoc group on tax matters. Strong calls for additional, renewed and innovative sources of financing for development. Also to strengthen good governance, including to increase transparency, anti-corruption and moneylaundering and to strengthen democratic decision-making including through the inclusion of developing countries in the decision-making of international financial institutions. Several countries also concerned with reform of ecosoc to make more effective in international economic and financial affairs, including proposal to expand bureau and to create economic and social security council. Proposals to form under FFD umbrella, various informal, multistakeholder working groups to address issues. South-south financial cooperation, including assistance to least developed regional partners.


In spite of recent increases in the flow of official development assistance, more needed to be done to ensure the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other international commitments, he stressed.  Moreover, participants had expressed disappointment with the slow delivery of relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative.  Another common thread was the need for differentiated support for least developed, middle-income and small island developing States.


Strengthening international cooperation on tax matters, such as the Secretary-General’s proposal to upgrade the Ad Hoc Working Group on that issue, was also suggested, while strong calls for additional, renewed and innovative sources of financing for development were heard.  Developing countries were urged to strengthen initiatives for good governance and transparency, as well as for the fight against corruption and money-laundering.  The international community was also urged to become more democratic, including through the inclusion of developing countries in the decision-making of international financial institutions.  The United Nations was urged to press ahead with reform of the Economic and Social Council.


The Assembly will next reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 31 October, to consider a variety of issues, including the report of the International Court of Justice, and agenda items related to follow-up to the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, and the return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin.  It was also expected to take action on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee for a Convention against Corruption, and to conclude its consideration of the strengthening of the United Nations system, including the revitalization of the General Assembly and other bodies.


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