|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
11th & 12th Meetings (AM & PM)
Delegates in Second Committee Call for More Follow-up Action to Ensure Full
Implementation of Monterrey Consensus, Doha Declaration
Despite encouraging progress in strengthening the financing for development follow-up process, more must be done to ensure full implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration, delegates in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) emphasized today.
As the Committee took up the question of financing for development, including the follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference, South Africa’s representative said the international community should opt for an integrated approach that would address all six elements of financing for development: domestic resource mobilization; mobilizing international private capital flows for development; trade; international financial cooperation for development (official development assistance); debt; and systemic issues.
Any talk of exiting support measures introduced to overcome the multidimensional global crises should only be heard after firm economic recovery had been secured, he stressed, advocating in regard replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association and the African Development Fund. There was also a need to increase aid flows to least developed countries — particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa — in line with the 2005 Gleneagles commitments, he said.
Yemen’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed concern about the negative implications of the economic and financial crisis for development, and its damaging impact on the flow of direct investment, external debt and international trade. The Group of 77 was committed to continuing discussions on a follow-up development-financing mechanism, as agreed during the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly.
He went on to stress the urgent need to implement the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a Financing for Development Committee, either in the Assembly or the Economic and Social Council. Developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable and least developed, must generate liquidity for development. They must be provided with sustainable and predictable assistance to support debt management and free up resources, he said.
Indonesia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said shortfalls in official development assistance (ODA) hindered progress in developing countries. The latest Asian Development Bank report on the Millennium Development Goals showed that ASEAN countries were lagging on several Goals, and estimated that $700 billion would be required annually to bridge Asia’s infrastructure gaps. “And that is only in Asia,” she said, urging developed countries to fulfil their development assistance commitments.
Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the mobilization of financial resources for development, and the effective use of available resources, was central to realizing the Millennium Goals. The regional bloc was committed to the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration in their entirety, and recognized that every country bore the primary responsibility for its own development, he said. To that end, he underscored the importance of mobilizing domestic resources for development through transparent, efficient and fair tax systems.
Venezuela’s representative warned that the global economic and financial crisis was not over, and the structural factors that had caused it had not disappeared. The economic recovery remained uncertain, he said, stressing that the United Nations must establish its authority to reform the global financial architecture. He also called for the creation of integrated financial mechanisms through the use of regional tools and national currencies. The Bretton Woods institutions were largely responsible for the unbearable foreign debt of developing countries, he said, stressing that they must be made more democratic because they only protected the rights of creditors.
Also making statements today were representatives of Nepal (on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries) the Bahamas (on behalf of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM), China, New Zealand (also on behalf of Canada and Australia), Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, United States, United Arab Emirates, France, Russian Federation, Ethiopia, Norway, Qatar, Jordan, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Japan, Mexico, Algeria, Cuba, the Republic of Korea and Libya.
Arepresentative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union also made a statement.
Introducing the Secretary-General’s report for the Committee’s consideration was the Director of the Financing for Development Office in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The Second Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Friday 15 October, to hold a panel discussion entitled “Enhanced international support and smooth transition of Least Developed Countries towards graduation”.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to consider questions of financing for development, including the follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference.
Before the Committee was the summary by the President of the Economic and Social Council of the special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (document A/65/81–E/2010/83), held in New York on 18 and 19 March.
Under the overall theme “Building on Monterrey and Doha: achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals”, the meeting’s substantive discussions were based on three sub-themes: “Mobilizing domestic and international resources to fund existing and emerging Millennium Development Goal implementation gaps”; “Supporting the rehabilitation, recovery and development efforts of developing countries with special needs and those facing humanitarian emergency situations”; and “Enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development”.
Also before the Committee was the summary by the President of the General Assembly of the fourth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (document A/65/130), held in New York on 23 and 24 March 2010 under the overall theme “The Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead”.
The meeting comprised three round tables and an informal interactive dialogue on topics such as reform of the international monetary and financial system and its implications for development; impact of the current financial and economic crisis on foreign direct investment; the role of financial and technical development cooperation in leveraging domestic and international financial resource mobilization for development; and the link between financing for development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Additionally, the Committee had before it the report of the Secretary-General follow-up to and implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development (document A/65/293), which assesses progress in implementing the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development.
The report reviews recent developments within six thematic areas: mobilizing domestic financial resources for development; mobilizing international resources for development; international trade as an engine for development; increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development; external debt; and addressing systemic issues.
Lastly, the Committee had before it a letter dated 16 August 2010 from the representatives of France, Japan, Norway and Spain (document A/65/339) addressed to the Secretary-General, which transmits a summary by the Chair of the informal event on Innovative Sources of Development Finance, held in New York on 3 June 2010.
Introduction of Reports
ALEXANDER TREPELKOV, Director, Financing for Development Office, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s report, saying that inclusive economic growth and employment creation should remain the basic tenets of macroeconomic policy formulation in developing economies in light of persistent high unemployment and poverty. Those policy objectives required sufficient policy and fiscal space for long-term public investment in infrastructure and human-resource development, delivery of public services and provision of social protection.
On the issue of mobilizing international resources for development, he said net private capital inflows to developing countries had risen from $104 billion in 2008 to $279 billion in 2009. While trends varied across regions, private flows remained pro-cyclical and inherently unstable in general. In that context, appropriate prudential regulation and measures to restrict the impact of excessive capital inflows on the domestic economy could help reduce the risk of recurrent crises, he said.
Noting that international trade had been a “beacon of hope” during a still-shaky and fragile global recovery, he said that lower export demand, volatile commodity prices, deteriorating terms of trade, high unemployment as well as limited and costly access to trade finance continued to threaten hard-won progress towards realizing the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, there was a serious risk that competitive currency devaluations could harm global trade growth. World Trade Organization member States must therefore increase their efforts to conclude the Doha Round of negotiations with a strong development outcome.
Turning to financial and technical cooperation for development, he noted that net official development assistance (ODA) from 23 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) had amounted to $120 billion in 2009, a shortfall of some $18 billion in 2004 prices against the Gleneagles targets set in 2005. Considerable uncertainty surrounded the future volume of ODA flows, which were likely to be hit by fiscal consolidation in donor countries. Developed countries must make a renewed effort to meet their aid commitments, he said, adding that innovative development-finance mechanisms were important complements to ODA.
Pointing out that the external debt situation in many developing countries had deteriorated due to the global economic slow down, he said many of those economies, including those that had benefited from debt-relief initiatives, could fall into debt distress due to reduced capital inflows, higher interest rates and lower revenues. Furthermore, the lack of adequate instruments and institutional mechanisms to deal with debt distress had high costs for both developed and developing countries. Fresh efforts were therefore needed to design mechanisms for restructuring debt and dealing comprehensively with debt distress.
He went on to note that the G-20 had made major attempts to promote a coordinated response to the financial crisis. The report emphasized, however, that the Group needed to develop greater legitimacy, including through constructive dialogue with the United Nations. More importantly, increased sustainable and balanced global growth required close coordination of macroeconomic policy decisions in other areas of global governance. Gaps in the multilateral trading, aid architecture, poverty eradication, sustainable development and climate change agendas could be bridged through a strengthened United Nations framework, he concluded.
KHALED HUSSEIN ALYEMANY (Yemen), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said he was encouraged by the progress made so far to strengthen the financing for development follow-up process, but much more must be done to ensure full implementation of the agreed commitments. He expressed concern about the negative implications of the economic and financial crisis on development, and its damaging impact on the flow of direct investment, external debt and international trade.
Developing countries had been forced to devote significant resources to servicing and reducing their debt, and to investing financial assets in developed countries so as to protect their currencies in an unstable environment, he noted, reaffirming the need for donors to fulfil their commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to ODA. The United Nations must play a fundamental role in that process.
The Group of 77 and China was committed to continuing discussions on a follow-up development-financing mechanism, as agreed during the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, he said. There was an urgent need to implement the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a Financing for Development Committee, either in the Assembly or the Economic and Social Council. Developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable and least developed, must generate liquidity for development and be provided with sustainable, predictable assistance to support debt management and thus free up resources, he said.
He said that expanding allocations of International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights was an effective, low-cost way to boost liquidity quickly and provide developing countries with the means to meet their external-financing gaps while implementing counter-cyclical policies to mitigate the impact of the crisis. The Group of 77 and China called for a common long-term strategy to address the crisis, taking into consideration market access, technology transfer, financing for climate-change mitigation and adaptation measures, food insecurity, external debt and related problems. A conclusion to the Doha Round would also help prevent future crises and secure previous development gains, he said, adding that reform of the Bretton Woods institutions should give developing countries parity in voting power and decision-making.
CHRISTOPHE DE BASSOMPIERRE (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration in their entirety, saying that the mobilization of financial resources for development and the effective use of available resources were central to realizing the Millennium Development Goals. A key principle of the Monterrey Consensus was that every country had the primary responsibility for its own development, he said, underscoring the importance of mobilizing domestic resources for development through transparent, efficient and fair tax systems for sustainable growth. The European Union was ready to support reforms aimed at building tax systems that were in line with the principles of good governance.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) could also be an important contributor to long-term sustainable and inclusive growth and poverty reduction, he said. However, it was important to conduct that type of investment in a responsible and sustainable manner. The European Union would also address international trade and development matters more specifically, and remained committed to swiftly reaching an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive agreement on the Doha Development Round. It called on those developed and developing countries in a position to do so to provide duty— and quota-free market access for least developed countries, as the European Union was doing with its “Everything but Arms” initiative.
Describing ODA as yet another important element of the global partnership for development, he said that, as the world’s largest donor, the European Union accounted for more than half of total OECD/DAC assistance. While more was needed, however, European Union increases alone could not provide the external resources needed to help partners realize the Millennium Goals. All resources for development must be used effectively, and all donors should align their aid with the principles of aid effectiveness, as contained in the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. The European Union would continue to support existing debt-relief initiatives.
DEWI SAVITRI WAHAB (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating herself with the Group of 77, noted that some countries were still experiencing imbalances in global recovery efforts. Since those imbalances impeded economic expansion and development-financing in developing countries, there was a need for a more efficient and equitable international financial system and architecture.
There was also an urgent necessity to reform the Bretton Woods system, and the United Nations must play a more fundamental role in that regard, she said. The International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting held earlier this year had stressed that reform of the IMF must focus on quotas, governance and mandate, she said, emphasizing that equal representation of developing and developed countries in the Fund was critical to its credibility and effectiveness. ASEAN called for stronger political to that end.
Shortfalls in ODA hindered progress in developing countries, she said, citing the latest Asian Development Bank report on the Millennium Goals. ASEAN countries were lagging in primary education, child and maternal health, as well as sustainable development. The Bank estimated that $700 billion would be required annually to bridge Asia’s infrastructure gaps. “And that is only in Asia,” she pointed out, calling on developed countries to fulfil their ODA commitments. As for the role of the United Nations, she stressed that it should continue to ensure the effective use of resources and to strengthen the intergovernmental process for carrying out follow-up to the financing for development process.
GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA (Nepal), speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that, given those countries’ declining share of international trade, FDI and remittances, foreign aid was an important source of development financing for them. Net ODA to those countries had amounted to $37 billion in 2008, but total assistance as a percentage of GDP was only 0.9 per cent on average, which was below the target agreed in the Brussels Programme of Action. All partners were urged to make good on their ODA commitments. However, an increase in assistance should not limit the policy choices of the recipient countries, he said, emphasizing that national ownership and leadership would guarantee the sustainability of development and aid effectiveness.
Debt-servicing consuming a large portion of the scant budgetary resources of least developed countries that could otherwise be directed towards productive sectors, he said, noting that, despite significant progress under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), the total debt service burden of least developed countries had reached $6.03 billion. Calling on the Bretton Woods institutions to further extend the HIPC, he said least developed countries aimed to expand their domestic resource bases and to rely substantially on domestic capacities, with a view to eventual graduation from least developed status.
However, there was still a huge savings-investment gap in least developed countries, he said, adding that the financing gap was estimated at between $150 billion and $300 billion. There was a need to scale up the global partnership for development. He called for the early conclusion of the Doha Round, with an ambitious, equitable development dividend, and for granting goods and products from least developed countries greater and non-discriminatory access to developed-world markets. The private sector should be encouraged to invest in countries with acute financing needs, he said, stressing also that countries emerging from conflict needed a consolidated package for rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery. Additionally, the international community must bolster substantive, secure financing and technology to enable least developed countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
PAULETTE BETHEL (Bahamas), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), noted that recent reports of the Secretary-General on the international financial system showed that the world economy was in a fragile recovery from the global crisis. Despite the general improvement in the international environment, however, CARICOM countries were still struggling to achieve positive growth due to high levels of indebtedness, non-concessionary status in respect of access to resources from international financial institutions, and the increasing erosion of preferential access to the markets of major development partners. Still, CARICOM countries had continued with economic recovery efforts, and agreed that attention should be given to fiscal-policy reform, among other things.
She said CARICOM was heartened by the growing recognition of the need to mobilize a full range of international financing to supplement national and regional efforts, but the resources needed to address climate change challenges were particularly onerous for the most vulnerable countries, including small island developing States. To obtain more substantial results in development cooperation, it was critical that the international community realize fully the inter-relationship of efforts to address adverse climate-change effects and those related to attain internationally agreed development goals in the context of the global economic and financial crisis.
Innovative sources of financing for development should be complementary to, and not substitutes for, the fulfilment by developed countries of their ODA obligations, she said. CARICOM found it increasingly important to address systemic and institutional issues in support of development efforts, and to highlight the need for exclusive groupings engaged in international decision-making and norm-setting, such as the G-20, to forge stronger links with non-member States and the United Nations, thereby allowing for greater representation of non-members with respect to issues affecting them. Central to addressing those questions was the need to enhance financing for development follow-up and implementation mechanisms, she said. CARICOM had also been active with respect to institutional arrangements for the implementation of international cooperation on tax matters, and continued to urge Member States to consider the conversion of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council.
WANG QUN ( China) said inadequate financing had always been a major challenge hindering international development efforts and was now even more so due to the impact of the global financial crisis. According to the Secretary-General’s report, net private capital flows to developing countries had fallen from $377.2 billion in 2007 to $104.1 billion in 2008.
Unemployment and poverty levels remained high and development financing was still inadequate, he said. “In addition to scaling up official development assistance, the international community should establish and improve global development partnerships on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and a win-win relationship, implement the Monterrey Consensus and ensure the realization of the Millennium Development Goals by the agreed deadline.”
Given that context, he suggested four actions. First was the need to generate the political will to mobilize international resources for the further implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration. Secondly, the coordination of macroeconomic policies must be strengthened to accommodate the interests of all parties and promote the balanced growth of the world economy. Third, was the need to further open markets and oppose trade protectionism, and finally the need to improve the structure of global governance, with concrete steps to increase the representation of developing countries.
JULIET HAY (New Zealand), speaking also on behalf of Canada and Australia (CANZ), said imbalances, both within and between nations, remained at the heart of the challenges facing the global economy. The mobilization of resources for development must continue in order to achieve inclusive economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. While some suggested that it was merely a matter of donors providing more money, CANZ also saw a need for a much greater focus on aid effectiveness and donor coordination, she said.
However, financing for development was not just about ODA, she asserted. As agreed at Monterrey, an integrated approach was required that would mobilize all sources of financing. Such an approach should entail creating the basis for a sound national economy, which would involve mobilizing domestic resources such as of increased tax revenues, the effective investment of public resources in sectors that would promote sustainable and inclusive development, and the creation of an environment that would encourage private investment and promote trade. It would also be timely to look beyond traditional financing mechanisms by supplementing them with innovative measures and new partnerships. “The private sector has a key role in this regard,” she asserted.
JOÃO LUCAS QUENTAL NOVAES DE ALMEIDA (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the Millennium Goals could be achieved by 2015 so long as international support was provided. “The international community must mobilize significant additional financial resources for development in a stable, predictable manner, particularly to the poorest countries among us,” he stressed. A renewed global partnership for development required the international community’s full engagement, including civil society, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. While development was primarily a national responsibility, international support was crucial to ensuring adequate fiscal and policy space in developing countries.
Economic growth alone was not a sufficient condition for development, he said, emphasizing that it must therefore be complemented by inclusive and participative social policies. The financial and economic crisis had depressed global growth prospects, and while private international capital flows and FDI remained low, increasing flows of short-term capital to developing countries were imposing policy constraints and presenting daunting challenges. In that regard, he noted with concern the lack of sufficient progress in concluding the Doha Round and reiterated Brazil’s call for developed countries to fulfil their ODA commitments. Finally, he underscored the need to adopt proactive measures to avoid a new debt crisis and to promote a comprehensive and durable solution to the external debt crisis.
FAHD BIN FAISAL AL-SAUD ( Saudi Arabia) said that despite the importance of development aid, it was not the sole solution for promoting advancement. Implementing United Nations resolutions and covenants was the ideal way to achieve the Millennium Goals and weather the global financial and economic crisis. There was a need to strengthen the decision-making role of developing and least developed countries in their respective territories, he stressed, adding his country was a pioneer in providing development aid to least developed countries in general and Africa in particular. Urging the international community not to allow the economic and financial crisis to hinder Africa’s development, he said Saudi Arabia still surpassed the designated international benchmarks for development-aid contributions.
He said his country had implemented many measures in accordance with global policies and strategies recommended by multilateral organizations such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). With a view to improving productivity, competitiveness and ability to tackle socio-economic challenges, Saudi Arabia had provided ODA amounting to 1.5 per cent of GDP, and voluntarily waived more than $6 billion in debt. In 2008, it had donated $500 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) and $217.9 million in emergency humanitarian funds intended to help nations affected by natural disasters and war. Also in 2008, the Saudi Development Fund had signed bilateral loan agreements worth more than $310 million with 15 developing countries, mainly for social-sector projects. Saudi Arabia had donated $1 billion in 2009 for reconstruction in Gaza, $50 million this year for victims of the January earthquake in Haiti, and $100 million to help victims of the recent floods in Pakistan.
MUHAMMED HAMDULLAH SAYEED (India), said developing countries — especially least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States — could not meet the Millennium Goals without external assistance. Despite their best efforts, they faced limited policy space and weak productive capacities. Moreover, given the contraction of the global economy, the existing development-financing gap was widening further, he said, pointing out that, as of 2009, only five donor countries had met their ODA commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GDP to foreign aid.
In that regard, the international community must urgently fulfil the commitments made in the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration to ensure predictable development assistance, he continued, emphasizing that innovative sources of financing must be expanded and the international financial architecture comprehensively reformed. India was fully committed to supporting the development needs of countries of the South, he said, pointing out that his country had extended credit lines amounting to more than $5 million to other developing countries since 2003.
TOBIAS GLUCKSMAN ( United States) noted that in the past 10 years, sustained and inclusive economic growth had underpinned meaningful results in several areas related to the Millennium Goals. Global recovery and realization of the Goals was inextricably linked, he said, underlining the need to focus international efforts on concrete and sensible ways in which the United Nations development system could support and inform the ongoing global economic recovery.
He said the best way to achieve new trade flows and a meaningful market opening was through an ambitious and balanced result in the Doha Round negotiations, adding that his country remained ready for the necessary serious, sustained and direct bilateral negotiations, and encouraged other countries to diversify their exports and improve their competitiveness in the global economy. The United States would continue to be a leader in providing technical assistance towards that end.
Emphasizing the important efforts by the IMF, the World Bank and the G-20 to enhance the representation of the developing world, provide additional resources for low-income countries, and support more flexible policy frameworks, he said the emergence of the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation had been the most significant recent development as the Group represented East, West, North and South, as well as advanced and emerging economies.
Turning to debt relief, he said measurable progress had been achieved in the last decade, most notably through the HIPC Debt Initiative, the MDRI and the establishment of the joint World Bank-IMF Debt Sustainability Framework. However, the United States would continue to look to the Paris Club for solutions to the repayment difficulties experienced by countries indebted to the Club on a case-by-case basis. In closing, he stressed that development required inclusive global partnerships, and called for support for exploring new ideas to support development and accelerate realization of the Millennium Goals.
OMAR AHMED AL-ZAROUNI (United Arab Emirates) stressed the importance of implementing the outcomes of the 2002 Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Doha Declaration in fostering development and combating poverty, as well as the importance of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. There must be political will to overcome obstacles to implementing the Monterrey Consensus and no reduction in ODA, he said adding that developing countries also needed debt relief so they could play a larger role in the global economy.
He said his country had used petroleum revenues to finance other economic sectors, which had allowed it to enlarge its productive base and preserve natural resources. The United Arab Emirates was among the leading countries in terms of FDI, with investments in the hotel and shipbuilding sectors, among others. It had given favourable loans to 100 countries, and several of its financial organizations were providing development-financing to developing countries.
The Abu Dhabi Development Fund had contributed $6.3 million for 162 projects, he continued, adding that 95 per cent of it was in the form of grants or low-interest loans to the education, health and energy sectors in developing countries. The United Arab Emirates had also undertaken basic education projects for 44 million children in such countries, and had given $50 million to promote cooperation with Pacific countries. It had increased its trade with Africa, which now represented 3.4 per cent of all trade with the continent.
FRÉDÉRIC DORÉ ( France), associating himself with the European Union, called for the international community to work cooperatively to overcome global challenges. The recent discussions between the IMF and World Bank in Washington, D.C., had made it clear that States must maintain high levels of cooperation. He called for the balanced and sustainable implementation of the commitments made in the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration, recalling that since 2009, the President of France had underscored the need to link economic and social progress. The Government was working on social protection, in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization, he said.
As current president of the G-20, France would build upon its work to ensure that financing for development was not affected by the ongoing global crises, he said. Much more work was needed to realize the Millennium Goals by 2015, and new financing models were required for development as well as global public goods. The current system of financial governance must not continue, he stressed, adding that his country wished to contribute to much-needed systemic reforms and had prioritized that issue on its national agenda. France would also strive to promote better coordination between the G-20 and the United Nations, he said, adding that they should work together in a cooperative spirit.
SERGEY VASILIEV ( Russian Federation) said the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration were still fully relevant, as were the instruments they had created to respond to the global financial crisis, instability in financial markets and climate change. He stressed the importance of working together to ensure that the donor community respected their ODA commitments fully and to prevent the creation of new barriers to the movement of goods and services. There was a need to increase the representation of developing countries in the Bretton Woods institutions and to help poor countries design macroeconomic and fiscal policies that would make the best possible use of external debt resources and ensure debt sustainability.
Calling for an increase in partnerships and the involvement of new donors in order to achieve the Monterrey Consensus, he said his country had consistently sought to increase its contribution to development-financing efforts. The Russian Federation had increased its budgetary allocations to support countries in need, he said, recalling that in 2009, it had given $800 million in bilateral and multilateral assistance. That figure did not include debt cancellation, which amounted to billions of dollars, he pointed out. The Russian Federation supported early completion of the long-needed reform of the Bretton Woods institutions, he said, calling for a substantial reallocation of voting rights in those institutions to give emerging economies and developing countries a greater say in their decisions.
ABDU YASIN ( Ethiopia) said his country faced external debt issues that remained unresolved in part because of the non-participation of creditors in commitments to debt-relief programmes. The World Bank and the IMF should take the impact of their non-participation into account when considering Ethiopia’s long-term debt sustainability, he said, while expressing appreciation for recent measures by the two institutions on remittances, which together with exports, enhanced the availability of foreign exchange and improved repayment capacity.
He also welcomed the decision to add a third seat for sub-Saharan Africa to the World Bank Executive Board, saying it was an important milestone in the institution’s efforts to boost the voice and representation of developing and transition countries in its activities. Finally, he said that, in supporting the development of the most vulnerable countries, policy space must be allowed for adjustments to accommodate changing global circumstances. More results would be achieved once developing countries were given the support and freedom to experiment with policies.
INGRID KVAMMEN EKKER ( Norway) said strong economic growth and increased revenue had played a critical role in ensuring that the world was on track to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. Developing countries should mobilize more domestic resources to fight poverty by broadening their tax base, fighting corruption, increasing transparency and improving accountability. ODA would continue to be a critical part of financing for development, particularly for least developed countries and those in conflict or emerging from it, she said, pointing out that her country had increased its ODA to more than 1 per cent of GDP. Encouraging other Member States to fulfil their part of the financing deal, particularly during the current trying times, she said that curbing illicit financial outflows from developing countries was crucial for mobilizing resources for development. Such flows, often facilitated by tax havens, were estimated to be many times higher than total global ODA.
The size of poverty challenges required a scaling up of innovative financing, she said. During the Assembly’s recent general debate, Norway and several other countries had agreed to work to introduce a levy on financial transactions. It would be applied on a large scale and to a wide range of transactions that could provide stable, substantive financing for development. Common efforts to implement the Monterrey Consensus, the Doha Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals Summit Outcome would be enhanced by closer collaboration between the G-20 and the United Nations, she said, expressing support for the Assembly President’s efforts in that context.
NASSIR ABDULAZZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said cooperation between developed and developing states was needed to implement the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration. That was especially important with regard to the international community’s efforts to implement the Millennium Goals. Highlighting progress made by developing and developed countries as well as the G-20, he stressed that those efforts should not be detrimental to the role of the United Nations and the right of all States to take decisions at the international level.
In the face of multidimensional crises, experts had projected that the global economy would experience a further recession, he said, noting that any growth would be unequal within all countries. Developing countries had been the most affected by the crises, which showed the need to combine national efforts in building on previous progress. It was important to figure out how to maintain global trade and, more importantly, to resist the temptation to introduce protectionist measures.
Finally, he stressed the need to bolster international partnerships for development in order to maintain the necessary financial flows to developing countries, including the least developed countries. Qatar had provided development assistance above 0.7 per cent of its net domestic income, despite its classification as a developing country, he said, stressing that the international community must work to increase mutual support.
DIANA AL-HADID ( Jordan) called for intensified efforts to identify innovative financial mechanisms to generate scaled-up aid delivery and promote aid effectiveness in developing countries while recognizing that they bore the primary responsibility for their own development. Such mechanisms should be designed in light of the recognition that internal conditions for mobilizing domestic savings, sustaining productive investment and increasing human capacity were critical to growth, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The international financial architecture must be reformed so as to strengthen the efficiency of financial markets and reduce vulnerability to crisis, she said. That would entail an increase in the participation of developing countries in decision-making processes. A universal, rule-based and equitable multilateral trading system would stimulate development worldwide and benefit countries at all stages of development. Coordination among all players, including United Nations entities, must be strengthened, she said.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the international community should strengthen its efforts to ensure the effective follow-up to and implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration. It should also opt for an integrated approach that would address all six elements of financing for development. Such an approach would be in line with paragraph 89 of the Declaration, he added, describing the Monterrey and Doha documents as landmark agreements on global development. Effective and inclusive intergovernmental processes were needed to carry out follow-up.
Any talk of exiting from support measures introduced to overcome global crises should only come after firm economic recovery had been secured, he emphasized. South Africa advocated for replenishments of the World Bank’s International Development Association and the African Development Fund, as well as for contributions to increasing aid flows to least developed countries — particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa — in line with the Gleneagles commitments as an important means to reduce poverty. He said the South African banking system had unique structural characteristics that made it difficult to conform to proposals on global liquidity without adversely affecting profitability, the costs of funding, and credit extension.
TAUHEDUL ISLAM (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said three years after the financial meltdown, many least developed countries were still suffering. They were not recovering from the social, economic, and environmental havoc imposed on them. Many developed countries, especially least developed countries, needed counter-cyclical measures as well as sufficient fiscal space to help them contain the social and political turmoil.
While the 2002 Monterrey Conference was considered one of the success stories of the United Nations, the long stalemate holding up the Doha Round, and the failure of most development partners to deliver on their commitments, had rocked the foundations of that success. Except for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Luxembourg, most developed countries had yet to fulfil pledges made nearly a decade ago. Meanwhile, the food, energy and climate crises had been used as the excuse for some nations not to live up to their ODA commitments, he said. Those pledges had been made long before the crises had set in, and ODA should, in fact, be scaled up. The hardest-hit countries needed short-term liquidity for development, as well as assistance and viable, sustainable schemes for managing debt, he said.
DANILO ROSALES DIAZ ( Nicaragua) lamented the increasing tendency of donor countries to reduce ODA in violation of their international commitments. That was particularly inexplicable in light of their gigantic military expenditures. For ODA to be effective, it must be non-political and predictable. Development could not be planned if aid was susceptible to political perceptions in the North that were usually unfounded, he said, adding that political perception had become the primary determinant of development aid.
He said ODA was necessary in order to reduce poverty, increase access to education and health care, reduce maternal and child mortality and guarantee water and food for all. However, billions of dollars were being invested in saving the world’s richest banks while the poor continued to pay the price with more hunger, disease and death. Globalization, without up-to-date global institutions that kept pace with global transformations, was leading the world into chaos.
The neoliberal model had encouraged the quest for profits that had led to environmental destruction, global warming, speculation, concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, and poverty, he said. The lesson of the multiple crises should have been the imperative to fight for a new ethical, moral, democratic, environmentally and socially sustainable economic model based on humanity’s needs, and that would close the gaps between rich and poor, and end the concentration of power in a few countries that affected millions of people. Nicaragua called for an economic model that would give equal voting rights to all, he said, adding that the United Nations should spearhead the creation of a new international financial and monetary system to overcome the unjust pattern of donors and beneficiaries.
AKIFUMI MIZUGUCHI ( Japan) said the Monterrey Consensus was a reminder to the international community that both developed and developing countries, private and public sectors, shared the responsibility for development. While all stakeholders should work hand-in-hand to secure the necessary resources, financing was not an end in itself, but rather a means to realizing development. Japan had provided $5 billion for the health-related Millennium Development Goals and $3.5 billion for assistance in education, for a five year period beginning in 2011, he said. It was also supporting Africa through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process.
He said that from its own development perspective, his country recognized that free trade was truly an engine of sustained economic growth. Japan therefore remained committed to the rejection of all forms of protectionism, and to bringing a successfully conclusion to the Doha Round as soon as possible. Japan also took debt issues seriously, remaining vigilant on the debt sustainability of developing countries and guarding against possible new debt crises. Greater interest should be taken in innovative financing, he said, adding that, as the current President of the Leading Group on innovative financing, Japan was set to host its eighth plenary meeting. Hopefully, the meeting would further invigorate international debate on the topic and contribute to realization of the Millennium Goals.
NOEL GONZALEZ (Mexico) said the financing for development agenda marked a milestone in the economics-related work of the United Nations, and discussions to be held during the present General Assembly session were of special importance. They represented an opportunity to follow up and build upon the resolution adopted in the framework of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council in July, he said, adding that the decision to be adopted by the General Assembly should concentrate on the substance of the Monterrey and Doha chapters.
The current economic crisis had affected the mobilization of internal and external resources, domestic-investment capacity, private foreign investment and remittances, he said. The financing for development agenda had demonstrated its utility by providing a comprehensive, holistic vision of the challenges in order to facilitate the mobilization of the necessary resources. Mobilizing ODA was essential for, among other things, realization of the Millennium Goals, but it was not sufficient to ensure development.
The countries of the South should promote an appropriate national environment for growth and investment, as well as the fight against poverty, he said. The increasing importance of South-South cooperation was also part of that wide and holistic agenda. However, it should not substitute traditional North-South cooperation, he said, emphasizing that the purpose should not be to free anybody from their responsibilities, but about joining efforts towards a common goal.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria), associating himself with the Group of 77, said developing countries faced enormous financial challenges due to declining development aid. They were also under severe budgetary pressures to meet public expenditures. Developing countries in Africa continued to suffer the fallout from multiple global crises and to experience difficulty in finding resources to rebuild their economies. Recalling the developing world’s appeal for a boost in international solidarity in the spirit of consensus, he stressed the urgent need for sustainable long-term financing for development.
Innovative forms of financing should be distributed in such a manner as to national priorities and ownership into account, he said. Follow-up on implementation of the Monterrey Consensus had shown that developed countries had yet to fulfil their commitments, particularly the provision of 0.7 per cent of GDP for development aid. Those countries that had been able to meet their commitments should serve as an example to the others, he said. On the question of economic growth, he underscored the need for special, concrete measures to guarantee the full integration of developing countries into the global economy and their full participation in decision-making processes.
JAIRO RODRIGUEZ-HERNÁNDEZ (Cuba) associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the lack of financial resources remained the major obstacle to development and had been recognized during the recent High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals. The flagrant failure of developed countries to meet their own financial commitments had been exposed during that meeting, but in spite of that, it was disappointing that several of them had disregarded the long-standing commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of their GDP to development assistance.
The world’s richest nations had made more difficult the Assembly’s adoption of direct and objective language on that matter, he said. It was not possible for the Assembly to make a clear statement on the need for new and additional resources for developing countries seriously affected by the deep global economic and financial crisis that they had not caused, but which had affected their indefatigable efforts for development. Developed countries did not show the political will to enter into serious negotiations leading to the establishment of a mechanism for the joint review of the agreements on financing for development.
He reiterated that the importance of the following elements: fulfilment of commitments to provide financial outlays for the South, and recognition of the need to contribute new and additional financial resources to developing countries; the complete elimination of conditionality to provide assistance for developing countries; the elimination of foreign debt and the provision of soft loans for development; the conclusion of multilateral trade negotiations; and the construction of a new international financial architecture.
CHANG MO KIM ( Republic of Korea) expressed concern about the adverse impact of the economic downturn on many developing countries, especially the least developed ones. In that regard, it was all the more important faithfully to act on the global commitments made at the 2002 Monterrey Conference and the 2008 Doha Review Conference. The mobilization of domestic resources in developing countries remained a crucial element in advancing development goals, and they were encouraged to secure adequate financial resources through effective governance and strategies as well as and innovative policies. However, the international community must remain committed to fulfilling ODA commitments, he stressed.
Turning to South-South cooperation, he said it was important as a new resource for bridging the funding gap, as well as a channel for new ideas and approaches. The Government of the Republic of Korea planned to triple its ODA by 2015, and, in an effort to mobilize innovative funding, had contributed $10 million to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa from 2007 to 2009. He noted that his country would host the G-20 Summit next month in his country, and expressed hope that the event would come up with the necessary measures encompassing trade, reducing market vulnerability, and ensuring predictability in the global economy.
VICTOR LAUTARO OVALLES-SANTOS ( Venezuela) warned that the global economic and financial crisis was not over, and the structural factors that had caused it had not disappeared. The economic recovery remained uncertain. The United Nations must establish its authority to reform the global financial architecture, he said, emphasizing that the Bretton Woods institutions could not be allowed to continue imposing their formula for economic governance.
Underlining the importance of creating a global reserve system and new international organizations based on solidarity, he asked all other Member States to consider the creation of an international forum for debt arbitration and management, and called for counter-cyclical measures to break the vicious cycle of debt, and to provide “solidarity” financing and liquidity without conditions. He also called for the creation of integrated financial mechanisms through the use of regional tools and national currencies. Latin America had created such regional synergies through the establishment of the ALBA Bank, the Bank of the South and the SUCRE payments compensation system, he said.
For developing countries, debt and debt-servicing remained the main factor hampering development, he said, adding that the economic and financial crisis had made the problem worse. Debt continued to exacerbate inequality and the unequal distribution of wealth in the South. The Bretton Woods institutions were largely responsible for the unbearable foreign debt of developing countries, he said, stressing that they must be made more democratic because so far they only protected the rights of creditors.
ALI A. ALI KURER ( Libya), associating himself with the Group of 77, said ODA should be a common responsibility of the international community. Moreover, global partnerships were essential in ensuring that pledges and commitments were fulfilled. Most developing countries faced difficulties due to the economic and financial crisis, declining commodity prices and severe drops in capital inflows. They needed additional financing to encourage productive economic sectors and to boost public resources, which could lead to faster fiscal recovery, he said.
Turning to the mobilization of development resources, he noted fears that the multiple global crises would negatively impact FDI and ODA. Even if the latter was increased, those financial resources would go to national financial institutions and ultimately lead to speculation rather than activities supporting development. Developing countries were afforded only limited opportunities in trade, because fluctuations in commodity prices and protectionist measures by developed countries continued to undermine their ability to boost their economic potential. In that regard, developed countries must help their developing counterparts increase national revenues and attract local, private and foreign investment in order to achieve their economic and social goals, he said.
ALESSANDRO MOTTER, Senior Liaison Officer, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), recalled that the Union had helped mobilize a parliamentary response to the global economic and financial crisis in 2009. At a special conference, parliamentarians had adopted a resolution providing basic guidelines to Parliaments on how to manage the crisis. The 2009 joint United Nations-IPU Parliamentary Hearing had been devoted to the crisis, and this year’s edition, in December, would focus on the structural imbalances in the global economy, global reserve currencies, capital controls and many other unresolved questions.
In the context of the financing for development agenda, the IPU was focusing on ODA, international trade and governance of international financial institutions, he said. Reforming aid to make it more effective would lead to greater national control over development planning and boost overall ownership, transparency and accountability. ODA was vital for the development agenda and it must be scaled up, he stressed.
In the past two years, the IPU had sought to ensure parliamentary oversight of national and global aid policies, he said. It had issued a comprehensive resolution on that topic in 2008, and had worked to ensure that the role of Parliaments in ensuring aid effectiveness would figure prominently in the Accra Agenda for Action. The IPU had also formed a close partnership with the Development Cooperation Forum of the Economic and Social Council.
To help make the Paris and Accra Declarations operational at the country level, he continued, the IPU had worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners to produce a guidance note for parliamentarians on aid effectiveness. It had also performed case studies to see how Parliaments exercised their role in development planning and aid management in Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Cambodia and Viet Nam. To help end the impasse stalling the Doha Round, the IPU continued to support its Parliamentary Conference of the World Trade Organization, he said.
* *** *For information media • not an official record