Countries making progress ahead of UN development forum – Assembly President

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

25 November 2008 – Countries are reaching some consensus on the key issues ahead of this weekend’s critical United Nations conference on the need to strengthen financing for development for poor countries amid a time of global economic turmoil, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said today.

Mr. D’Escoto told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York that while not many specific agreements have yet been reached for the draft outcome document expected to emerge from the Conference on Financing for Development, consensus was emerging at the ambassadorial level on many issues.

“Great advances – perhaps more than what some might have expected, including myself – have been achieved,” he said at a press conference that also featured the co-facilitators of the outcome document, Egypt’s Permanent Representative Maged A. Abdelaziz and Norway’s Special Envoy for Financing for Development Johan Løvald.

He added that the meeting should serve as part of a “quantum move forward” in the world financial environment since the crisis began earlier this year, possibly leading to a global summit on economic issues next year.

“Things cannot go on as before,” the Assembly President stressed, saying it was time for affluent nations to deal with the “time bomb” of massive poverty in developing countries worldwide.

The four-day gathering in Doha, Qatar, which starts on Saturday, is a follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) that took place in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, which resulted in the adoption of a landmark partnership agreement for global development.

Known as the Monterrey Consensus, the agreement covered a number of topics, including domestic resource mobilization, foreign direct investment (FDI), trade, official development assistance (ODA), debt relief and systemic issues.

The Doha conference is being attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN agency officials, many heads of State and senior government ministers and representatives of the private sector and civil society. It is being preceded by an advance meeting being hosted by Mr. Ban on Friday to discuss responses to the financial crisis and ensuing economic slowdown.


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