Welcome Workshop on Debt, Finance and Emerging Issues in Financial Integration

Welcome Remarks By Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs to the Workshop on Debt, Finance and Emerging Issues in Financial Integration New York, 8-9 April 2008

I am pleased to welcome you to this
Workshop on Debt, Finance
and Emerging Issues in Financial Integration
, organized by my
Department’s Financing for Development Office.

We are fortunate to have with us such a distinguished group of
internationally renowned experts – from academia, civil
society, the private sector and international organizations –
on these critically important issues.

Let me also thank the Government of Norway for its generous
financial support of this project, which began last year with a first
workshop in London.

This second workshop takes place in the midst of the
substantive preparations for the Follow-up International Conference on
Financing for Development
, to be held in Doha, Qatar, later this year.

The Doha Conference will review the implementation of the
Monterrey Consensus, which lies at the heart of the global partnership
for development, with its framework for mutual accountability. A major
thrust of the partnership is to integrate the role of trade, domestic
and international finance, and systemic issues in promoting both
financial stability and access to finance for achieving the MDGs and
the other internationally agreed development goals.

The preparatory process of the Doha Conference provides a
unique opportunity for all States and other stakeholders to strengthen
multilateral cooperation in development finance.

Informal review sessions on the six thematic areas of the
Monterrey Consensus constitute the core of the Doha preparatory
process. The first four sessions focused, respectively, on
“Mobilizing domestic financial resources for
development”, “Foreign direct investment and other
private flows”, “External Debt”, and
“Addressing systemic issues”. Held in February and
March, the sessions attracted strong participation by Member States and
relevant stakeholders. The fifth session, on international development
cooperation or aid, will be held next week.

These review sessions are critical for a successful outcome of
the Doha Conference. They are meant to produce concrete recommendations
and proposals on how to overcome obstacles and constraints to the
implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, as well as to address new
challenges and emerging issues.

The latter – new challenges and emerging issues on
the financing for development front – will also be the focus
at next week’s special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the
Bretton Woods institutions, World Trade Organization and UNCTAD

The present workshop aims to advance mutual understanding
among members of all relevant stakeholders – governments,
international organizations, private sector and civil society
– regarding emerging issues in international finance for both
middle-income and low-income countries. In particular, the workshop
will identify areas that need policy intervention, at both domestic and
international levels, and cooperation among stakeholders in order to:
maintain financial stability; ensure sustainable external debt
obligations; maintain access to finance; and build suitable cooperative
mechanisms for the re-structuring of sovereign debt and for crisis
avoidance and management.

Over the next two days, you will focus on prioritizing the
issues and policy options. This workshop is thus very well positioned
to contribute directly to the Doha preparatory process. Let us seize
this important opportunity – to advance the substantive
discussions for implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, and to lay
the groundwork for a successful and meaningful outcome to the Doha
Review Conference.

Thank you.