flying albatross International Conference on Financing for Development, Monterrey, Mexico 18-22 March 2002 United Nations
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High-Level Panel on Financing for Development

P r e s s R e l e a s e


Embargoed until 12:00 noon New York time, 15 December


Kofi Annan appoints former Mexican President Zedillo to head panel

on world’s development financing needs

(NEW YORK, 15 December) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, the former President of Mexico, to head a panel that will advise the Secretary-General on measures he can recommend to fulfill the finance needs of the world’s developing countries. The Secretary-General and Dr. Zedillo met at UN Headquarters this morning to discuss the panel’s upcoming programme of work.

Also appointed to the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development are Abdulatif Al-Hammad, President, Arab Fund for Economic Development, Kuwait; David Bryer, Director of OXFAM, United Kingdom; Mary Chinery-Hess, Former Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Ghana; Jacques Delors, former Finance Minister of France and President of the European Commission; Rebeca Grynspan, former Vice-President, Costa Rica; Majid Osman, former Finance Minister of Mozambique, who now heads a commercial bank; Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury, United States; and Manmohan Singh, former Minister of Finance, India. Additional panel members may be appointed.

The High-Level Panel will recommend to the Secretary-General achievable actions that can be carried out by governments, business, civil society and international institutions in the areas of trade, aid, debt relief, investment, domestic resource mobilization and global decision making on financial matters, and on new ways to mobilize funds for development.

The formation of the panel responds to the UN Millennium Declaration, approved by world leaders in New York in September. Development and poverty eradication goals are accorded high priority in the Declaration.

"The Panel’s recommendations will help build political momentum for a major upcoming intergovernmental meeting on Financing for Development, so that it can become a turning point in the fortunes of poor countries, and of poor people all over the world", said Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the conclusion of his meeting with Dr. Zedillo.

The Financing for Development meeting, to take place early in 2002, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to involve the active collaboration of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector. It is endorsed in the Millennium Declaration, as are the poverty-fighting goals of the Special Session of the General Assembly on Social Development, which took place in Geneva in May of this year.

At today’s meeting, Secretary-General Annan and Dr. Zedillo agreed that the Panel should make every effort to complete its recommendations by late April or early May 2001.

For more information, contact Tim Wall of the UN Department of Public Information, telephone 212-963-5851; cell phone 917-445-9056; e-mail