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Friday, 22 March 2002


Plenary adopts "Monterrey Consensus" by acclamation.

  • Plenary adopts "Monterrey Consensus" by acclamation.

  • George W. Bush, President of the United States, said when nations respected their people, opened markets, invested in better health and education, aid dollars, trade revenues and domestic capital were used more effectively. "We must tie greater aid to political, legal and economic reforms." He had proposed a 50 per cent increase in core development assistance over the next three budget years, or a $5 billion annual increase over current levels. When nations adopted reform, each dollar of aid attracted $2 of investments. More aid should be given in the form of grants rather than loans that could never be repaid. The vast majority of financing for development came, not from aid, but from trade and domestic capital and foreign investment. Developing countries received some $50 billion per year in aid, compared to foreign investment of almost $200 billion and annual export revenue of $2.4 trillion. "When trade advances, poverty retreats", he said. The true source of economic progress was the creativity of human beings.

  • Jacques Chirac, President of France, wanted to see a new wind blowing in Monterrey, a wind of generosity and hope. It was natural to consider drawing on the wealth created by globalization to finance efforts to humanize and control it. Therefore, it was necessary to ponder more deeply the possibilities of international taxation. He proposed that the international community work together over the coming decade on five projects: allocating 0.7 per cent of the wealth of the industrialized countries to the development of the poor countries; agreement on new funding for development; the creation of an economic and social security council; fulfilment of the Kyoto objectives and the establishment of a world environment organization; and the conclusion of a convention on cultural diversity.

  • Andranik Margaryan, Prime Minister of Armenia, said his Government was working to stimulate the private sector and foreign direct investment (FDI). Armenia was in the last stage of acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

  • Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile, said a recent study had shown that if trade barriers were lifted, developing countries would be able to generate over $300 billion. Capital flight was also a serious issue.

  • Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, President of Guatemala, said he would have welcomed pledges to create a fund for financing education, as well as redoubled efforts to finance the eradication of HIV/AIDS.

  • Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, said the same determination shown in fighting terrorism must be shown in tackling poverty. There could not be peaceful globalization without respect for cultural and religious diversity. It was necessary to substantially increase aid and its effectiveness. European member States had set the interim target of 0.39 per cent of GNP by 2006 -- an increase of 8 billion euros by that year.

  • Vasile Tarlev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, said with the burden of national debt servicing amounting to 150 per cent of GDP, it was difficult to mobilize domestic resources and meet the needs of the low-income population. Calling for debt alleviation, he fully supported the Monterrey Consensus.

  • Hubert A. Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, said his national experience had shown that when economic policies encouraging foreign investment and establishing strict and prudent fiscal management were introduced, a favourable climate for increased investment inflows to the Bahamas resulted.

  • Jan Kavan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, said as a candidate for the presidency of the 57th General Assembly, his country supported the deeper engagement of developing countries in the multilateral trade system.

  • Jose Antonio Moreno Ruffineli, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, called for special strategies for landlocked countries such as Paraguay.

  • Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Mauritius, said there were too many conditionalities attached to aid. He could not accept a situation whereby those who preached fair trade and competition also practised protectionism for short-term domestic political gain.

  • Mohammed Mahdi Salih, Minister for Trade of Iraq, reiterated the proposal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for the establishment of a long-term global fund to assist developing countries. It was incumbent on countries participating in the Conference to support the lifting of the embargo on Iraq, so his country could support its development with its own resources.

  • Soukanh Mahalath, Minister for Finance of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, said that the goals of his country included poverty eradication with sustained economic growth and environmental protection. His Government had encouraged the participation of the private sector in the country's development.

  • Matt Robson, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, said he would have welcomed a reference in the Consensus to the global imbalance between military and defence expenditure and expenditure on aid and development.
  • Azmi Khalid, Minister for Development of Malaysia, said globalization alone did not lead to growth and development, nor did it solve the problem of poverty. There can still be globalization, but it should not be absolutely free or purely market-driven.

  • Sergei Kolotukhin, Vice-Minister for Finance of the Russian Federation, said ODA should play a complimentary role and should not substitute for individual efforts of national governments to reform the economy and provide conditions for sustainable development.

  • Alfredo Mantica, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, said his Government would host a conference in April in Palermo to promote the use of computer technology to enhance transparency in the governance of developing countries.

  • Barrie Ireton (United Kingdom) endorsed the Consensus, and said the United Kingdom was committed to increasing its aid volume in line with the target set by the European Union.

  • Jean Bertrand Aristide, President of Haiti, said the closer Haiti came to the end of crisis, the more it wished to thank all those friends in the international community who were helping it to emerge. Solidarity was exceptionally important. Haiti was committed to promoting the market and preparing a framework for private-public partnership.

  • Kessai Note, President of the Marshall Islands, said the global community was undergoing a transformation, with the twin processes of disintegration and integration accelerating daily.

  • Christopher Obure, Minister of Finance of Kenya, said conditionalities tied to the release of aid should be realistic, achievable and sufficiently flexible to take into account changing conditions and circumstances.

  • Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia, said the least developed countries had not performed well because they had not been able to build their supply capacity or meet international standards. Why were the rich countries unwilling to reward those that had tried hard not to be heavily indebted? he asked.

  • Bruno Amoussou, Senior Minister in Charge of the Coordination of Government Action, Planning and Development of Benin, speaking for the least developed countries (LDCs), said eliminating poverty in LDCs would increase the purchasing power of millions and improve the standards of living everywhere, which would strengthen security worldwide. Eliminating disease in LDCs would promote the health of all.

  • Famara Jatta, Secretary of State for Finance and Economic Affairs of the Gambia, said that the developed partners had not fulfilled their commitments concerning ODA. Doing so now would lead to an eventual phase-out of dependency on aid. External debt was another serious problem.

  • Celso Lafer, Minister for External Relations of Brazil, said poverty had become a catalyst for international insecurity. It was self-deluding to believe that the invisible hand of the market would solve the problem. He said that although adequate national policies were part of the solution, those were not enough. There must also be good governance at the international level.

  • Shigeru Uetake, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, speaking as the representative of the world's largest donor, said to reduce poverty and achieve development, it was essential to set clear goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals. Particularly important for achieving those goals were the areas of education, health care and the environment. In 2000, Japan had disbursed $13.5 billion in international aid.

  • Timothy Harris, Minister of Foreign Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis, said his country had ventured into international financial services to diversify its economy and supplement income, but the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had stifled growth through its harmful tax competition initiative.

  • Gaton Browne, Minister of planning of Antigua and Barbuda, said his country had played by the rules of globalization, while the developed countries had exempted themselves, particularly in the areas of agriculture and textiles.

  • Richard D. McCormick, President, International Chamber of Commerce, speaking on behalf of the Business Interlocutors, said the only long-term and sustainable source of development finance was private sector investment, both domestic and international. More than 30 concrete proposals had been launched at the Business Forum which included: financing power, water and infrastructure projects; strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises through private sector equity funds; incubating local sources of venture capital; enhancing debt and equity financing; using micro-credit to redevelop Afghanistan; establishing a global information clearinghouse to strengthen information, analytics and risk management for countries and investors; enabling international debt work-outs and international bankruptcy mechanisms; and producing investment guides to help the poorest countries attract new investment.

Press Conferences

  • The Conference had been a huge success from the perspective of the European Union, Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain told correspondents this morning. It had achieved consensus on three levels: an internal consensus within the European Union on ODA, a Union consensus with the United States on ODA, and a consensus between donor and recipient countries.

  • Susan Markham, Spokeswoman for the International Conference, said the Conference had revived international interest in global economic issues and commitment to provide the means to attack poverty worldwide. It had also achieved an unprecedented level of international cooperation by bringing together 51 presidents and prime ministers, as well as finance and foreign ministers, business and civil society leaders.

  • The NGO Caucus was not part of the Monterrey Consensus. At a press conference, the NGO Caucus made it clear it did not consider the Consensus to be a basis for combating poverty or advancing economic, social and cultural rights.

  • Describing the retreat for heads of State and government as a high point on the development agenda, President Vicente Fox of Mexico said it was agreed there that globalization was not a panacea and partnerships involved certain consequences. It was important to end subsidies, especially those supporting food and agricultural exports.

18 March 2002
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