International Conference on Financing for Development

Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
18-22 March 2002

20 March 2002


Secretary-General Kofi Annan was due in Monterrey early this afternoon, when he would attend a meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel early this afternoon, Susan Markham, Spokeswoman for the International Conference on Financing for Development, told correspondents at today's noon briefing. He would attend the Summit tomorrow morning.

Pointing out that today's ministerial round tables were being broadcast into the media centre, she said the Bureau of the Conference had decided last night to open the meetings at the request of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media and the secretariat. The Bureau would meet tonight to decide whether to open tomorrow's heads of State and government round tables. An announcement would be made later.

At 1:30 p.m. today, Ms. Markham said, Jorge Castañeda Gutman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, and Rodolfo Elizondo, spokesman for the President of Mexico, would give a press conference. There would be press conferences by NGOs at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria would attend a press conference at
5 p.m., she said. At 5:45 p.m., Eduardo Sojo, Coordinator for Public Policy of the Presidency of Mexico, and Gloria Abella, spokeswoman for the Foreign Minister, would be at the daily press briefing by the Government of Mexico.

The Spokeswoman said 8,000 accreditation passes had been issued, of which 2,500 were for government delegations, 1,600 for media and 800 for NGO and business representatives.

She said 41 speakers were listed for tomorrow's Summit session, 28 in the morning and 13 in the afternoon. The first arrivals of heads of State would be at 7:45 a.m. Security would be very tight, so all media were invited to arrive as early as possible or they would have great difficulty getting into the building. The Chief of Security had suggested they arrive two hours in advance. The media entrance was through the arcade.

The President and First Lady of Mexico and the Secretary-General and
Mrs. Annan would greet arrivals with full media coverage, she said. There would be two set-ups for pool coverage upstairs, otherwise, coverage would be through television in the media centre.

Ms. Markham said the whole second floor would be closed to all but delegates and a few pool media. There would be a few tickets for the plenary, and those would be issued in rotation as the room was too small to accommodate everybody. At 8:55 a.m., all heads of State would enter the plenary hall for the meeting, which would start at 9 a.m.

She said President Fox of Mexico would open the Summit. President of the General Assembly Han Seung-soo (Republic of Korea); the Secretary-General; James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank; Horst Kohler, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and Mike Moore, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), would then make their statements.

Page 5 of today's Journal showed that the first head of State to speak would be the President of Venezuela, on behalf of "Group of 77" developing countries and China, she said. The list for tomorrow morning ended with the Vice-President of Cuba. There was no confirmation of any change to that. The order for tomorrow was listed in the Journal.

There would be four important press conferences tomorrow, the Spokeswoman said. The Secretary-General would have one at noon, when the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF, and the Director-General of the WTO would join him. The Prime Minister of Belgium, as well as the Presidents of Venezuela and Romania, would also hold press conferences.

On Friday, there would be press conferences by the Prime Minister of Spain and the President of the European Commission, Ms. Markham said.

Asked to confirm that tickets for the plenary would be rotated among the media, she said the Office of the Spokeswoman would organize a rotation as soon as she knew how many would be available.

Responding to another question, she apologized for the absence of interpretations at the morning press conferences and said there was only a limited number of interpreters whose first priority was to cover meetings. Once a team was free, it became available for press conference. Six hours was the period that interpreters were available for press conferences, she added.

She told another correspondent that all the proceedings would be broadcast. A decision was awaited from the Bureau as to whether the heads of State and government round tables would be open. If they were not, her Office would try to arrange for a briefing as it had for the ministerial round tables.

Asked whether Summit speeches would be available, Ms. Markham said the bet would be to check on the Conference Web site,, or at the documents centre.

She told another journalist that there would be a photo opportunity at the heads of State and government retreat. The Mexican Government had provided a photographer to distribute plenary photos. There was also a live webcast.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe would not be attending the Summit, she told another correspondent.

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