Conference on Financing for Development
Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
|Monterrey, NL, Mexico
18-22 March 2002
|21 March 2002|
NGO PRESS CONFERENCE ON ROUND TABLES
Martha Arias, of Intermom Oxfam, who spoke about the round-table discussion on coherence, said that the NGOs, recognizing the incoherence of international trade goals, had called for reform of the international financial architecture. They had proposed that greater transparency would make it possible to address that incoherence by harmonizing policies. In terms of content, developing countries were generally on the same page as the NGOs, she added.
Regarding the round table on partnership, Paul Tennasse, of the World Confederation of Labour, said that the discussion had also focused on the issues of participation and ownership. The NGO position was that a partnership already existed between the international financial institutions, the multilateral organizations and the Group of 8 industrialized nations. The multilateral agencies had usurped the development agenda of the developing countries, whose interests coincided with those of the NGOs.
Roberto Bissio, of the Instituto del Tercer Mundo/Social Watch, said the issue of reforming the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was repeatedly raised during the round table on looking forward. The configuration of world power remained the same as it was 50 years ago. Rather than "looking forward", the theme should have been "moving forward" because the Millennium Development Goals had already been established and everybody knew what they wanted.
Asked how they evaluated the summit segment
of the Conference so far,
Regarding the conditionality required by funding agencies and other donors, Ms. Arias told another correspondent that, in many cases, aid was used as a tool for wielding influence over developing countries. The insistence on good governance, while desirable, was tied to conditions that were not favourable to those States.
Mr. Tennasse said NGOs intended to
press for negotiations with the World Bank, IMF and the multilateral
institutions for more space so that they could have greater input in
the United Nations conferences. Otherwise, such meetings seemed like
public relations exercises. Ms. Dow emphasized the need to ensure that
the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development had the capacity
to overcome the mistakes made at the Monterrey Conference. Ms. Arias
said that, while NGOs had generally supported United Nations conferences,
there was no more time for summits. It was time to move forward.