International Conference on Financing for Development
Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
18-22 March 2002
22 March 2002



The NGO Caucus was not part of the Monterrey Consensus, even though its statement would be read out at the final plenary session of the International Conference on Financing for Development, Caucus representatives said this afternoon.

At a press conference sponsored by the delegation of Mexico, Laura Frade, of Women's Eyes on the Multilaterals, said the Caucus did not consider the Consensus to be a basis for combating poverty or advancing economic, social and cultural rights.

She said the fact that the Consensus did not reflect a stated commitment to reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) undermined its credibility. Many countries agreed with the non-governmental organization (NGO) position, but could not say so. While appreciating the inclusion of civil society in the round tables, the Caucus considered it an attempt to legitimize the Consensus. The NGOs had been repeating their demands for decades, throughout the financing for development process, at the plenary and at the round tables.

Gemma Adaba, of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), said NGOs were disappointed that the Consensus offered no concrete mechanisms in the critical area of resource mobilization to combat poverty or create employment. The financing for development agenda must be fleshed out and the weak parts of the Consensus strengthened.

Emphasizing the need to examine the role of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in global governance, she said the agency had the same status as the IMF under the United Nations Charter, though it was less visible. The Monterrey Consensus must be fully integrated into the international financial architecture, as well as the human rights framework and social dialogue.

John Foster, of North/South Institute, said NGO participants in the round tables had expressed reservations about the limited nature of the Consensus or announced their separation from it. It was clear that the NGO position had been excluded when discussion focused on democratization of the system or systemic change, and when NGOs questioned the development model.

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