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



Describing the retreat for heads of State and government as a high point on the development agenda, President Vicente Fox of Mexico said this afternoon that it had been extremely effective because of the large number of participants from all over the world and all levels of development.

Briefing the media on the retreat he hosted for leaders attending the International Conference on Financing for Development, he said that after almost fours hours, some of the main ideas discussed had gained broad agreement while others required further discussion that would carry forward the spirit of Monterrey. Hopefully, the agenda would then move from agreement to action.

Among the main ideas discussed was the new global agenda for development for which financing was a crucial element, the President said. It was also agreed that globalization was not a panacea and partnerships involved certain consequences. Many leaders pointed out that it was not sufficient just to strike down trade barriers and that it was important to end subsidies, especially those supporting food and agricultural exports.

President Fox said it was also agreed that the least developed countries must improve their policies and corporate practices to move forward responsibly in instituting sound economic policies to attract investment capital. The leaders also discussed the importance of migration and the central role of remittances by migrant workers to their countries of origin. For many countries, those accounted for more than 4 per cent of revenues.

Finally, the leaders discussed the role of the multilateral institutions, President Fox said. It was fundamentally important to foster local development processes and to promote increased participation by developing countries in decision-making related to development. The leaders did not all agree on all points, but they did concur on the need for periodic assessments and on more clearly defined goals that would make such monitoring and follow-up more effective.

He said the encouraging new process started by the United Nations had begun with the Doha international trade round, which had achieved crystal-clear commitments. Trade gave development capacity to countries. That was followed by the Monterrey Conference, which made much headway in the financing for development process. It had generated a new spirit that gave a clear understanding that each country could blaze its own development path. But the right global conditions were necessary because even the best of efforts would fail without an opening of markets and access to the appropriate technology.

The President emphasized the need to pool global and domestic efforts in generating innovative ideas in the quest to finance global public goods and to encourage their use by all humankind.

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