His Excellency Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
21st March 2002

I wish to thank the Mexican officials for their generous hospitality and for the excellent organization they have provided for our Conference. I wish to pay homage to Mexico’s rich history and its commitment to peace and prosperity for all.

Financing for development today is a major undertaking. It is an essential vector for spreading prosperity and reducing poverty. The eminently political dimension of this endeavour is being ensured for the first time at the highest global level through this Conference, and this augurs well for concerted and innovative action. Our Conference is opportunely a part of the global process that we collectively outlined at the Millennium Summit – namely, strengthening the international community and creating conditions for stability and predictability, which are necessary for development of a world that is more rational and equitable -- that is, a world to which all peoples aspire. Assuredly, it offers us an opportunity to deepen the current dynamic in the wake of the agreements reached in Doha and to achieve objectives that are more open, transparent and free of restrictive practices that have impeded international trade. Our work should also mark an important stage in contributing to the success of our next major meeting in Johannesburg. That meeting will be aimed at promoting sustainable development, which could satisfy the expectations of present and future generations, and at preserving the environmental systems of our planet.

We have taken practical measures to alleviate the problems arising in many spheres, given the sensitivity and the stakes that they hold out. Financial and monetary spheres are often marked by instability, and these are at the core of the problem. They cannot be circumscribed to one country or region. The persistence of the debt burden, but also phenomena such as massive speculative capital flows, money laundering from illicit activities or financing of terrorism, are incontrovertible symptoms of the poor functioning of the world’s monetary and financial system. Ad hoc replies and interim measures that can only address immediate crisis management aspects have all shown their limitations, as can be seen from the succession of crises and their recurrence. This means that we must address the global and interdependent nature of financial, economic and monetary stakes. We must identify the framework for national and international action, so that the monetary and financial architecture can be improved and made sustainable. This means action that can address all the factors that impede sustainable development and that can improve international economic relations. We must facilitate the necessary articulation between financial and real economies.

It has been established that the “disconnect” between these two spheres has, more than once, generated disorder, imbalance and crisis. Then, it becomes a question of promoting the mobilization of financial resources for long-term development on a continuous, foreseeable basis, strengthening national, regional and international financial institutions. And, lastly, it is a question of pragmatically preparing the transition of a world economy based on over-indebtedness and a world economy based on optimal exploitation of the vast increase of direct investment flows. These are the three directions where we must make a resolute and simultaneous commitment if we want to ensure a solid basis for world economic development.
At the root of this undertaking is the definition of policies and measures to be implemented at the national, regional and global levels. At the national level, the requirements of a sound macroeconomic framework, the strengthening of institutional capacity and the reform of fiscal financial banking systems are paramount factors for policies that can generate investment and savings and stimulate Government investment. The State must ensure that it meets the imperatives of sustained growth by creating jobs and reducing poverty under general conditions of stability.

At the regional level, decisive efforts aimed at the convergence and harmonization of monetary, financial and fiscal policies, and strengthening cooperation instruments, are a must if we are to have an enabling environment that could promote financial and investment flows to ensure national development and subregional and regional integration and globalization.

At the global level, it is a question of continuing and intensifying the evolutionary process of adapting existing institutions to the requirements stemming from globalization in the spheres of economy, finance and trade. In a world economy whose growth is now interconnected and based on general economic policies and sectoral policies, the requirement of broadening multilateral cooperation is inevitable. Hence, the crucial role that international institutions must play in promoting the objectives of sustained and balanced growth. Such growth is possible provided that constructive solutions are arrived at to address major problems affecting the world economy as a whole. This in turn presupposes, first, more effective coordination with policies in order to ensure compatibility and a greater symmetry in the process of adjustment, which should be more geared towards exploiting the potential productive capacity of developing countries. This also requires a rationalization of supply and management of international liquidity, with a greater participation by developing countries in the world economy. This also means optimum use of foreign direct investment and a significant increase of official development assistance (ODA) and non-discriminatory, non-restrictive global and adequate treatment for the problem of indebtedness so as to do away with the obstacles to prospective global development.

The present Summit on Financing for Development is crucially important for Africa, because it is engaged in an enterprise of vast scope – namely, The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) initiative. However, despite their degree of relevance, African efforts can only produce the desired result if they benefit from a favourable world environment and the consistent support of the international community. In this connection, I am pleased to note that the G-8 Genoa Summit has endeavoured, through the preparation of an Action Plan, to focus on the process of recovery for the continent. Support has been expressed for this African initiative, and these commitments encourage the continent to forge ahead with its destiny, to occupy its proper place in the world and to contribute in turn to the expansion of the world economy and to universal progress.

The common objectives that have brought us together here challenge our collective capacity to promote operational partnerships and to promote accelerated development that can benefit world peace and prosperity. Our Conference should result in firm commitments and lead to better organization and management of international financial and monetary cooperation in order to unify the world economy. This Conference reflects a clear awareness of the need to make globalization an end that would serve the well-being of all, to begin a new era where development would be at the centre of the enterprise of understanding, cooperation and solidarity among all peoples.

We committed ourselves to these objectives at the Millennium Summit. Members of the international community must contribute fully to this both singly and collectively. We commend the decision of President Bush to increase appreciably the level of United States ODA. We would like to express the wish that such a generous initiative will be followed by other equally concrete actions that could become significant only if they are collective. We also welcome the decision of the European Union (EU), as announced by Prime Minister Aznar of Spain, while we continue to hope that, as soon as possible, the 0.7 per cent gross national product (GNP) target, which was decided upon three decades ago, will be reached. Of course, we have been sensitive to the commitment made by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada, but more specifically, our gratitude goes to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, known as the ‘One Per Cent Club’. Financing for development for the benefit of future generations is part of the challenge posed in today’s world if we are to get out of the problems we face and to ensure security.

Nine/Eleven left an indelible mark on our history last year. This murderous paroxysm is yet another blow to the destiny of humankind. The year 2001 was a year of survival; it established a new international order, with great emotional and symbolic value. The international community has experienced communally the tragedy of 9/11, together with the United States, and we hope that this event will generate a better future of more awareness for all. People’s attention should be focused on everything that must be done in order to make the repetition of 9/11 objectively impossible, where no violence should erupt. We must break with our thought patterns of the past that have too often led humanity down the wrong road. Together we must build political globalization so that we do not break down separately. Together we must use the multilateral framework to promote globalization so that new communications technologies make it possible to be everywhere in the world at once. We must acknowledge the new horizons and the new challenges that face humankind’s conscience.

* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.

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