Dr. Eduardo Duhalde 
President of the Argentine Republic

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico
21 March 2002

Ladies and gentlemen.

Argentina, my country, is in crisis.

Argentina, my country, has decided to change. An this always means crisis.

We are at the end of a cycle. But history shows us that the End is the foundation of the Beginning..

To change, to start again, we have decided to put an end to the fiscal disorder which, combined with an unfortunate monetary and exchange system, has led us into the greatest recession in our history and to replace it by an economic program based on the following macroeconomic foundations:

  • a balanced public budget
  • one single currency, our own 
  • a floating exchange rate
  • a progressive elimination of financing and payment restricitions
Thus, we hope to build a competitive market economy which allows us to get back onto the path of growth an successful integration in the world.
These are the pillars of our program, which seek to recuperate the path we lost along the way, based on production, a culture of work and Social Justice.

However, this change, this transformation we are starting, thanks to the huge sacrifice of our people, also needs the understanding and cooperation of the international community.

I speak to you under theses circumstances as I consider that this Consensus is the most serious attempt, in a long time, to discuss issues related to the development process.

We all here agree that freedom, democracy, cooperation, market economy, and particularly an equitable distribution of wealth srp the basis and at the same time ,the instruments we must use to discuss the problems of development.

The lack of a serious approach to these issues, may be the greatest global debt of the `90s, has pushed us into the XXI century full of asymmetries for the developing countries to obtain, under fair conditions, the necessary resources to ensure their economic growth and social peace.

The difficulties in market access, protectionits policies, corruption, terrorism,: the lack of training and the volatility of extemal capital flows, are factors that prevent the world from enjoying the benefits promised by globalization.

Therefore, the gap between many emerging economies and developed countries has not been reduced. On the contrary, it seems deeper day by day. Otherwise this meeting would not have been held.

We are not asking for compassion but for a new global context. The President.of the World bank, James D: Wolfensohn, had said, that the world needs a new architecture for develpoment. This will not be possible if the rich economies do not reduce protectionism in all its forms and eliminate its distorting effects.

A long time ago, an Argentine economist, Mr. Raul Presbich, coined a phrase that belongs certainly to the sense and spirit of this Conference: "trade not aid".

I am not saying that aid is not important for development, it is always needed and in some cases, and at some stages, is crucial, we understand that. But it is impossible to think that it is efficient in a context of severe trade distortions, mainly in the agricultural sector.

Argentina expects then - as many countries represented here expect as well - that the Round Negotiations started in Doha, may help to improve the situation of. emerging economies and facilitate their access to markets with grealer purchasing power.

It is also dear that changes are necessary in the way that multilateral credit agencies work, enabling them to adapt to the new reality.

That is why, Argentina urges the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, to co-operate in the design of preventive and anticyclical policies to assist those -sectors who have been greatly damaged.

Develpoment and prosperity of nations can no longer be an abstract theory nor an exercise of trial and error since the results reflected in figures and graphics do not show the faces of millions of children, women and men. They are the ones that pay the cost, the high cost of being eliminated form the system.

In the daily fight between the powerful ant the destitute people, the lack of participation does not means neutrality. It means siding with the wealthy.
The last call I am making today at this Conference is one for illusion, for the hope of reaching a better balance between the emerging a nations an developed ones.

A map of the world, where utopia is not included, is not worth considering.

Thank you very much.

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