His Excellency Mr. Andranik Margaryan
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, may I thank you for organizing this conference and for the chance given us to set out our views on crucial issues relating to financing for development.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express our gratitude to the entire world community and to representatives of international organizations, which in the last decade have helped Armenia in implementing development programmes. We believe that without this help the progress that we have made today in the area of economic and human development would not have been possible. By the same token, the transition period has been aggravated by poverty.
The Government of Armenia is committed to the principles enshrined in the Millennium Declaration, and therefore has become an initiator of the development and implementation of the relevant national programmes.
This year we plan to adopt a programme to combat poverty. For the implementation of these prospective measures we will mobilize all possible internal resources, both State and private.
In Armenia, we have begun reforms in the area of civil service and improving the management system. At this time, we are developing a strategy to combat corruption. In order to resolve issues relating to increasing tax revenues, we have developed reform programmes in the area of tax administration.
The Government is using its existing potential to mobilize national resources and improving conditions to develop the private sector. The Government of Armenia attaches special importance to stimulating direct foreign investment. We have created the necessary legal conditions, excluding discrimination and guaranteeing the right of private ownership for foreign investors.
Armenia is in the last stage of acceding to the World Trade Organization. With membership in this organization, we shall have new opportunities to develop foreign trade, which we believe is a considerable source to develop our economic potential.
By the same token, we should bear in mind that the economic and transport blockade on the part of certain countries against others is a serious hindrance to the development of international trade. We support the proposal to the effect that in countries in transition development programmes should insofar as possible be implemented with resources allocated on preferential terms. We support the partnership form of interrelations, which gives us the opportunity to organize our programmes around internationally recognized development purposes, in particular around the realization of policies designed to implement the purposes enshrined in the Millennium Declaration.
We believe that we have taken an important step in cooperating between the Governments and donors in the area of develop programmes. We support the proposal for debate at this Conference to increase the power of developing countries and countries in transition to work out development programmes and assess their implementation and needed changes.
At this stage, we attach priority to the movement from bilateral discussion on programmes to multilateral debates - between Governments, civil society and the private sector, between Governments and international organizations and international organizations and civil society. This will be a guarantee for transparency in decision-making and implementing these decisions.
We also believe that among the goals of our Conference is the expansion of regional cooperation in the interest of development, which would further the peaceful settlement of conflicts in specific regions.
In conclusion, I would like to express my certainty that the provisions of the Monterrey Consensus will become reality and will enable us to achieve the important goals we have set for ourselves.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.