H. E. Mr. Sergei Ling 
Chairman of the Delegation

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico 
22 March 2002

Mr. President,

The delegation of the Republic of Belarus would like to most sincerely associate itself with the expressions of appreciation addressed to the Government of Mexico as the host country of the International Conference on Financing for Development for the creation of conditions for our successful work.

The Republic of Belarus shares the basic provisions of the Conference final document – the Monterrey Consensus, which we see as comprehensive, balanced, and conscious of the needs of countries at different stages of social and economic development.

We proceed from the understanding that international commitments of states as to financing for development should be commensurate to their economic capacity.

Quite a number of commitments agreed upon in the outcome of the Conference are already a reality of the current social and economic policy pursued by the Government of the Republic of Belarus.

In terms of financing for development we attach a critical role to the mobilization of domestic resources, trade and investment.

The prospective directions of social and economic development of our country envisage further strengthening of the domestic finances and banking sector, measures for gradual liberalization of financial and commercial markets, establishment of favorable investment climate, implementation of comprehensive programs for the targeted support of the poorest, incentives for the private sector and intensifying the fight against corruption.

Our delegation shares the point made earlier by the delegations of China and Panama that every country must be given an opportunity to pursue its own path of reforms that takes into account local conditions and specificities, since the international community has already been a witness to quite a number of examples in its most recent history when the application of “one-size fits all” recommendations would result in grave shocks and instability for the whole regions.

We are fully aware that in the today’s world the establishment of a sound and enduring economic system in any country is impossible in isolation from international experience and conditions.

The Republic of Belarus is an open economy and open society. We are building a human-centered, democratic state governed by the rule of law and realization of the strategy of sustainable development. The upward dynamics of the human development index in Belarus indicate that we are on the right way.

We are generally supportive of the ideas presented earlier by the leaders of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Yet, we would like to specifically point out to the factor of timeliness in terms of rendering support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Such support is urgently needed for the acceleration of reforms, monetary stability, realization of critical projects in the social sphere, development of civil society. However, what we are recommended is the attainment of these goals with our own scarce domestic resources and then we could probably count on some external support.

We agree that both donor and recipient countries must responsibly cover their own part of the way to the common goal of sustainable development. Belarus has been following this way despite the hardships of overcoming the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. We fulfilled all our obligations in the area of disarmament, though that was very painful for our economy; recuperated the industrial output; maintained the upward dynamics of GDP growth over the past six consecutive years; avoided accumulating unsustainable foreign debt; achieved the level of exports to account for as much as 50 % of our GDP; developed human resources. 

In other words, we have met all the key criteria for cooperation that have been voiced by many at this Conference. And yet, we have not so far received access to the international financial and trade markets.

Belarus has achieved a certain progress in cooperation with international and European financial institutions, including a step-by-step transition to the full-fledged programs of bilateral financial cooperation with the IMF, intensification of monetary and investment cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as with the institutions of the World Bank Group.

We have advanced to a qualitatively new stage of our activities within the framework of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE). 

Belarus is determined to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and we are synchronizing our negotiations for accession to this organization with the pace of domestic economic reforms.

We count on the Monterrey Conference as an additional impetus to provide for enhanced and predictable access to international markets of exports from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

With regard to the issues of trade and investment we would also like to particularly emphasize the importance of ensuring predictable financial resources for programs of technical assistance provided by appropriate UN funds and programs, including, inter alia, UN Conference on Trade and development (UNCTAD) and UN Development Program (UNDP).

Mr. President,

Belarus is entirely supportive of the decisions by the Monterrey Conference as to the increasing consistency and coherence of functioning of the international monetary, financial and trade systems, especially those related to the enhancement of participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the international economic decision-making and norms-setting.

In conclusion, Mr. President, we would like to underscore that the Republic of Belarus is conscious of its being an integral part of the international economic system and we are ready to work with our partners to ensure its stability, endurance and security in accordance with the decisions of the Monterrey Conference.

Thank you for your attention.

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