Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico
21 March 2002

On behalf of Canada I would like to voice strong support for the Monterrey Consensus. A consensus that is unprecedented in scope and participation. That seeks to take an indispensable step forward together in securing a fundamental common cause of the United Nations. As expressed in the Millennium Declaration.

That of creating a true international partnership or compact for development. Whose ultimate goal is nothing less than ensuring that the benefits of globalization are truly global.

Canada is especially pleased that the Consensus acknowledges the complexity of the issue at hand. It resists the temptation to resort to attractive but simplistic solutions.

The Consensus recognizes the importance of development assistance. Something that Canada has acknowledged with increases in recent years to our development assistance budget. But the Consensus also recognizes the fact that development assistance will never by itself create the sustained economic growth that is integral to achieving meaningful development and a better quality of life.

That is why meeting the challenge of forging a real partnership is essential.

Leaders of developing nations need to follow policies that create a framework for sustainable economic growth and productive private sector investment. Including a commitment to good governance and the rule of law. Sound fiscal and monetary policies. And improved transparency.

The challenge for leaders of developed countries is to reward these efforts with effective assistance. The Monterrey Consensus is a blue print for how we can work together to meet this sweeping challenge.

Beyond aid it recognizes that we must deal with choking debt loads. This will continue to be a Canadian priority. It also recognizes that there will be little prospect of investment and trade if developing nations are denied access to world markets. This is a message I have heard loud and clear in my own recent discussions with African leaders. Particularly in respect of agriculture.

As the Chair of the G8 Canada has made building a development partnership with Africa a priority. With an approach that reflects and seeks to advance the Monterrey Consensus.

Our goal is to endorse a concrete Africa Action Plan. Based on the New Partnership for Africa's Development. This Partnership is an historic point of departure from the past in that it is Africadriven It has been conceived by progressive African leaders on their own initiative. Not at the behest of donor agencies.

It is based on the principle that the key to progress in Africa lies first and foremost with Africans.

It entails strong commitments by African governments to good governance and sound policy. And seeks an international partnership in dealing with debt and trade issues. As well as on untying aid and knowledge sharing. To implement the objectives of the G8 Action Plan we have set aside an additional $500 million.

Discussions with G8 leaders are going well. And I look forward to reporting our results.

Above all we must recognize that the global dialogue on development must continue. A dialogue in which the Monterrey Consensus and the G8 Africa Action Plan are not the end of the road. But in many ways just the beginning of our journey. Toward a more just more prosperous and more secure world.

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