Mr. Apolonio Ruiz Ligero

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
18th March 2002

I would like to congratulate the authorities of the Government of Mexico and of Monterrey for the good idea to hold this very important and crucial Conference.

The Council of Europe Development Bank wants to cooperate to fulfill the objectives of this comprehensive exercise of financing of development. Since its inception, the Council of Europe Development Bank’s prime objective has been to respond to emergency situations and provide financial assistance for those who find themselves victims of such situations. Although the scope of the Bank’s actions has widened over the years, the institution has remained faithful to its original vocation and shown its expertise in that field.

We have a considerable number of agreements with the highest-level multilateral organizations in order to bring about synergies, foster cooperation and offer more effective ways of reaching the most important objectives of this Conference. But given the projects involving refugees and migrants and aid to victims of natural and ecological disasters, over the years the Bank’s capacity for action has gone on to include other social fields.

Since the second summit of the Council of Europe in 1997, a number of new priorities have been defined, including all the fields of action that directly contribute to strengthening social cohesion in the world – namely the creation and preservation of jobs in small and medium enterprises, vocational training, public housing, health, education and improving living conditions in disadvantaged urban areas.

The Council of Europe Development Bank also acts in favour of protection of the environment, rural modernization, protection and rehabilitation of historic heritage and all the objectives set in this important Conference.

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

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