Elgin Carkey and Monica Vincent
I am Monica Vincent of the Ecumenical Team. I am Dalit from the untouchable community under the hegemony of the caste system in India. I am a youth representative who looks forward to a better and bright future.
Mr. Carkey: I am Elgin Carkey. I represent organizers and reconstruction in Nepal and I am also associated with non-governmental organizations working on the issues of the least developed countries. We are making this statement on behalf of civil society organizations present at this Conference.
The Non-governmental Organization Caucus would like to begin by expressing our appreciation to the Mexican Government for its compliance with United Nations guidelines in providing facilities for civil society work. It sets a precedent that all Governments should seek to follow in the future. But the NGO Caucus states that we are not part of the Monterrey Consensus. We do not consider that it is a sufficient basis for combating poverty or for advancing economic, social and cultural rights.
We note that at the round tables, many Governments agree with us. So why has this document been adopted? The Government has talked about reforming the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. But that is not reflected in the Consensus. Why not?
In terms of processes, we hope that you have noticed that the adoption of a declaration in advance undermines the credibility of the process itself. Why are we here, if not to negotiate the document? We appreciate the establishment of the round tables as a positive step, although we disagree with the approach to use the process to legitimize the Monterrey Consensus. Obviously, there will need to be a great deal of fine-tuning to improve dialogue and increase inclusiveness. If this process is to have any meaning in the future, we will have to see some follow-up based on the discourses.
The Non-Governmental Organization Forum Declaration was presented to this same plenary just last Monday. All our demands are included there and were repeated continuously at the round table. We have advocated this position through the financing for development process and for decades at previous international conferences, so we do not have to mention them. The rest of the statement will be read out by my friend Monica.
Ms. Vincent: To those of you who say that civil society has not been efficient in putting forward our demands, we say, if you have not heard us, it is because you have refused to listen. We have advocated tirelessly for a concrete plan of action towards building a human rights framework, a different view of the world that is based on economic, social and cultural concerns that puts people before profits. We intend to stay engaged in all efforts to achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals, but we must acknowledge that even if met, we will still have more than half a billion people living in abject poverty.
The Special Session on children, the World Food Summit and the World Summit on Sustainable Development will be opportunities for participants to show us that we are wrong in our assessment of your will to deliver. We hope that you will be spurred by the reality of the thousands of women, men and children who will die from preventable causes and in endless wars and conflicts before we get to Johannesburg this August. We will be watching and we will continue to mobilize our constituencies for implementation of the commitments you, the Governments, have made over the last decade.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.