Dr. José Maria Neves 
Prime Minister

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico 
21st. March 2002

Excellency Mr. President,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government
Distinguished delegates

Let me start by thanking His Excellency Vicente Fox, President of the Unites States of Mexico and President of this Conference for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us since our arrival to this beautiful city of Monterrey. We also want to convey our deepest appreciation for the efforts dedicated to ensuring the success of this high level event.

It is an act of justice to stress the importance of the sustained leadership of Secretary General Kofi Annan all along the way that brought us to Monterrey, including his personal and direct contributions to the Preparatory Commission during the most challenging moments of the process.

We rejoice with the open mind and wholehearted dedication of all those who participated in the preparatory process. We praise the mission that the Preparatory Commission accomplished, by gradually and with pragmatism, realism and creativity bringing up the "Monterrey Consensus" that we will be approving during the course of this Conference.

Mr. President,

One of the main objectives of The Charter of the United Nations is to promote international cooperation aiming at solving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems of its member States. This means that our organisation must be in the centre of the efforts to achieve the aims of development.

However, in spite of the fact that development has always been one of the main directions of its actions, the assessment of the global results is not satisfactory, as the proposed aims could not be reached, owing to the scarcity of resources for ODA to developing countries that have been made available, still far from the agreed target of 0.7% of GNP of the industrialized countries.

If it is true that during the 90's the United Nations Conferences dedicated to global issues far-reaching decisions to promote co-operation for development based on mutually assumed engagements, it is also evident that we are still very far from their implementation, thus leading to the adoption of a set of important commitments by the Heads of State and Government gathered at the Millennium Summit.

On the other hand, the great changes in the international economic environment induced by globalisation created great expectations and new opportunities of economic growth for the developing countries. But these countries need to provide themselves with the proper means to benefit from those opportunities and be able to face the inherent risks.

It is in this context, that the least developed countries, like Cape Verde, must create institutional, human and financial capacities and be able to mobilize the necessary resources for their development, along with implementing healthy macro-economic policies, ensuring good governance and enforcing respect for the human rights.

Under these circumstances we stress that it is time for resolute action, without any ambiguities or evasions whatsoever towards the effective implementation of the 2001-2010 LDC Plan of Action, adopted in Brussels during the Third United Nations Conference on LDC's, as well for the implementation the Global Plan of Action for the Sustained Development of the Small Island States.

The support of the international community, as we all know, constitutes a key element of the said process, namely through the United Nations system.

Our Conference, although admittedly not a panacea for all the problems faced by the developing countries, represents notwithstanding a firm step in the good direction, since it allows us to assess the large spectrum of issues implied in the process of financing for development and share responsibilities in search of the best solutions and commitments.

In this sense it is pressing the need of new and additional financial resources to be allocated in order to promote institutional capacity building of both public and private sectors, as well as directing further direct foreign investments to the poorest countries, promotion and support of growth and competitiveness programs, as well as to promote trade as tools for fighting poverty, especially in the LDC "s, Small Island States and landlocked countries.

Fighting poverty must be a priority!

During the recent Forum on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification held in Praia, Cape Verde from 5th to 8th of this month, the obvious co-relation between the struggle against poverty and the struggle against desertification was widely demonstrated.

It is not by chance that the desertification planetary distribution map almost coincides with the map of poverty distribution.

Therefore, we launch an appeal to our partners to firmly support comprehensive strategies such as the one proposed by the "New Economic Partnership for African Development" (NEPAD), considering their common objectives of poverty eradication and promotion of sustained development.

Likewise, market access for goods from developing countries is vital if we take into consideration the primary role of international trade in generating resources for finance for development. Special attention should be given to the Least Developed Countries (LDC's) if we want them to achieve effective self-sustainable development. In effect, no one can ignore the intrinsic relation that exists between trade, economic development and poverty alleviation, and between the above and the processes of desertification and environmental degradation.

Mr. President

We are aware of the fact that the support of developed countries is fundamental for the development of the small, poor, island and sahelian country as my country, Cape Verde. We also are conscious that the rhythm and quality of its development depends on, mainly our capacity to take our destiny in our hands. As said Amilcar Cabral, the founder of the Cape Verdean nationality "as hot as the spring water might be, it will not cook your rice"

Since independence, in 1975, Cape Verde has reached increasing levels of political, economic, social and cultural development. In spite of those significant levels, we are still facing the fundamental problem of structural imbalances.

Our development process has been characterized by ups and downs due to economic vulnerability proper to small island developing states lacking natural resources, having a weak productive base and heavily dependent on external financial flows. Cape Verdean women and
men are the main resources of our country, and we are committed to improve their technical and professional skills. But we must act, and act rapidly in order to generate the sustainability of our development.

In order to ensure a good macroeconomic framework and to implement structural reforms needed to enlarge the productive basis for growth and competitiveness of the Cape Verdean economy, great efforts must be made.
Institutional and Public Administration reforms, development of human capital, the creation of a strong, productive and competitive business sector that can generate employment; infrastructure and the organisation of territory; active solidarity policies; combating poverty and strengthening social cohesion - these are the main axes of action of my government. We are getting very good results as we are determined to achieve good governance indicators.

In that sense, the densification of the civil society, the rule of law, transparency and ethics in all matters related to the State, as well as sound macro-economic policies are essential.

However our efforts need to be properly matched by partnership of the international community. What raises our expectations and increases our hope is that Monterrey will open the way to solve the problems that afflicts the international community, with onerous reflexes in the poorest countries.

Mr. President
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The participation of Cape Verde in the Conference on Financing for Development is that of a country that is open to the world, and that seeks to build a strong and dynamic productive system based on the promotion of its human capital, its technological capacity, as well as its culture. A country that wishes to consolidate a society of peace and social justice, democracy, openness and tolerance; a country with a sustained human development, of solidarity, with a balanced regional development, esthetical and environmental sense based on a developed ecological awareness.
I would like to finish by expreesing the hope that the results of this Conference will lead to an effective contribution towards a better, more secure, just and peaceful world, in which we may be able to rise the international co-operation to higher levels so that we may all benefit from the great successes of manking.

Thank you.

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