H.E. Mr. Sotos Zackheos
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the UN

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico 
22 March 2002

Mr. President,
Cyprus fully supports the Monterrey Consensus which we consider as instrumental for the achievement of the Millennium Declaration development goals of sustained economic growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development.  The warm endorsement extended to it at the highest political level is truly promising. We sincerely hope that the commitments made will be implemented in full. 

For, we must not lose sight of the fact that development means breaking away from the misery affecting millions of unfortunate people around the world.  The most recent statistics are indeed staggering. Some 815 million people, including 150 million children, suffer from hunger and malnutrition. We must always remember that behind each and every one of these numbers there is a human being entitled to a better future and we should not rest until everyone’s inalienable right to food is secured. 

Mr. President,
The developing countries and countries with economies in transition have an obligation to their people to decisively deal with issues like good governance, the fight against corruption, full respect of human rights, peace, and social stability. These are sine qua non conditions for development. The example of the associated countries with the European Union has provides ample proof of this fact.

Despite the fact that the main responsibility rests with the countries concerned, the developed countries can play a significant role in creating an international environment conducive to development and the elimination of poverty. They must ensure adequate and predictable development aid and broader market access for products and services from developing countries. They must continue their efforts towards alleviating their debt burden. The declining trend in financial contribution through ODA by the developed countries must be reversed so that the necessary funds will be available for poverty alleviation and development.  The developed countries should strive towards the realization of the target of 0.7% and the lifting of  any bureaucratic obstacles. 

I take this opportunity to welcome the important commitments made at Barcelona by the European Union, the major partner for the Least Developed Countries, as well as by President Bush for increased development assistance. We sincerely hope that other actors will take a similar approach.

Mr. President, 
Particular attention is required in order to address the special needs of Small Island States, which face certain critical challenges related to their unique economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities. Cyprus shares many of their concerns and calls upon the international community to support wholeheartedly their efforts to achieve sustainable development. Cyprus, itself a prospective EU member, is currently in the process of overhauling its aid programmes and is examining ways to increase its already existing technical and emergency relief assistance. 

Mr. President,
The grave daily reality of poverty and underdevelopment must be confronted with an open mind and determination. The precarious state of the less fortunate of our planet inhibits the prospects of economic growth at the global level and restricts the prospects for gaining the most out of globalisation. A serious engagement on the part of the international community will not only demonstrate an emerging global ethos of compassion and solidarity but more importantly, it will constitute an act, which will, in the final analysis, serve our common interests. 

Thank you Mr. President.

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