H.E. Mr. Sotos Zackheos
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the UN
International Conference on Financing for Development
22 March 2002
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.
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.
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.
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.
Statements at the Conference