H. E. Per Stir Møller
Minister of Foreign Affairs

at the International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
18th-22th March 2002

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.2 billion people around the World live in extreme poverty. They live on less than one dollar-a-day. They constitute approximately one fifth of the World population. In the United Nations Millennium Declaration we decided to reduce this share by half in 2015.

Who are the poor? What do they need? To meet the challenge we need to know whom we are targeting.

The poor are
- smallholder farmers
- landless labourers
- urban slum dwellers
- households headed by women
- and they are people displaced by conflict or natural disasters. 
Three out of four poor people work and live in rural areas.

How can each of them break the vicious circle of poverty? How can the smallholder farmer improve his production and market his products? Especially if roads are lacking, transport costs high and prices low.

We need to focus much more carefully on the development of rural areas. On jobs, on small-scale industry and a conducive business climate. At the same time access to health and education is vital to improve the lives of the poor.

Women - in particular in rural areas - continue to be the most potential agents for change. The tasks and responsibilities of many women in developing countries are enormous: From production of food to being the masters of health, education and raising a family.

The Monterrey consensus underlines that the gender perspective must be mainstreamed into development policies in order to strengthen the global economic system.

We have failed to support women properly in the development process. Still today custom and civil law does not allow women to own and inherit land. They do not have access to finance. In rural areas, poor women bring with them even fewer assets and rights than men do.

Governments must make clear commitments in order to improve the possibilities for the poor population. They must provide the necessary supportive policy, institutional and legal framework. And they must guarantee the rights of the individual Accountable institutions and good governance are necessary to facilitate the efforts of promoting the potentials of the poor.

Mr. Chairman,

The link and the dialogue between the individual and the public sector needs to be strengthened. The public sector must respond to the needs of civil society and of the private sector. Otherwise economic and social development is hampered.

The consequence is insecurity - a feeling of being left out We must change this through a real partnership. A partnership that develops at the grass-root level in the rural village - in urban communities - as well as at the central level.

We - the international community and its institutions - must be open to work in partnership, to pool our resources and to cooperate much closer. We must expand a true global partnership to pave the way for a Global Deal to be struck in Johannesburg. The Monterrey-Consensus represents_ a fine example of a partnership at the national as well as the international level. To release the potential of the poor, governments have to be responsive to their needs. Only then can sustainable development be achieved.

At the international level we must continue to improve market access, reduce subsidies and pave the way for a more open, liberal and fair trade system. We see a close link between trade and aid. For instance through support for the establishment of small enterprises, private sector development and assistance to ensure real and open access to international markets. International trade agreements must be translated into reality in developing countries. The donors must be ready to assist this process,

Private investment should be recognized as a very essential element in fostering growth and development. But we - the rich nations - must fulfil our international commitments.

It is not impossible: The yearly sales of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are 40 billion dollars. We just need 15 billion dollars more than that to meet the target of halving the number of poor by 2015.

The target of 0.7% of GDP as Official Development Assistance must be honoured. Concrete and determined effort by the rich world is long overdue. Denmark urges other donor-countries to establish concrete time frames for meeting their commitment. The decision last week by the European Union is an important step in that direction.

In the 211, century, prosperity and the wellbeing for all is a global concern. The goals have been set at the Millennium Summit. Now it is up to all of us to meet the challenge. The Millennium Goals can be reached, if we in partnership are ready to make them come true.

Denmark is fully committed to this new partnership.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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