Her Excellency Ms. Fayza Aboulnaga
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the Arab Republic of Egypt

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
22nd March, 2002

Allow me at the outset, in the name of H.E. President Mohammed Hossni Mubarak of Egypt, to express our appreciation to H.E. President Vicente Fox and the people of Mexico for the tireless efforts they exerted to ensure the great success of this important Conference on Financing for Development.

This high level event comes to complement a series of important international conferences that were held during the last decade. However, the Monterrey Conference is unique compared with previous conferences due to the comprehensive way through which it attempts to deal with development in terms of financing for development, which is the essential problem for mankind to deal with.                   

The results of the Monterrey Conference are related to sustainable development objectives which we shall be dealing with in Johannesburg. Mr. President, this great challenge is even greater for the developing countries since they are not in a position to benefit as much as they could.  And so we need a new stage, a new phase of international cooperation and common action in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of opportunities and in order to cooperate more fully and effectively in achieving a better sharing of responsibility in this effort. The international community must realize that this stage is in the interest of all parties since the developed countries cannot continue to benefit from the fruits of economic activity and technological progress if developing countries continue to experience different problems. Financing for Development gives us the possibility as the prospects of domestic reform. We must leave open the door for developing countries for the same opportunities that have been available for developed countries. In the follow up stages after the industrial revolution, for example, it was necessary to embark on the reforms that would be compatible with the needs and the institutional abilities of developing countries. In this situation, we believe that aid for development will stimulate private sector flows.

Mr. President, in the last few years we have seen sustained efforts in the parts of developing countries to carry out economic reforms in their countries and to rehabilitate their institutions and to create an institutional environment which is favorable towards a legal environment that is favorable. Initiatives in Africa represent an implementation of these ideals since these ideas came from the African Continent. These ideas are beginning to bear fruit as we see an improvement in a lot of those peoples.  We should be aware, nonetheless, that reform and transformation of structures involve a process of trial and error.     

We must not overload developing countries in a way that is unsustainable for them in terms of reform because then the results will be contrary to those that we wish.  The international community and the developed countries in particularly must take on their responsibility and support authentically those efforts.  There are limits or margins for reform. This process must be left open so that the developing countries will have the same opportunities to embark on transitions. This opportunity is necessary to develop reformed programs in a way that is compatible with the needs and the capacities of developing countries.

It is clear that ODA continues to be very important in financial flows because this helps to finance projects, particularly infrastructure projects and institutional capacity-building projects as well as human capacity building.    We need to encourage those private sector flows and decide on a higher level of ODA. This ODA should be more efficient and less tied to conditionalities and different constraints. 

If foreign investment is a large part of developmental financing, still in developing countries 75% of those investments go to developed countries while 25% remain in the developing countries.

Monterrey helped clarify several things including coherence and the importance to increase and improve coordination between national policies and national institutions.  This will prompt us to have coherence at the international level and that is where the effect will be the greatest, allowing the developing countries to mobilize their necessary resources for development.  

And we have some policies that are incompatible with developmental efforts and contrary to the rules which certain developed countries have agreed to in the WTO. The developing countries need to open their markets within the WTO or in making structural efforts according to the Bretton Woods Institutions.  The products of developing countries cannot reach developed countries if they do not have market access.  And we see in the developing countries textiles and other products which are very competitive and which have a comparative advantage and yet they have no access to markets in the developed countries.

And, finally, I would like to add that the democratization of commercial institutions and financial institutions internationally along with better participation in decision making to develop rules and criteria in these institutions must take into account the needs of all countries and, in particular, the developing countries. 

The Monterrey Consensus represents a minimum amount of consensus and yet the importance of this document is due to the fact that it is a basis for continued action at higher level - at international level - in order to put development at the top of the list of priorities. The follow-up of the Monterrey process is a true test of the will of the international community, as well as of the credibility of international protocol decisions.  Policies and efforts and resources to be deployed according to more just and equitable standards which will help the developing countries allowing them to benefit from the chances and opportunities that are presented by globalization.  That is the only way we can go so that the developing and developed countries can continue in their work towards world prosperity.

* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.

Statements at the Conference
Conference News