His Excellency Mr. Valli Moosa

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
18th March, 2002

The United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development has given us a unique opportunity, which we seized last night and this morning, of bringing ministers of the environment, development and finance together with all the Bretton Woods institutions and United Nations agencies to talk about sustainable development and the funding of environment in sustainable development. I wish to say right at the outset that I found this extremely encouraging because it gave us an opportunity to place the correct emphasis on all three pillars of sustainable development: the economic pillar, the environmental pillar and the social development pillar. We will continue to meet, but I think that what we also want to do is to urge Governments all around the world within their governments to ensure that this cross-cutting dialogue takes place between now and Johannesburg and to talk about sustainable development, and not just over-emphasize the environment or any other one of those pillars.

 The emphasis, of course, for Johannesburg, as participants have heard from Emil Salim, is on actionable plans that can be monitored, measured, implemented and properly resourced. From that point of view, the discussions that we have had were based firstly on the question of official development assistance and replenishing the various funds, and, obviously, all of us here would agree about the importance of that.

But it was also about the development of an economic platform that will contribute to economic growth in underdeveloped countries, because if we want to implement an action programme based on the Millennium Declaration, one which says that we will halve poverty by 2015 and that by that time a certain number of people will have access to fresh water, energy, health care, primary education, and so forth, then we need more official development assistance. We need an economic platform that will allow economies to grow, and that means including the issues of Doha, market access, foreign direct investment and conditions for foreign direct investment. Those are the issues that we are hoping will pan out from this Conference, leading to the next two Preparatory Committee meetings and then to Johannesburg.

Let me just say, finally, that emerging from this very useful round table is a commitment that, following the conclusion of this Conference and during the Preparatory Committee meeting and the build-up to the fourth Preparatory Committee meeting, considerable intellectual and others resources of the United Nations agencies and Bretton Woods institutions will be mobilized to ensure that by the time we go to Johannesburg we will have a detailed, action-oriented programme of action for consideration, because I think, as Claire Short has just said, we are all in the mood to give the world a real message of hope, not one that is simply couched in fancy, poetic declarations, but rather is a real message of hope that will say to women in developing countries: This is exactly what we are going to do to further the cause of your emancipation. So this speaks to energy and water issues, child care, infant health, and so forth. I have found the round table extremely useful, and I wish once again to thank the organizers for the valuable opportunity provided by it.

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