H.E. Hon. Elvin G. Nimrod,
International Trade and Legal Affairs

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
March 21-22, 2002



Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

It is more by accident rather than by design that I find myself in the uneviable position of speaking on behalf of my Foreign Minister of Grenada, who has had to cut short his stay in beautiful and hospitable Monterrey due to extenuating circumstances.

Mr. President the night is far spent, therefore I propose to govern myself by five b's- be brief, be bright, be gone.
However, I must present the Minister's short statement which follows:

Much preparation has gone into this high level event taking place in this beautiful setting in Monterrey.
It is the hope of my delegation, that the implementation of the outcome document will be commensurate with the many months of meticulous preparation.

Financing for Development as a concept and as an attainable goal is highly desirable, especially if a partnership can be forged between developed and developing countries to alleviate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development.
Financing for Development can be seen as part of a process of implementation of the Millennium Declaration, to which world leaders committed themselves in terms of the values of equality, solidarity and social justice. They promised to ensure that globalization would become a positive force for all peoples, especially those in developing countries
If Financing for Development and Sustainable Development, which are mutually reinforcing, are not to be regarded as just pious pronouncements, every effort should be made to promote them in a practical and meaningful way, to ensure that the 21st at century will become the century of development for all.

Mr. President the 20th century has been called the century of outer space because of the remarkable achievements and discoveries. The 21st century can be the century of inner space, if the human condition, which we are addressing, can take center stage, by being moved to the top of the international agenda. The fact that the international community is represented here at the highest level makes the occasion auspicious, historic, exciting and hopeful.

Financing for Development and Sustainable Development
are two sides of the same coin, the eradication of poverty, which is key to development and peace.

Achieving this laudable goal will of necessity be incremental. If, however, poverty can be halved by the year 2015, that would be a major step towards its alleviation.

Of the six leading actions identified, to best advance the financing for development agenda, my delegation, due to time constraint will touch briefly upon three:
1. Mobilising domestic financial resources for development, presupposes "the importance of sound policies and good governance as pre-requisites for the efficient mobilization and allocation of domestic resources," based on the principle of national ownership of development strategies.

One such strategy is Capital Formation, which is largely dependent upon domestic economic mobilization. However, domestic economics are intertwined with the global economy, so that national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment. And here is where Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Official Development Assistance (ODA) can play a catalytic role. The level of ODA is at an all-time low in thirty years, and one of the best outcome of this meeting would be to restore ODA to its former level of 0.7% of G.N.P.

Moreover, while capital formation is enhanced by domestic savings, small economies and economies in transition are adversely affected by capital flight from developing to developed countries, caused in large measure by external debt, which is the greatest inhibitor to development.

2. Mr. President the international community should be concerned that poor developing countries are compelled to mortgage their future with high cost of debt servicing, which is a millstone around their necks. The reverse gross flows from developing to industrial countries are approaching $400 billion. This constitutes a drain on scarce resources that are sorely needed for social programmes such as health, education; welfare, and infrastructure development.

While debt repayment is both moral and legal, consideration should be given to the internal and external constraints that have caused many developing countries to become trapped in the vicious cycle of debt.

Debt servicing can be the Achilles heel of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) whose vulnerability fosters political instability and social unrest.

Mr. President Trade remains today, as it was, since the days of the Phoenicians, the engine and the barometer of growth and development. Without trade, the economic misery Index of many developing countries continues to spiral.

  • The Secretary General in his report points out how, market access protection by developed countries currently imposes costs on developing countries which they can hardly bear. Such a trade barrier adversely affects products of export from LDC's, SIDS, landlocked and transit developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition; all of which have difficulties in attracting financing for development.
  • Because of their vulnerabilities, natural and man-made, trading partners should liberalize trade in goods and services of particular interest to developing countries.
  • The WTO Agreements, with respect to special and differential treatments for some developing countries, should be implemented in a more equitable manner.
  • However, developing countries should make every effort to diversify their economies to include light manufacture of primary products, while developing a strategy of intraregional trade.

In the matter of trade, my delegation commends WTO for admission of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan into the organization. Their combined industrial might with respect to goods, services, information, technology and communication will strengthen WTO's capacity to serve the international community better.

With respect to the economic miracle, which Taiwan has performed in a little more than four decades, there is no question that it is ready, willing and able to put its vast resources and reserves at the disposal of the international community as it has been doing in certain small countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and The Pacific.

Mr. President, as we leave from this time and place, may we be reminded that this is not a time for optimism that sees no problems, nor a time for pessimism that sees no possibilities; it is a time for hope.
Therefore we must not permit FfD to become a dream deferred, to dry up as a raisin in the sun, as did the new economic order and the peace dividends which readily evaporated.

Finally Mr. President, the journey to Monterrey and later to Johannesburg in search of the link between financing for development and sustainable development brings to mind the words of the immortal William Shakespeare: There is a tide in the affairs of men, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted thus all the voyage of their lives are bound in shallows and in misery. On such a sea are we now afloat; we must take the current while It lasts, or lose the voyage of our lives.

Mr. President there can be no turning back! Forward ever, backward never!
Thank you.

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