H.E. Mr. El Hadj Oumar Kouyaté
Minister of State for Planning

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
21st March 2002

First of all, with your permission, I would like to convey two messages.

The first one is that on behalf of my delegation, I would like to express to the people and the government of Mexico, and the President of Mexico, our thanks and our deep appreciation for the warm welcome given to us since we arrived in this great and beautiful country.

The second message is on behalf of His Excellency my President, General Lansana  Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea. He was not able to make the trip for time table reasons and his message is that he wishes to thank you for the invitation made to his government to attend this important meeting and positive initiative sponsored by the United Nations for promoting International Cooperation in Financing Development.

Guinea along with most developing countries is basically an exporter of raw materials, in particular, minerals, bauxite, alumina, gold and diamonds, as well as agricultural products. These products, which fuel our export income, are those products whose prices are determined by developed countries.  The resulting   deterioration of the terms of trade has a negative impact on the balance of payments and therefore on economic growth.  This justifies Guinea’s membership in a group of countries which believes that the World Trade Organization (WTO)  should embark on a new cycle of liberalized trading namely:

  • To review certain counter productive regulations for developing countries in the framework of agreed measures, 
  • To eliminate export subsidies and to limit the support to producers in the global framework of liberalized agricultural trade;
  • To reduce protectionist measures which are detriment to developing countries and which essentially affect trade of manufactured goods such as textiles and clothing.
We take this opportunity offered by the conference to reaffirm the appreciation of the government of Guinea and thank the American government for making us eligible for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

As regards international cooperation for financing for development it appears that the lack of internal resources in developing countries means that Official Development Assistance (ODA) and direct foreign investment flows have become indispensable tools for cooperation in order to implement our programs and developmental policies.

Unfortunately, the shortfall in terms of volumes and amounts of transfers of financial resources, and the financial drag caused by debt servicing, continue to be factors, which impede growth and the economic renewal in these developing countries.  It should be noted that the support given by donor countries is most often affected by the burden and cost of technical foreign assistance, which does not always promote the transfer of national competencies. We should improve this situation in the following ways:

  • By developing an integrated and consistent policy for international cooperation based on national priorities;
  • The promotion and development of the approach of national execution, in the development, the implementation, the follow-up and the assessments of programs and projects for cooperation;
  • The implementation of the policy and programme of technical cooperation in order to achieve better management and technical assistance and a transfer which is bolstered by competence. 
The leaderships of developing countries are convinced that it is crucial to improve access to markets in developed countries for products in which they are competitive.  In spite of clear improvements in lowering customs charges in the last few years, there are still important tariff and non-tariff barriers in place, which are still major obstacles.

Any progress made in this area would enormously improve economic growth, diversification of production and exports of the countries concerns.  We would reduce dependence on ODA and infrastructure projects would become more viable because we would be accelerating our economic activity, Mr. President.

In terms of foreign debt, the government of Guinea welcomes the proposal of the American President calling on the World Bank to provide 50% of its assistance in the form of grants.

In this respect we are gratified with the aid of $5 billion to developing countries over the next 3 years which was as announced by the American government as well as the commitment made by the European Union (EU).  In fact, greater reliance on gifts would help also the long-term liability of developing countries, as it would spare them a large debt burden.  The initiatives having to do with access to resources for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) is one of the major means to reduce the burden of that of the poor countries. 

African countries recognize the importance of the initiative as their means of procuring resources, which they very much need to have debt relief, which has compromised their economic growth.  Therefore, we hope that this initiative will become more flexible and will prompt a review of grant conditions as well as providing more flexible eligibility criteria in the interest of providing debt relieve.

This conference dedicated to Financing for Development gives us great hope. I wish that the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus will help reinvigorate international cooperation in the fight against poverty and for a more just world that is without HIV/AIDS - a world of peace and security.

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

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