The Hon. S.R. Insanally
MARCH 22, 2002
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Mr. President, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Mr.
Like so many countries gathered here in Monterrey, Guyana had hoped that this historic Conference on the Financing for Development would unlock the financial resources needed to promote development to allow our peoples to "live in larger freedom".
We are rather disappointed therefore that the outcome has fallen so short of our expectations and indeed of the level of assistance required for development.
Admittedly we have done well in fashioning a rough consensus on how the development agenda may be advanced. This is important, since without a shared vision and strategy we will not go far. We would therefore wish to warmly congratulate all those who made the Monterrey consensus possible - the member states of the United Nations both developed and developing - the Bretton Woods Institutions, other UN agencies and civil society. More particularly, would wish to thank His Excellency the President of Venezuela, Chairman of the G77 of which Guyana is a proud member, for the cause of the developing countries. We would also wish to thank the Government and people of Mexico for hosting this historic event.
Admittedly too, some major donors like the USA and the European Union have announced on the eve of the Conference their intention to increase their official development assistance. We acknowledge and encourage these efforts.
Still it must be a matter for regret, if not sorrow, that at a time, when we speak of the interdependence of peoples and when poverty is so rampant everywhere, there is not enough generosity of heart on the part of those who have for those who have not.
We would, therefore, like to think that this Conference is not a one-off event but rather part of a process that will quickly lead to more substantial results.
We are, nonetheless, pleased to note that, at Monterrey, there has been a reaffirmation of the importance of financing for global economic growth. But, though dynamic and sophisticated, international financial markets are altogether too concentrated and selective. In some cases, trade in short-term financial assets has proved to be a recipe for financial chaos and contagion. We should seek to ensure that financial markets generate new assets that can create the wealth and employment so desperately needed for long-term development. To this end, we must pursue the campaign for reforming the international financial architecture to make it more congenial to our needs.
Equally important, the international community must now commit itself to ensuring that the debt burden, which continues to overwhelm so many developing countries, is made more sustainable. It would of course be helpful if more development assistance could be given in the form of grants instead of loans provided that:
· it takes into account the access and quantum of resources needed
by poor countries; and
Similarly, although much is made of market access as a panacea for all that ails the developing countries, it is for many small economies a useless key to a door that cannot be reached. Without assistance to satisfy such basic pre-requisites as adequate infrastructure and investment, these countries cannot hope to compete in the global economy. More has to be done by way of providing not only special and differential treatment for our exports but also for development funds that will generate economic enterprise and transformation.
There is no need for further technical analysis as the United Nations Secretary-General has indicated in his “road map” report, on achieving the goals set by the UN Millennium Summit.´´ What is required is that all member states demonstrate the political will to carry out commitments already given and to implement strategies already worked out."
It is therefore imperative both politically and morally that the highest priority be given by developed countries to honouring their commitment to allocate 0.7 percent of their gross national product (GNP) for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). At the same time consideration has to be given to finding new and additional forms of financing to bridge the shortfall.
Mr Chairman, the development models followed thus far have clearly been deficient. We have no option but to look for alternatives. It has become fashionable to speak of partnership as the linch-pin of the development process. And indeed, such partnerships could place international cooperation on a more equitable basis and provide for greater assurance and predictability of financing. But, as with any other human partnership whether matrimonial, commercial otherwise – it must be clearly defined and go beyond mere words to firm commitment.
More immediately, we must promote coherence and country-specific policy
measures to strengthen the linkages between trade, investment, economic
growth and poverty alleviation. Only by so doing can we help developing
countries to avoid the risks of globalisation and enable them to integrate
meaningfully into the global economy.
It would be sad, if this Conference in which we had placed so much hope were to produce only a formal declaration full of good intentions but devoid of any practical measures for development.
Our people – especially the poor – have become impatient with such promises. At the very least, this Summit should come out with some concrete assurances that before long, more will be done to end the vicious cycle of poverty in which many millions are still trapped. We would, therefore, hope Mr. Chairman, that even at this late hour, our Heads of Government present here, with the persuasion of our distinguished host, President Fox of Mexico, will be able to build on the Monterrey Consensus, so that the aspirations of our peoples for a better life will not be deceived.
I thank you.
Statements at the Conference