John Langmore
Representative of the International Labour Organization

At the International Conference on Financing for development

Monterrey, México
18th March 2002

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at this Conference. The ILO congratulates the Mexican authorities , the Preparatory Committee, the Secretariat of the Conference and all others who have participated in the preparation of this important event. The Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Juan Somavia, salutes this gathering and regrets the impossibility of being here with you because the ILO Governing Body is now having its regular session in Geneva.

The International Conference on Financing for Development represents a long awaited opportunity for the international community. One of the central facts that justifies the holding of this Conference is that the financial flows required for broad based and equitable development in the global economy are not being adequately generated. This is the true of both ODA and private flows such as foreign direct investment and export earnings. The levels of these flows remain substantially below the needs and potencial absorptive capacity of developing countries. Worse, private flows which are now the largest potential source of financing for development remain highly concentrated in a limited number of emerging market economics, largely bypassing the poorest countries. As a consequence, while globalization has opened opportunities for greater prosperity and development, the increased integration of economies has been accompanied by widening inequalities. Wealth and resources remain concentrated in the richest countries and many developing countries remain trapped in poverty and exclusion, being further marginalized of the global economy.

Whether from the Millennium Summit, the World Economic Forum or the World Social Forum, the message was clear: globalization's opportunities must be shared and used much more effectively to deal with the growing problems of poverty, insecurity, inequity and exclusion.

One of the most significant achievements in Monterrey will therefore be to mobilise international action to create mechanisms to generate increased and more widely-share flows of development finance. Enhancing domestic resource mobilization is an essential precondition but this must be supported by efforts to increase foreign direct investment, official development assistance, market access and debt reduction. Systemic issues such as international  financial stability and the coherence and consistency of the international, monetary and trading systems, need to be addressed urgently. The issue of new and innovative sources of financing also deserves serious consideration.

The Monterrey Consensus includes few concrete initiatives. However, it does signal that the discourse is unfinished. The agreement does suggest that wealthier countries are willing to keep these important subjects on the international agenda. The next step is a determined political will and strong commitments to make things happen.

There is an urgent need to strengthen the global capacity to promote social objectives alongside economic ones. The international financial architecture will only contribute effectively to the agreed Millennium Development Goals if it gives real consideration to a strong social pillar. The Monterey Consensus explicitly recognizes (para 64) that to strengthen the effectiveness of the global economic system's support for development, we encourage the following actions (inter alia): Support the International Labour Organization and encourage its ongoing work on the social dimension of globalization."

The ILO has just launched a top-level World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, chaired by the Heads of State of two strategically important countries from North and the South: President Halonen of Finland and President Mkapa of Tanzania. The Commission is an unprecedented effort to promote international dialogue on ideas that could make the process of globalization more inclusive, and widen the sharing of its benefits.

We need dialogue, consensus and partnership for globalization to deliver what working peop1e and their families everywhere aspire to - a decent job, security and a voice in the decision-making process. The ILO, with its unique tripartite structure bringing together employers and workers alongside governments can contribute to building bridges and to the collective and coherent action that is required to meet the urgent goal of making adequate financing for the developmental needs of all countries a reality

Thank you.

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