H.E. Mr. Tahmaseb Mazaheri
Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico
22 March 2002

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. President,
Let me at the outset express our sincere appreciation to the people and government of Mexico for hosting this important Conference and for the hospitality extended to my delegation.

Mr. President,
Financing for development has and remains to be a daunting challenge. Today, at the time of rapid globalization, the Monterrey Conference provides us with a historic opportunity to address this in a holistic manner. It also sets the stage for a thorough examination of essential steps in promotion of interaction and coherence amongst all major players in development at national as well as international level.

It is a fact that each country has primary responsibility for its own development and that domestic resources should constitute the lion's shares of financial resources for development. However, national undertakings alone do not suffice. They need to be supplemented with a breeding international environment to foster national economy and to enhance the capacity for mobilization of resources.

Another major source of financing for development is private international capital flows particularly foreign direct investment. These flows are often oriented towards a small number of countries and regions. To increase the number of beneficiaries, there exists the need for developing countries to receive necessary technical assistance so as to strengthen their financial and corporate sectors and improve their institutional capacity to attract and absorb more private flows.

Trade is the most important vehicle for financing of development. A universal, rule-based, open, nondiscriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system is a prerequisite for economic growth and development of developing countries and their integration into the global economic system. Moreover, bold actions should be taken to remove trade barriers and tariff peaks, in particular in areas in which the developing countries have a comparative advantage and competitive edge.

WTO should become a truly universal trade organization by easing accession and refraining from political consideration of applications for accession.

In the last decade or so, in the face of numerous international agreements, the ODA has experienced a steady decline. The developed countries should abide by their commitment and take concrete steps to achieve the target of 0.7% of their GNP for ODA.

Good governance at the international level in various financial, monetary and trade fields is vital for sustained economic growth and sustainable development. Enhancing coherence and consistency in governance of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development should find a prominent place. In this respect, the international financial architecture is in dire need of reform. It should promote further transparency and broader and more meaningful participation by developing countries in the global economic governance and norm setting. They, meanwhile, ought to become more responsive to the growth and development needs of developing countries and promotion of economic and social justice and equity. Need I note that such participation would enhance the sense of ownership and gives a wider array of insights and perspectives to these processes.

The multilateral surveillance of the economic and financial policies should be done in a symmetrical manner and particularly should take into account the global impact of economic policies of major industrialized countries on the world economy. Developed economies, all relevant financial markets and institutions, including highly leveraged institutions should also be subject to prudential standards and regulations. In addition, timely detection of external vulnerability through well-designed surveillance and early warning systems by relevant multilateral institutions and regional bodies is crucial to prevent contagion effects of financial crises.

In conclusion, coordination among various institutional stakeholders, particularly the BWIs and WTO with the United Nations, as well as continued involvement of civil society, including NGOs and business sector is a key to attaining the goals and objectives of the Monterrey Conference. I would like also to emphasize the importance of the review and follow-up mechanism of the Conference as it offers an examination of the fulfillment of the commitments and the performance of all actors.

Let us work hand in hand to make Monterrey an exemplary start of joint undertaking to respond to the global challenges defying humanity. 

Thank you Mr. President

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