His Excellency The Honourable Friday Jumbe
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Malawi

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
22nd March 2002

Let me, on behalf of my delegation and myself, join other speakers in thanking the Government and the people of Mexico for hosting this very important and historic event and for their hospitality. I also thank the United Nations for the excellent facilities placed at our disposal at this Conference.

This Conference has opened the gates of hope for the poor of the world. It is a declaration of hope to them that the leadership of nations and organizations of the world are committed to eradicating poverty, adhering to sustainable economic growth and development, as well as to a fully inclusive and equitable global system.

We acknowledge that official development assistance has assisted poor countries in their efforts to meet some development challenges. Over the past four days, the discussions have converged on the fact that considerable amounts of resources are required to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In this respect, we welcome the statements made by developed nations to increase their commitment to official development assistance.

However, for least developed countries such as Malawi, with a small landlocked economy and with 65 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, significant amounts of official development assistance are required to make a positive impact on the economy. While the efficiency of aid is of concern, our view is that the effectiveness of aid on poverty levels needs to be united with flexible and transparent conditionalities. In most instances, perceptions undermine facts and are largely used to shift goals, thereby making official development assistance contradict the very objective of poverty eradication.

Official development assistance should be given in a context of country needs and priorities. With the advent of democracy, many sub-Saharan countries have established democratic institutions to ensure good governance and transparency, with a view to consolidating democratic values. These are indeed preconditions for any meaningful sustainable economic focus. However, we note with concern that, in the absence of transparent and universal measures regarding the rule of law, good governance and transparency, double standards often arise to the disadvantage of developing countries. We urge the bilateral and the multilateral institutions to establish meaningful acceptable measures, which can act as a road map for enforcing good governance issues. We believe that the sustainability of democratic institutions and good governance depends on adequate resources to support their structures.

Malawi is among the six countries where the Millennium Development Goals were analysed and costed. A minimum of about $4 billion is required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. They therefore need commitment on the part of cooperating partners to ensure that these resources are available.

During these deliberations we have noted the need for political and economic will on the part of developing countries in order to achieve poverty reduction. In Malawi in particular, when the new Government came to power in 1994, poverty alleviation was pronounced as its overarching development strategy. In the recent past, preparation of the poverty reduction strategy paper has complemented this process. What we now require is a complementary political will on the part of our cooperating partners in order to win our war against poverty.

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

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