The Hon. John Dalli
International Conference on Financing for Development
At the outset, I would like to convey my delegation's appreciation to the Government and the people of Mexico for hosting this Conference as well as for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us by the city of Monterrey.
We are here today because we know this to be unacceptable and because we want to try to act in an effective manner to redress this situation.
Malta firmly believes that, through the necessary political will and commitment, the Millennium Declaration development goals, which enjoy the support of the general membership of the United Nations, could succeed in containing the scourge of poverty by the year 2015.
The Monterrey Conference should strive to achieve a comprehensive agreement on the financial mechanisms necessary to achieve the noble goals enshrined in the Millennium Declaration. However let us not presume that financial mechanisms alone are sufficient to achieve the changes in culture, the upgrading of the human resource, the strengthening of the economic fundamentals, the capillary expansion of the distribution channels and the infrastructural build-up that are required to achieve the Millennium goals.
It is my government's firm belief that only functioning governments, broadly committed to sustainable development could significantly accelerate poverty eradication. The achievement of adequate levels of financing for development requires, first of all concrete actions at the national level to maximise the mobilisation of domestic financial resources.
This is witnessed in the development of an environment founded on the tenets of democracy, respect for the rule of law and human rights as well as the promotion of peace and security are prerequisites for achieving socio-economic progress. We believe that good governance, sound macro-economic policies, transparency, adequate domestic institutions, sustainable fiscal balances, coherence, social safety nets and the fight against corruption as crucial for building the right environment, which harnesses domestic financial resources.
However, we do recognize that some countries have specific constraints and vulnerabilities. These include Least Developing Countries [LDCs], Land-locked Countries and a number of Small Island Developing States [SIDs]. They face huge difficulties in generating sufficient domestic financial resources.
In this regard, developed countries should realise that a sound international financial and economic environment is essential to support their own efforts to achieve sustainable development.
A sound domestic environment is imperative in promoting and encouraging
private sector initiatives as well as to attract international financial
resources including Official Development Assistance, Foreign Direct
Investment and trade opportunities. In the latter context, we must
strive hard to renew those commitments which were previously made in the
meetings held in Marrakesh, Singapore, Geneva and recently in Doha,
to help LDCs secure beneficial and meaningful interpretation in the multilateral
trading system and the global economy. It is our firm belief that international
trade plays a major role in the promotion of economic development and the
alleviation of poverty. In this context we appeal for the removal of barrier
to exports and the elimination of trade-distorting subsidies.
Trade is an engine which activates growth in developing countries. Developing countries need to enhance their capacities in view of future World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in order to promote a level playing field in the international trading system. They should be assisted in doing so.
In the context of laying the groundwork for sustainable development, one should not overlook the importance of debt relief. Every effort should be made to ensure the implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
It is only through synergistic efforts at both the national and international level that nations can achieve a sustainable future for all.
I thank you.
Statements at the Conference