H.E. Kessai H. Note

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
22nd. March, 2002

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General, 
Distinguished delegates, 
Ladies and gentlemen.

1. I join my distinguished colleagues who spoke before me and thank the people and the Government of Mexico, the United Nations and the organizers of this meeting for the warm welcome and the hospitality accorded my delegation. I would also like to offer my commendation to you Mr. President, for the important role you are playing in the efficient conduct of this important International Conference on Financing for Development here in this magnificent city of Monterrey.

2. Our global community is undergoing transition and transformation. The twin process of "disintegration" and "integration" are accelerating daily. On the one hand, the dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, including global warming and sea level rise, excessive pollution of the air, land and water, and the depletion of resources. This harm is done in the name of economic growth, but while the growth greatly benefits some, it is inequitable as well as unsustainable and causes widespread poverty and misery to the vast majority of people.

Mr. President,

3. Over the past decade, the Leaders of the World have gathered more frequently than ever before under the guidance of the United Nations, to debate issues so critical to the sustainable livelihoods of our people.

4. Since the Rio Conference 10 years ago, we have found that while the global debate on development has increased in momentum, uncovering fundamental mechanisms to bring the "good life" to the mass population of our planet that lives in abject poverty, we have discovered that the greatest obstacle confronting our exhaustive effort up to now, is lack of adequate financial resources needed to achieve our development goals. Today is a propitious opportunity to participate in this International Conference on Financing for Development as it is indeed a result of our willingness and desire to reaffirm our commitment to fight poverty and to achieve the development goals as agreed to under the Millennium Declaration.

5. The commitments to achieve the Official Development Assistance levels of 0.7% of Gross National Product from the developed countries still remain unsatisfactory. I join my other distinguished delegates and encourage the developed countries that have not reached their Official Development Assistance targets to make every effort to do so. In this regard, I acknowledge the US's Compact for development initiative as well as efforts currently undertaken by the European Union.

6. Agenda 21 adopted at Rio still remains largely at the conceptualization stages for implementation. So far, commitments arising out of the numerous world conferences addressing the fate of the poor and the "poor of the poorest" have been mainly rhetoric.

Mr. President,

7. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a nation that has survived mainly on external funding sources, for which we are thankful. However, I can assure the Conference that our need for 'financing for national development' has increased considerably than ever before. This is undoubtedly the common dilemma faced by the developing countries, and in particular the Small Island Developing States such as the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The substance of this Conference therefore, is to reaffirm our full and collective commitment to eradicate poverty in half by the year 2015.

8. The Rio Declaration is a pioneer in acknowledging the special needs of developing countries and has reiterated that those should be given special priorities. The subsequent convention of the UN General Conference on Small Island Developing States in Barbados in 1994 has been a catalyst in focusing international attention on our special needs. It is in this context that Agenda 21 was translated into fourteen specific policies, each representing a priority area relevant to addressing the unique challenges faced by the Small Island Developing States. The ensuing policies, captured in the Barbados Programme of Action, comprise actions to be implemented at both the regional as well as the international levels.

Mr. President,

9. I join my colleagues from the Small Island Developing States to reinforce our common position manifested in the Alliance of Small Island States Singapore Declaration and call on the international community "to provide adequate financial resources, transfer of appropriate, environmentally sound technologies and assistance for capacity-building for such national and regional implementation".

10. My delegation fully subscribes to the vision espoused in the Monterrey Consensus where its six key areas have been identified as pivotal benchmarks for the mobilization and deployment of financial resources for development. I strongly encourage the parties to the Monterrey Consensus to pay close attention to the special needs of the Small Island Developing States.

11. In closing, I call upon the developed countries to provide greater levels of development finance to our developing countries. In this regard, I reaffirm my commitment to pursue sound macroeconomic policies, good governance, upholding of the rule of law, protection of human rights and other actions conducive to achieve sustainable development.

Thank you.

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