His Excellency Mr. Vasile Tarlev
First of all, may I thank the leaders of this wonderful country and President Fox for the their hospitality and excellent organization of this Conference. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for his special contribution to the preparation and successful holding of this Conference.
This forum is a unique opportunity for discussing issues of sustainable development in the twenty-first century at the highest level. To this end, we have a clear point of reference: The mission statement of the Millennium Summit. We all agreed that to solve this task we need considerable financial resources.
On this basis, we would like to stress that the initiatives supported by the United States administration and the member States of the European Union at the Barcelona meeting to increase the volume of financial development assistance have had a favourable impact on debates at the Conference.
The Republic of Moldova is endeavouring to overcome the inevitable difficulties of the transition period. In 2001 for the first time after a prolonged decline there was certain economic growth. At this time, we are taking every measure necessary to further recent positive progress on basic macroeconomic and social indicators. We are endeavouring to maintain growth through reliable policies that inspire trust on the basis of market economy principles and support for private initiatives.
Despite these positive moves, however, problems such as accumulated debt are a basic hindrance to implementing the programme of combating poverty and further social, economic and structural reforms.
May I cite just one example. At this time, the burden of national debt servicing amounts to more than 150 per cent of the gross domestic product, whereas debt repayment this year makes up 75 per cent of the overall budget income. You will agree that under the circumstances, it is very difficult to develop an effective tax policy and mobilize domestic resources essential to cover social costs and meet the needs of the low-income population.
Thus, we believe it is especially important, after the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus, to step up the process of alleviating the debt burden for developing countries and countries in transition. We fully support the draft Monterrey Consensus, as the issue of financing sustainable development is of critical importance for economic growth and the elimination of abject poverty.
The draft final document properly points out that the basic responsibilities to create adequate conditions to receive and reasonably use financial aid is to be borne by national Governments. We would like to express our hope in this connection that donors, in assessing the activity of national Governments in this field, should have a deeper understanding of the specifics and many social problems that we encounter in our democratic, but as yet fragile State.
In certain cases, we should no longer tie financial aid decisions to the status of our current relations with the Bretton Woods institutions. This is particularly the case given that the latter are being reviewed in light of earlier experience and the search for new methods for the purpose of more effective cooperation with recipient countries.
We are also following with hope the debate on the increase in grant aid from credit lines under the auspices of the Bretton Woods institutions. Along with other delegations, we believe that grants should be aimed at the elimination of natural disasters, combating terrorism and separatism and settling regional conflicts. In addition, we believe that they should also be designed to improve the legislative basis for economic reforms and combating AIDS and other infectious diseases. We support the need for transparency and comprehensive monitoring of the use of such funds.
For its part, the Republic of Moldova will continue rationally and effectively to use its own resources and donor aid to stimulate the development of the private sector of the economy, implement reforms and improve the investment climate. We express our readiness to integrate ourselves further in the international community and comply with the multilateral and bilateral obligations we have assumed.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.