Mr. Jacques Boisson
I wish to thank President Fox and the Mexican authorities, as well as the Government of Nueva Leon and the city of Monterrey, for the remarkable organization of this Conference and for their warm welcome. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General and all the members of the Secretariat who are here or at Headquarters.
I wish to convey to you, Mr. President, the regrets of our Minister of Finance and the Economy, who was to attend this Conference but had to cancel his trip because of a special meeting of the National Council, our Parliament. Of course, democracy obliges.
Roughly more than a century ago, the Principality of Monaco, a narrow, arid terrain without natural resources, would have been among the poorest countries of this Conference. Under the well-guided impetus of its Princes, and thanks to the ingenious nature of its population of different origins, it has become a developed country. That is why it is able to understand the problems that are faced by developing countries.
It is seriously determined to provide assistance within its capabilities to less advantaged countries. Its determination can be seen primarily at two levels: First, through a steady increase in its financial contribution to multilateral development programmes since its succession to the United Nations in May 1993; and secondly, through the strengthening of its bilateral cooperation that is characterized by partnership agreements with developing countries and countries in transition. This has been possible thanks to the recently established department that is under the authority of the Head of Government and led by a Plenipotentiary Minister.
Our Government is perfectly aware of the exceptional importance of this international Conference of historical scope and, therefore, we firmly support the Monterrey Consensus adopted this morning, which culminates our work, so that commitments made by our Heads of State or Government at the Millennium Summit can promptly take shape.
A State of modest dimensions facing the sea, the Principality of Monaco is naturally interested in small States, island States, landlocked States and the least-developed countries. While encouraging many non-governmental organizations based in Monaco to do the same and to increase their efforts favouring these States, these organizations, which mostly benefit from steady financial support from our Government, strive primarily to implement, through microcredits, development of microprojects that are well integrated into their environment with specific and concrete objectives and that are accompanied by a simple yet reliable evaluation process.
Because of current financial and economic globalization, our Government is convinced that official development assistance must be accompanied by private investment. That means that in order to attract private investment, we must develop institutions, legal, administrative, scientific and technical establishments in recipient countries, as well as training in various disciplines for men and women in these countries who must tackle the demands of the world economy.
Functional literacy projects, as well as adult education programmes, directed towards meaningful work such as that designed and carried out successfully by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization must be encouraged and understood by companies that invest or that are considering investment in these countries. The prospect that links long-term commitment of donors to improving public affairs management and conclusive results in recipient countries seems to be an interesting approach, as is the proposal to promote trade and financial integration at the regional level with the support of financial institutions and banks in the regions concerned.
Debt is a great concern to the Government of Monaco. In our opinion, it must be a priority issue to be followed up at this Conference, because, if it is not resolved, there can be no hope for the consistent long-term development expected by many countries.
Finally, the Principality of Monaco – and this is a traditional policy of its Princes – is devoted to respect for nature and the great balances within nature. Sustainable development, fully respectful of the environment and natural resources, as well as of the creativity and cultural diversity of peoples - our most authentic asset - is, in our opinion, crucial. The discussion undertaken on the concept of “global public goods” deserves to be followed up and deepened in that spirit.
A maritime State deeply respectful of the sea and the oceans and its flora and fauna, the Principality of Monaco believes that this new concept, as well as that of the common heritage of mankind, which is mentioned in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea with regard to polymetallic seabed resources, should, within a proper legal framework, be able to contribute to protecting world food resources, non-renewable energy reserves and the wealth of the exceptional biodiversity of our planet. As a living, fragile and dependent being whose survival as a species could be endangered by its own behaviour, is it not our duty to pay attention to the very sources of that development, which we wish to correctly ensure today with consistent, long-term financing?
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.