H.E. Dr. Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi
EXCELLENCIES HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENTS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
I wish to join the preceding speakers in congratulating Your Excellency, Mr. President Fox, the people of Mexico and of Monterrey city, in particular, for hosting this important event.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Mozambique, His Excellency Joaquim Alberto Chissano, I would like to express our sincere thanks for the invitation extended to us to participate in this conference. Allow me to seize this occasion to express my satisfaction for the selection of Mexico to host the V WTO Ministerial Conference in 2003. We therefore welcome the decision by WTO member states to double the target for a new global Trust Fund with a view to boosting technical assistance and helping developing countries to increase their participation in the multilateral trading system in the light of the Doha Development agenda.
This conference constitutes a new and unique opportunity to develop a new paradigm for international co-operation. A paradigm that allows a just sharing of the benefits of globalisation to all nations and remove the poor nations from their present marginal role into active players in the process.
For the first time, Heads of State and Government, the United Nations
System, International financial and monetary institutions, WTO, business
We came to Monterrey to reaffirm the need for a comprehensive approach to the issue of financing for development, an approach which must include a genuine partnership among all stakeholders involved in the development process. A partnership based on solidarity and mutual trust among all parties. A partnership founded on reciprocal benefits.
We all have to contribute to make the right to development a reality for all and set humanity free from the scourge of famine, diseases, and ultimately poverty. In this way we will be contributing to a lasting international peace, stability and security.
When we adopted by consensus the Millennium Declaration, we set specific development targets namely to reduce by half the percentage of people living under absolute poverty by the year 2015; allow children -girls and boys- all over the world to have equal access to education; to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and child mortality, under the age of five, by two thirds; revert the present trend of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other endemic diseases; we have to admit that we need to act now. We need to take concrete action that translate our political commitments into deeds.
Over the past two decades or so the international community launched a serial of initiatives aimed at narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Most of these commitments remained to be implemented. In recent years we adopted the Plan of Action for the LDCs, the Doha Development Agenda and the Cotonou Agreement, which are commendable endeavours that still need fine tuning to make them work for the poor.
Access to markets is one of those aspects that needs to be fine tuned. In a situation where developed countries' subsidies to agriculture amount to 350 billion US dollars per year, how can LDCs' agricultural products compete in the international market?
The external debt crisis, particularly in the Highly Indebted Poor Countries has led us to the conclusion that this issue requires additional efforts, including the speeding up of the implementation mechanisms. We welcome the efforts by developed countries, in particular by the G8, to enhance the HIPC initiative, notwithstanding we call for such initiative to be more extensive and comprehensive, without rigid and fatal conditions.
We also welcome initiatives to provide additional support to countries exposed to natural disasters. In the case of Mozambique, the impact of natural disasters has worsened the vulnerability of the country and negatively affected the results of the economic reforms undertaken by the government.
To revert the negative and unsustainable situation in which the majority of the world population live, particularly in Africa, it is imperative to reform the international economic environment and allow the inflow to developing countries of additional untied financial resources.
We reiterate our call on the developed countries to honour their commitment to allocate 0,7% of their GNP to ODA of which between 0.15-0.20% to the Least Developed Countries. We commend those countries that have achieved even exceeded these targets and urge those who have committed themselves to achieve the objectives. Failing to achieve these targets will undoubtedly lead us to greater tragedies.
We believe that the responsibility for economic and social development lies primarily on each country. The promotion of good governance, sound economic policies, the rule of law, the respect for human rights, transparency in the decision making process and the priority assigned to combating poverty are fundamental principles for the success of any national development plan or program.
However, good governance at the national, regional and international levels, must be pursued in an equally reinforcing manner so as to sustain dialogue, transparency, equality and equity, essential factors for economic growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development.
It is our conviction that the effective interaction of all sources of
finance, namely the mobilisation of domestic resources, ODA, international
Ownership of the economic and social development process and mobilisation of resources are critical elements that need to be complemented by more flexible mechanisms of channeling financial resources. Yet, as our experience has shown, one US Dollar of unconditioned aid has more value than two or more dollars of conditioned aid.
In Mozambique, 70% of the population live bellow absolute poverty line. Therefore, the Government adopted a Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (PRSP) for the Period 2001-2005, aiming at reducing absolute poverty indicators by 10%.
This Plan is founded on the basic principle of ensuring peace, stability and development. It defines actions in the following priority areas:
HIV/AIDS is a major challenge for economic and social development of Mozambique. Cognisant of this fact, the Government adopted a National Strategic Plan directed to prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS negative impact in the society. This Plan places the human being at the center of action, in particular the most vulnerable groups of the society, including women, orphan children, youths, and girls.
At the continental level, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) creates an adequate framework to lead the continent out of the poverty cycle, laying the foundations for a true sustainable development.
Based on national and regional priorities, as well as in the making of development plans through a participatory process NEPAD intends to establish a renewed agenda for the development of the African continent.
At the sub-regional level Mozambique is part of the Indicative Strategic Plan for Regional Development designed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) aiming at enhancing Southern Africa's development in the next decade.
Allow me to conclude by indicating that it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize the undeniable fact that the peoples around the world, in particular in the developing countries, look forward with great expectations to the deliberations of this conference.
The Monterrey Consensus before us provides and excellent framework for launching concerted efforts in the field of financing for development. The key to success in this endeavour is the adoption of effective implementation and follow-up measures within the appropriate mechanisms. This requires a strong and determined political will.
We must not let this consensus become another dead letter. We must live up to commitments we are talking today in order to meet our peoples' hopes and aspirations.
Statements at the Conference