His Excellency Mr. Enrique Bolaños Geyer
President of the Republic of Nicaragua

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
21st March 2002

We have come here to make history and we are doing so under difficult circumstances. As a country that receives cooperation, I have come here in hope, and I want to try to make the developed countries aware of the hopes aroused by this Conference on Financing for Development.

Poor countries need cooperation, as do the developed countries. They also need to increase their national security. A horrible, despicable act was committed on 11 September, and I pay tribute to the memory of the victims. 

When we leave this Conference, we will all be winners or losers. Nicaragua has been a model of international solidarity, but that has not been enough. After 10 years of structural adjustment in my country, the results are barely visible. Our people simply cannot stand the pressure any longer. We urge greater cooperation and greater increases in available funding on the basis of the Monterrey Consensus.

It is essential that Nicaragua finally reach the point where the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative is implemented. Our resources must be supplemented in order for us to meet adjustment policies. Then there is the debt problem. What we are getting is too little too late. In addition to cooperation, we need opportunities. We need the chance to sell what we produce on international markets. We have to be able to attract investment. We need a reduction in subsidies, which distort trade.

Democracy is not just the right to vote. It also means giving dignity to those who need it the most. Our people cannot live eating democracy.

In Nicaragua we are working for moral renewal. We have undertaken a campaign to combat public and private corruption. To that end, I have called on civil society vis-à-vis a pluralist national council on social, political and economic issues. A few minutes ago I was told that a Nicaraguan judge had just handed down sentences against three former officials of the previous Government and against three other persons on acts that impoverish our people. The judge has left the case against former President Aleman and eight more officials of the former Government pending.

In order to continue with my “zero tolerance” policy towards corruption, I must return as soon as possible to my country to contribute to justice and transparency in this historical milestone that courageous decision represents.

Public opinion polls have shown the need for greater institutionalization of our electoral system. Our tax system also requires further improvement. I want to suggest that a new agreement be undertaken to establish the rule of law, transparency, combat corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering. I expect to have solidarity and resources from participants so that together we can defeat poverty and create a world in which we can all live in dignity.

Nicaragua also urges the inclusion of the countries such as Republic of China and Taiwan1 that want to be recognized by international organizations and the United Nations system. We welcome the fact that Switzerland has joined the United Nations.

This statement is my modest contribution to this great Conference that seeks to eradicate from the world.

1. The statement has been reproduced as received. The designations employed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities.

* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.

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