Mr. Seiichi Kondo 
Deputy Secretary-General 
of the Organization for the Economic 
Cooperation and Development

at the

International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico
18th March 2002

1. I welcome this opportunity to speak to you today, because this conference focuses on one of the most important issues for the new millennium: financing for development throughout the world. Certainly money will be needed to turn the tide against poverty and achieve the goals of the Millennium Declaration, but good policies and sound institutions are equally important. This conference has the potential to play a major role in achieving these goals, by providing a springboard for effective initiatives by all major players, or stakeholders, to tackle the very real problems of development.

2. The Monterrey consensus document may not provide attention-grabbing headlines, but it nevertheless provides a vital platform for progress for many reasons: it provides a shared view of the responsibility and mutual accountability of all countries -- developed and developing alike -to work to end poverty and achieve economic, social and environmental progress. It provides important recognition of the need for developing countries to take their destiny into their own hands, for example, as NEPAD is doing. This is essential for development to take off in any country. It also recognizes the importance of mobilizing the private sector as a source of domestic and international financing. At the same time, this engagement of the developing countries throws out a challenge to the developed world: to provide support for economic reform, capacity building, increasing aid flows and making them more effective, and removing barriers to market-based growth. This challenge must be met.

3. The OECD very much welcomes and is committed to building upon this shared development paradigm. Our Convention calls upon the OECD to "promote policies designed to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development." Given increased global interdependence, this priority is even more vital today. OECD values -- commitments to democratic, market-based economies with good governance, and open, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory trading and financial systems -- are essential to economic development not only for OECD countries, but globally.

4. But we all recognise that achieving these goals will not be easy.

5. What needs to be done, then? As I see it, there is potentially enough capital, goods, knowledge and technology for the development of the entire world. Our challenge is to overcome barriers and impediments to mobilising them for developing countries in sufficient volumes needed to overcome persistent poverty. I would cite four particular needs:

    1. To build capacity in the developing world to mobilise and assemble these factors efficiently. This requires not only the meeting of  basic human needs, such as food, water, shelter, and education. But it also calls for the development of entrepreneurial skills, and good governance, including sound institutions and markets.
    1. Second, to remove trade distorting measures that still exist. Such measures have negative effects that significantly exceed the value of aid flows.

    3. Third, to strengthen policy coherence of development-related policies. Certainly aid and development co-operation policies are important. But they do not and cannot operate in a vacuum. What is crucial to their effectiveness and impact is how they link up with and support the actions and efforts of other policy communities in both developed and developing countries. Some figures help to illustrate this point: Official development assistance in the year 2000 totalled 50 billion US dollars. Developing countries' cumulative benefits from more open trade (from removal of barriers to access and from greater productivity) if realised; are estimated in the order of 500 billion. And foreign direct investment to the developing countries totalled 120 billion in 2000. If the development, trade and investment policy communities were able to better link up their policies in mutually reinforcing ways, the contribution to development and to meeting the development goals of the Millennium Declaration would be vastly superior.

    5. Fourth, to enhance partnerships among all stakeholders -- states, business, civil society and international organisations -- to ensure that we can move forward in mutually accountable ways.

6. The OECD is committed to doing its part to address these issues and contribute to the achievement of the MDGs. These issues will be major subjects of discussion at the OECD's annual Ministerial meeting in May, where we expect to set the broad lines of OECD's development agenda for the years to come. Key actions to be addressed include strengthening the development dimension of OECD work, and showing how we will contribute to capacity building, improvements in OECD countries' own development-related policies, overall policy coherence for development, and the initiation of mutually accountable approaches to working in partnership. Let me be more specific about five such OECD actions for development:

  1. Our Development Assistance Committee provides a forum for the world's major bilateral aid donors to address issues related to the need for increased aid volumes, quality and effectiveness. The DAC is currently working to harmonise donor practices and ensure implementation of its Recommendation on Untying of ODA to the Least-Developed Countries. The DAC has also recently issued guidelines on poverty reduction, strengthening trade capacity, sustainable development and helping to prevent violent conflict.

  3. We are committed to the objective of sustainable development. We are working to develop indicators to measure progress in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and to incorporate them into the peer reviews conducted in OECD. We intend to make a major contribution to Johannesburg, through a report that builds upon an intensive, three- year programme of OECD work in this area.
  1. We have begun to strengthen multidisciplinary work on the interlinkages between trade, agriculture, investment, environment and development policies, including the launching of a project on policy coherence for development. OECD analysis and policy dialogue can help increase understanding of the trade-offs involved and synergies that can be achieved through a more coherent approach to sectoral policies that have impacts on both developed and developing countries.
  1. We are expanding our work to support capacity building for trade and more broadly to help developing countries to build the institutional and market infrastructure through policies and conditions necessary to achieve sustained growth. We also are working to create an "International Taxation Dialogue", in co-operation with the World Bank and IMF, and we would welcome UN involvement in this initiative to support international cooperation and build capacity on tax matters.
  1. We have strengthened policy dialogue with some 70 non-OECD countries, for example, through ongoing regional Roundtables on corporate governance; regional networks to fight against corruption, building on the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention; and Global Forums on such issues as competition, investment, trade, taxation and sustainable development.
7.  But the OECD does not pretend to have all the answers. We have much to gain and to learn by listening to all of you throughout this very rich programme of events at Monterrey. And we look forward to continuing and strengthening the dialogue so that we may all learn from each other about how to ensure that globalisation can be of benefit to us all.

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