H.E. Mr. Shaukat Aziz
Finance Minister of Pakistan

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development 

Monterrey, Mexico
21 March 2002

Mr. President, 
Distinguished Delegates, 
Ladies & Gentlemen!

At the outset I would like to convey to all the distinguished delegates the warm greetings and good wishes of President General Pervez Musharraf whose vision of a modern, dynamic and economically vibrant Pakistan will play its due role in creating a peaceful, stable and prosperous world -
a world free from hunger, deprivation, and poverty. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Government of Mexico for their warm hospitality and making excellent arrangements for this Conference.

Mr. President,

  1. We have gathered here in Monterrey to initiate a process of genuine partnership between all stakeholders in pursuit of our shared goal of eradicating poverty, achieving sustained economic growth and building a fairer and more equitable global economic system.
  1. The existence of widespread poverty in the midst of global prosperity is undeniably the most serious challenge confronting the world today. Regrettably, we have viewed poverty thus far, in the context of income poverty alone. We believe that poverty should be viewed in a holistic manner. Lack of education, basic health facilities, safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter, rule of law, access to justice, public representation and participation in addition to low income, give rise to the feelings of human deprivation, resulting in extreme behaviour which can threaten global peace and prosperity. The challenge before the world is, therefore, to fight human deprivation by taking a broad-based view of poverty.

Mr. President,

  1. Official Development Assistance (ODA) remains an essential supplement to domestic resource mobilization for low-income countries. The present level of ODA is lower than what is required to fight poverty and human deprivation. Furthermore, not only have ODA flows declined over the years, the transaction costs of aid delivery have tended to rise inexorably, thereby eroding the effectiveness of aid. Should we allow the present state of affairs to continue? The answer, Mr. President, is certainly no. There is a clear need to increase the quantum, quality, and effectiveness of aid for eradicating poverty and human deprivation, achieving sustained economic growth and promoting sustainable development. Mr. President, we are already witnessing some positive developments. We welcome the initiatives of the European Union countries for agreeing to raise their ODA contribution to 0.7% of GNP in phased manner. This is a major development, which should be welcomed by all the stakeholders. The recent announcement by the United States to increase their development assistance by 50 percent is yet another significant development which will encourage other donors to follow suit. However, we believe that much more needs to be done to bridge the poverty gap which in many cases exists because of lack of adequate and timely flows of economic assistance. At the same time the effectiveness of aid should be measured by outcomes and not necessarily by the quantum of aid. We do recognize that ODA alone is not the only funding source available; equal importance needs to be given by the host countries by creating an enabling environment to promote private capital flows.

Mr. President,

  1. We believe aid should not be used as permanent crutch but as a means to allow the recipient countries to stand on their own feet. Raising the effectiveness of aid through creating a sound environment, an appropriate framework for investment, initiating structural reform, ensuring good governance, achieving high standards of transparency, eliminating corruption and involving civil society is the prime responsibility of developing countries. They should learn to walk on their own but need assistance to get there. Both donors and recipients need to share a common goal i.e. improving the lot of humanity and aid recipients should be driven by the motto "help us to help ourselves". Aid recipients and donors should be partners in development and the recipients should not be dependent on donors forever.
Mr. President,
  1. Debt relief is an integral part of a comprehensive concept of poverty reduction. It has a critical role to play in helping poor countries attain sustainable growth and development. While we welcome the significant progress achieved so far in implementing the Enhanced HIPC initiative, it is equally essential to evolve an effective mechanism for managing debt overhang of heavily indebted non-HIPC countries that are willing to redirect savings on debt service payment for human development, improving social indicators and governance. Countries who are currently making efforts to reform their econcunies but are loaded with huge debt overhang need substantial debt relief to finance credible and home grown reform programmes. Meaningful and substantial debt relief will, therefore, go a long way in helping countries who are trying to help themselves.

Mr. President,

  1. Trade is an important source of growth, employment, and poverty reduction. It is also the single most important external source of financing development. Active promotion of trade in developing countries could boost economic growth, generate employment, and reduce poverty. Increased market access is an effective way for developing countries to reach sustainability. Developing countries need a level playing field with all other market players thus encouraging market based competition and helping producers and consumers alike. Every extra dollar of exports from a developing country feeds a poor family and builds a better future for them.

Mr. President,

  1. Fighting corruption at the global level is high on the agenda of the international community. In many countries higher incidence of poverty and poor governance is linked to high levels of corruption. The war against corruption needs to be globally coordinated and bad money should not find a safe haven anywhere. More concrete global action is needed to curb money laundering, flight of capital, tax evasion and illegal payments by bidders on Government contracts.
Mr. President,
  1. We have embarked on a journey at the Millennium Summit to fight poverty and build a partnership for sustainable development. Shared goals and vision of a better future will get a further impetus as a result of the Monterrey Conference. We now need follow up and serious implementation on part of all the stakeholders. Pakistan has actively participated, through our Permanent Representative at the UN as Co-Chair of the Preparatory Committee leading to the Monterrey Consensus. We remain committed to working with all those present here towards creating a world free of hunger, poverty, deprivation and inequity - a world which offers hope, and a world we will all be proud to bequeath to our future generations.
Thank you, Mr. President.

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