Ms. Beatriz Paredes

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
18th March 2002

On behalf of the Latin American Parliament, the regional body of parliamentarians with observer status in the United Nations and as a Mexican member of the Mexican Congress, I wish to express gratitude for including the opportunity for parliamentarians to express their views within the framework of this very important Conference.

During the segment that calls for the presentation of conclusions of parallel forums that enrich our discussion,  two distinguished Mexican parliamentarians will present the opinions on which we legislators met and jointly agreed.

 I am speaking on behalf of PARLATINO, a regional organization that brings together 22 congresses from many Latin American and Caribbean countries. Why are we holding an International Conference on Financing for Development? Because it is clear that the financing strategies applied thus far are inadequate for resolving the problem of poverty and to fully deploy the productive abilities of all human beings in regions that are viable because of their natural resources and productive infrastructure, and thus in the regions whose precarious nature is a challenge and calls for the solidarity of all countries.

 I wish to emphasize categorically that current financing strategy is not sufficient in order to generate opportunities vital to widespread development that will make it possible to avoid tension and does not endanger stability, which is indispensable in order to promote economic growth.

 I will now move to the conclusions of the forum organized by PARLATINA, and their specific proposals. Among them are granting greater support to the International Conference on Financing for Development, with the hope that this event will help us find common ground to promote the establishment of controls in the international financing system, and, above all, to democratize its decisions, thus supporting the role of the United Nations as the appropriate authority in order to hold an international dialogue designed to perfect the world economic order; highlight the role of the United Nations and encourage that body to continue adopting cooperation schemes that will make it possible to increase and equitably distribute resources for the financing of development.

 We propose the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism for the Conference agreements, which would include representation of parliamentarians, taking into account the role played by national congresses within national budget guidelines and budget guidelines of funding organizations, as well as the ratification of treaties and commitments. We also propose that the institutional framework within which international financial markets operate be perfected; that there be greater participation by developing countries in entities such as the Forum for Financial Stability and the BACILEA Banking Committee; and that measures be proposed that allow greater participation by developing countries in the management of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

 The conditionality practised by the International Monetary Fund should be limited to macroeconomic policies. Macroeconomic efforts must not limit the existence of national policies for promotion and for zero-financing strategies for the poorest sectors of the populations. We propose in particular zero-rate financing that can be combined with the other finance rates for projects carried out by women. Regulatory frameworks that help avoid the volatility of international financial flows should be promoted, as well as mechanisms for regulation and supervision of risk-classification agency practices. Transparent procedures and the application of economic criteria and public knowledge must be guaranteed.

We propose that internationally agreed official development assistance goals be met, and we stress the need to perfect the current norms and procedures for guaranteeing predictable and stable international aid for development. We urge industrialized countries to provide, as soon as possible, the necessary resources to implement the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative that deserve the consensus of these countries.

We propose promotion of the design and the application of norms and procedures that in crises situations will make it possible to extend the payment of external debt. The use of any mediation or, eventually, international arbitration  mechanism in the debt-renegotiation process should be voluntary for affected countries. The use of these mechanisms must be accompanied by full access to emergency funding of the International Monetary Fund and the regular finance instruments of multilateral development banks.

We insist on the need to adjust macroeconomic coordination mechanisms among the most developed economies with the active participation of international organizations in order to prevent the negative impact of economic cycles. We must strengthen the ability of the International Monetary Fund to provide liquidity during times of crisis by improving its credit lines and perfecting contingency credits in order to face instances of contagion. For all that, necessary measures must be adopted for there to be real international support, and capacities for generating resources through the admission of special drawing rights for countries vulnerable to crisis must be expanded. We of the Latin American Parliament express our solidarity with the people of Argentina in their search for alternatives to overcome their economic crisis.

We highlight the important role played by multilateral banks in financing for development, thus highlighting the need for continued renewed support of the international community in order to guarantee long-term financing and the granting of emergency resources of an anti-cyclical nature. We must also promote access of developing countries to capital markets, the spread of international gains and guarantees for investment.

We propose that the agenda of financing for development be accompanied by an agenda that will make it possible to move towards the establishment of a multilateral trade system that will be stable, predictable, non-discriminatory and equitable. In this regard, it is important to caution that the developed countries should continue to maintain protectionist schemes that affect particular agricultural exports, as well as some labour-intensive industries.

It is important to conclude by saying that, if the main objective of financing is not the development of our societies and is a lever for speculation and concentration of income, then the general model of development in the world is in danger, and along with it, universal peace.

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

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