His Excellency Mr. Alejandro Toledo Manrique
President of the Republic of Peru

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
21st March 2002

Poverty prevents the true exercise of free government and conspires against democracy and the sustained growth of our peoples. Poverty conspires against democracy. In recent months, we have discussed the relationship between national responsibility and multilateral responsibility in the search for a financial and trade system that is better structured, which should be the basis for the sustainable development of the poor countries in the world.

From the standpoint of the Peruvian experience, I can tell participants now that we can assume our internal responsibility to financially re-engineer structures that will enable us to reallocate resources to social investment. In specific terms, this year Peru has just reallocated a decrease of 20 per cent of defence costs, redirecting them towards investment in health and education. We are working with our neighbours, our brother and sister countries, to reduce progressively military costs and to make space to redirect public investment towards social investment. We are designing new financial mechanisms to benefit small- and medium-size enterprises, which are the ones that are generating productive work and offer new opportunities to the poor.

However, this is not enough. National responsibility requires a multilateral space that should be of use to us all. Hence, we firmly back the proposal for a new global alliance that will enable us to give impetus to financing for development and combating poverty in the most effective manner possible. This alliance must affirm a more equitable trade structure that is open to goods from developing countries, building on the Doha Ministerial Declaration. It must ensure that international capital flows do not destabilize small countries. It must also establish an international mechanism of payment maintenance for countries with liquidity problems and with due safeguards for creditors and debtors alike.

The aim is that globalization and competition have a human face, that globalization be an integrating, rather than an excluding, reality, that it significantly narrow the economic gaps between our countries, and that it make nations sustainably governable. Hence, my country welcomes our goal of signing a Declaration at this meeting, which means a new step in that global alliance. Let us sign that alliance with conviction and let us move as soon as possible to the implementation stage.

Participants are aware that global security is inextricably linked with the health of the world economy. Insecurity and the sinister role played therein by terrorism must be confronted. Terrorism sows violence and intolerance. It prefers death to life. It generates distrust and uncertainty. Speaking of development is also speaking of a firm struggle against terrorism in which the world has to be increasingly united.

Just a few hours ago, my country was struck by a new cowardly terrorist attack. Eight human lives have been sacrificed and 30 men and women are struggling between life and death right now. That is the result of an attack of obscure origin that seeks to strike the effort of a people that wants to reconstruct its democracy and walk unambiguously towards development.

Peru is familiar with the bloody consequences of terrorism. It has paid for it with 25,000 lives and many millions of dollars. It was that experience that led us to adopt a firm stand of immediate rejection of the attacks of 11 September in the United States. That conviction has led us to submit a draft to the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, which is being discussed in the Organization of American States.

We are making a firm contribution to the fight against that global threat, but I should say here that Peru, my Government and the courageous Peruvian people would not allow terrorism to be reborn in Peru. We shall be very firm with our punishment and with the law. We will fully apply the law. Peru has been and is a peaceful country and it will continue to be so. I will not rest in this endeavour, and I know that I can count on the support and cooperation of participants.

I apologize for interrupting my participation at this important world Conference because my responsibility compels me to be with my people in these difficult times.

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

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