H.E. Mr. Luís Amado
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
22nd. March, 2002

Mr. Chairman (President Fox) 


Distinguished Delegates Ladies and Gentleman

I am deeply honored to represent my country - Portugal - in this historic Summit in Monterrey.

My first word is one of gratitude to the United Nations, to the Government of Mexico, to all participating delegations and to those who have worked over the past few years towards this Summit.

From the beginning, Portugal has been deeply involved in the preparatory work. In particular at the level of the European Union, we have sought over the past few years to contribute towards strengthening the development policy as a whole. We believe deeply that the dimension and nature of the challenges we face requires the concerted action of all of us, rather than isolated or individual initiatives.

We are, therefore, proud of the commitments established at the recent European Council in Barcelona which was yesterday formerly announced to this Conference by the current President of the European Union, José Maria Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain.

The Barcelona Commitment renews, for the European Union, the commitments that many member states had already made in the past in international fora. However, many countries, including my own, have unfortunately not been able to deliver on these commitments.

It has not been easy for many, including my own country, to take on higher budgetary commitments given the economic slowdown and public spending pressures.

The Barcelona commitment, therefore, shows that there is now a new and deep understanding of the critical dimension of poverty and its impact on peace and stability. Nowadays, in Europe, as in much of the developed world, there is a clear recognition that our current levels of well-being are unsustainable side by side with current levels of poverty and misery.

The tragic events of September 11th have clearly shown that the marginalization of large regions of the globalized world condemns millions of human beings to extreme misery and produces political tension. Today, global injustices are feeding dangerous resentments that sooner or later we will have to face.

In this context, the Monterrey Conference will certainly become the historical reference point in the process of reorganization of the international system required by the new conditions which result from the end of the Cold War and are imposed by globalization.

Under the heading of financing for development, what is at stake is a yet open-ended discussion concerning a new development agenda.

This new agenda must respond to the challenges and goals of the Millennium Declaration. We must all commit ourselves to these goals.

The Millennium Development Goals have to be perceived in their political dimension. We all know that to achieve these goals, more resources from public and private sources are required. But above all, political willingness and determination at all levels, both in rich and poor countries, are also required.

This is the true challenge of a new partnership for development. The Monterrey Consensus and the undeniable success of this Conference have definitely brought development to the forefront of the international political agenda.

I believe this new partnership could evolve around four main pillars.

First, political responsibility. We must all be able to assume our responsibilities, at the international and national levels, both as developed and developing countries. This responsibility translates into the fulfillment of commitments and the respect for principles and values that underlie the new partnership.

This takes me to the second pillar: trust. There is no partnership that will ever survive a lack of trust, resentment and doubt between partners.

We need to deepen and consolidate a new relationship of trust based upon clear principles of sovereign equality and respect. This new partnership must once and for all put to rest the colonial paradigm that still shapes our relationship.

This new partnership should overcome the mistrust caused by continuous rhetoric without concrete action. The mistrust nurtured by corruption, violation of human rights, mismanagement, which unfortunately still prevail in some regions.

The Monterrey Consensus and the commitments embedded therein are an excellent contribution for a new spirit of trust and confidence among all of us.

The third pillar refers to leadership. The Millennium Declaration sets political objectives that require strong political leadership at the national and international level.

Here at Monterrey, development became the center of the international agenda, contributing decisively to the mobilization of public opinion and political leaders.

Recent decisions by the European Union and the United States are an important step in the right direction.

A strong leadership of developing countries is also needed to set and implement the priorities and policies that are appropriate to each country.

In this context, I would like to stress the high expectations that NEPAD has created as an expression of a new attitude and political will that is sweeping through Africa.

Finally, the new partnership for peace and development must also include the strengthening and improvement of the development system. Here at Monterrey, many and constructive suggestions were made. We need a more democratic system where the voice of the poor is heard.

We must ensure the complementarity of the institutions involved and their effective coordination. We must seek the effective coordination of all partners. The system should be capable of promoting and creating greater coherence across the several dimensions of development.

Responsibility, trust, leadership and organization are the four pillars of the new agenda and partnership for development.

The Monterrey Conference is a decisive contribution to this process.

Thank you Mr. President.

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