Mr. Natividad Gonzales Paras
The African Interparliamentary Union and the International Interparliamentary Union met to discuss and approve a special declaration to be presented on this occasion. I shall therefore give you the highlights of this declaration.
We international parliamentarians consider that the great objective of nations is to eradicate poverty, create a world economic system that is more inclusive, balanced and equitable and reverse the increasing gap that separates industrialized countries from developing countries or economies in transition. The structural reforms, which have increased in recent decades through legislative authorities, have helped improve the macroeconomic variables, in many cases reducing the indices of inflation and public debt.
But they have not led to an increase in the standards of living of the population, or greater generation of work, and competitive or productive systems. On the contrary, in many countries the gap in income distribution has become more polarized and public debt has increased, which endangers political and economic stability in the future.
The processes of globalization and the gradual opening of borders have meant that developing countries and national groups have lost their leadership in strategic sectors of national life owing to, among other reasons, problems in gaining access to competitive financing given the capital of transnational corporations. For these reasons and others – which are expressed in a document that we parliamentarians, democratically elected representatives, have prepared - we advocate the adoption of the following measures:
In the national framework, we advocate the establishment of efficient and equitable fiscal systems that contribute to a fairer distribution of income and the strengthening of internal consumption and capacity and accessible regimes for credit that support small- and medium-size enterprises. Public policies that take into account diversity and gender and support vulnerable groups should be established. We support the promotion of national participation and national interests in productive investment and economic policies to increase social productivity and efficiency and combat corruption. We also support the proper channelling of resources for training.
Within the international framework, we are for equitable access for developing countries or countries with economic problems to international resources, which would allow industrialized countries to increase their official development assistance to 0.7 per cent. Secondly, granting education as a way of combating poverty, broadening opportunities and promoting economic growth should be one of the highest priorities. Thirdly, we advocate the establishment of financial support that would make it possible to administer and reduce the external debt of developing countries, and more transparent criteria and practices for renegotiating debt. Fourthly, we favour the development of regulatory frameworks and transparent procedures, which would contribute, as the chairman of the Latin American parliament pointed out, to preventing the volatility of private capital flows and risk as well as information systems on international resources for financial aid that all countries can have equal access to. Fifthly, international economic and financial bodies should be adapted to the needs of an increasingly unequal and interdependent world. Sixthly, international trade should be transformed into a true engine for development, which, through proper laws and policies, would avoid protectionist practices and prevent crises and distortions that limit the equitable development of countries and the international community.
The representatives of the parliamentary forums of the world - at which legislators take part in building the constitutional reforms or frameworks in our countries, determining public budgets and approving international treaties and conventions, among other important duties – are making a commitment to undertake concerted action in order to provide a follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus and promote with our framework the implementation of the conference resolutions, which coincide with the viewpoints we have expressed. This proposal will also be made public in the plenary meeting of Heads of States.
But we know that the ministers and the institutions represented here play a key role in national Governments and in the international community. Therefore, we urge you to consider our concerns and proposals. With the same spirit, we feel it is fitting to reaffirm our conviction that in the beginning of this new century and millennium, we must all make a commitment to proceed to the reform of the United Nations system with a new international architecture that is more efficient, democratic and just. Let the spirit of freedom, pluralism and international solidarity - which has protected our city of Monterrey, with its history, its people and its mountains - move our nations and humanity towards a better era.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.