A d d r e s s


H.E. Mr. Ivan  M  i  k  l  o  š
Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic
Head of Delegation

at the UN Conference „Financing for Development“

 Friday 22nd March 2002, Monterrey (Mexico)

Excellency, Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to address on behalf of the Slovak Republic our Conference, an unique gathering in which for the first time in the history of United Nations all aspects of financing for development are explored in a coherent way. The presence of all stakeholders in the financing of development around the world, including representatives of civil society and business sector, gives our assembly an utmost capacity and responsibility to handle eradication of poverty, nowadays recognised as a crucial part of our common responsibility for destiny of the globe.

The international community has changed since the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 set up the development goals to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development. In the climate of solidarity created after September 11 tragic events, our clear support for strengthened co-operation that is a precondition sine qua non of peaceful interrelations and mutual security, must lead our states to firm actions which requires implementation of noble Agenda for development.

The world entered into the 21st century keenly aware of the pace of change. We should all change our behaviour. Much has been shaped by globalisation. However, foundation of further global economic and social progress must be primarily based on continued efforts at national levels. Discussion here proofed that thanks coherence in economic and social policies, number of middle-income developing countries apparently benefit from increased flows of private capital, thereby compensating decline in official aid recorded in the course of last decade.

Our task is, therefore, the issue of extreme poverty, actually increasing in nearly every part of the globe.  Moreover, 74 countries, i.e. more than one-third of the world’s population, are not on track to meet the poverty reduction goals. In this context we welcome the significant unilateral initiatives of the United States and the European Union and other important donors which come as a result of awareness of global interdependence, thereby emphasising peace, security and development concerns, including environment, human rights and governance.

The Slovak Republic shares with international community the objectives of the Millennium Development Agenda. Although the status of the “country with economy in transition” still allows us to benefit from the assistance, we have already started to define our development policies to respond on objectives enshrined in Millennium Development Goals. As an advanced candidate country for joining the Trans-Atlantic political, security and economic structures, we are ready to assume more visible contribution, though limited from the beginning, for mobilising own domestic financial resources in order to fulfil global development goals.

We declare our full support to the objectives of the Conference to give an impetus on further development assistance flows. Aftermath of the Conference, the Slovak Government will discuss the commitment for financing for development which will reach from current level 0.04 % of GNP in 2002 the level of 0.125 % of GNP around 2010.

Our transformation experience shows that aid without trade may not ensure the equitable development path. Multilateral rules-based trade system and reduction of trade barriers must serve as a natural impetus for development. Promising results of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, which succeeded to tackle major concerns and expectations of the developing countries committed to rules-based trading principles, provided for tangible contribution to preparation of the „Development round from Doha“, launched last month in Geneva.

To meet the Global Development goals via mobilising and increased use of public and private financial resources, a firm partnership between developed and developing countries is inevitable. It should ensure that sound policies, solid democratic structures, respect to rules of law and „good governance“ practices at national levels are in place and properly implemented.

Compromising these elements, prospects for sustained results and visible progress in the development agenda might be delayed. Only a firm subscription to coherence in our deliberations and actions may indeed guarantee meeting reiterated commitments initially adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.

Excellency, Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We hope that the favourable climate, which governs in the Conference, altogether with a hospitable reception offered by the hosting country, Mexico, will be also translated into successful outcome of our historical gathering.

Thank you very much for your attention.