Mr. Anton Rop
Minister of Finance and Head of the Delegation

at the International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
18th-22nd March 2002

Mr. Chairman, 
Distinguished Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen!

The state of globalization and deep developmental disparities clearly show the unsustainability of an integrated but divided world in which poverty is its most brutal manifestation. But at the same time, it provides the opportunity to reach out and overcome the problems of the most needed. That is why Slovenia attributes great importance to this conference for creating a new partnership and for strengthening international cooperation for development.
This conference is the opportunity to assess the implementation gap between our actions and international commitments in order to enhance consistency and accountability for our own decisions. This is directed to donors of financial development cooperation as well as to recipients and to those of us who are transiting in between the two. The outcome of this conference must be a clear commitment in the spirit of new partnership towards mobilization of resources and for providing a supportive national and international environment for development.

Mr. Chairman:
In the run to this Conference we have witnessed an exchange of views upon the effectiveness of development assistance. We know that there have been positive and negative experiences from which we should learn to streamline our future cooperation. However, it is also true that development assistance has a catalytic and supportive role for development efforts. Our experience as a recipient and our limited history as an emerging donor is reassuring us of the important role of international cooperation for development. We believe that if we fully commit to implement the Monterrey Consensus and strengthen the multilateral channel and the way in which international cooperation is provided, we will enhance the effectiveness of ODA. Falling short of Monterrey commitments will result in not meeting the agreed millennium development goals.

Mr. Chairman:
Slovenia is an emerging donor country. It began its graduation process at the World Bank as the first of the CEE countries, not so long ago: in 1999. The evolving role of Slovenia from recipient to donor country has been constrained by the still limited but expanding national capacity to provide financing and technical assistance. The focus of our contribution has been primarily to support the development and peace process in South East Europe. We are convinced, as the progress of peace consolidation in the region has started to render positive results, that peace and development are mutually supportive.
Slovenia is assuming an active role within the Stability Pact for SEE; we are engaged on various projects covering mainly capacity-building and building institutional infrastructure. In our development financing effort we have been aiming at involving the private sector, which also responded favourably by tripling outward Slovenian FDI in the region. The international cooperation effort to which we have contributed has restored growth, increased trade and stimulated foreign direct investment flows in the region.
Mr. Chairman:
A supportive global environment is a critical component for fostering a sustained development effort; we have to ensure full implementation of the commitments made in Doha. We believe that free trade is critical to enhance developing countries' ability to finance their own development. Slovenia on its own also has free trade agreements with countries in the region, which have proven to be highly beneficial to all parties.
Even though Slovenia has focused its contribution for development within the region, we have also committed our development assistance through various international financial institutions and multilateral organizations. We have joined important international initiatives including the Global Environment Facility where the Slovenian Government will contribute to its third replenishment; similarly we have contributed to the African Program for river blindness.
Mr. Chairman:
Throughout this week we have repeatedly heard two words: commitment and implementation. In order to truly link them we need to build further on the momentum reached here in Monterrey. This Conference has served to revive our commitments to development cooperation. But we have to continue: for us in Slovenia it means to continue implementing sound economic policies, further mobilize our internal resources for development financing and in the medium term transcend the regional context.
Within donor countries, implementing Monterrey, besides creating an enabling international environment, should also imply commitment to build awareness and national consensus on the importance of development cooperation. A special emphasis must be placed on the fact that ODA is not charity but funds committed for mutual benefit among equals to preserve well-being and peaceful coexistence of the human race.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman!

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