His Excellency Mr. Mubarak Hussein Rahmtalla
I have the honour of making this statement on behalf of the head of the Sudanese delegation, His Excellency Mr. Karamadin Abdelmullah, who left Monterrey three hours ago to go back home.
The Sudanese delegation expresses its gratitude to the President of Mexico for presiding over this important International Conference. We also express our gratitude to the people and Government of friendly Mexico for its hospitality here in this beautiful city and to the Committee and the Bureau elected to facilitate this Conference. We also appreciate the Secretary-Generalís efforts and support for this Conference.
At the outset, the Sudanese delegation wishes to pay tribute to the efforts of the Conference Preparatory Committee, which have gone on for two years, and the positive spirit of negotiation at the final session. Last January, the Sudanese delegation witnessed the results achieved in the Monterrey Consensus.
The Sudan, located in the heart of the African continent and a natural bridge of unity for their people, reiterates once again the determination of African world leaders, when they began the New Partnership for Africaís Development (NEPAD) initiative, not to impose changes on their peoples, to determine their own future and to call on the rest of the world to support their efforts in this context. In the Sudan we know what we must do in order to achieve development in our countries. We must commit to good governance, improving the investment climate and prioritizing human resource investment.
Before the Monterrey Conference, the first investment forum ever held in the Sudan was convened in Khartoum and was hosted by the Sudan. More than 200 people from more than 15 countries, as well as 60 delegations representing regional and international organizations, including the International Monetary Forum and the World Bank, participated in that conference. One of the major outcomes of that conference was the reaffirmation of the importance of the Sudanís investment climate, thanks to the stability achieved by the Government, which also has achieved the greatest level of development and a lower unemployment rate, as well as stability in the exchange rate and legislation beneficial to investors.
These are our commitments and efforts at the national level. Success at that level depends on the role that must be undertaken by developed countries, our partners in development. In this context, we fully agree with the statement of the President of the World Bank, which called on these countries to help developing countries increase their local capacities in the business and private sectors. They must listen to developing countries in order to facilitate the establishment of realistic projects that will lead to real and desired change. Given our conviction that developing countries will not be able to achieve development alone, regardless of their policies, if they do not have access to markets, we feel that development partners, through their determination, must also enhance trade liberalization.
Rich countries must take initiatives to reduce agricultural subsidies in their countries, which reach $350 billion yearly, which is six times the development assistance provided by the rich countries to about 5 billion inhabitants of poor countries. We support Mr. Kofi Annanís initiative for rich countries to increase their official development assistance and to provide from between $40 billion and $60 billion annually in order for us to be able to achieve the millennium goals.
The tragic events of 11 September, which the Sudan has condemned as a criminal terrorist act, and economic recession might not be justification for developing and developed countries not to implement the commitments undertaken at the Millennium Summit and in the Monterrey Consensus. Since the 11 September attacks, people around the world have become convinced, as was stated by Mr. James Wolfsehnson, President of the World Bank Group, that military solutions for combating terrorism are not enough. We must provide people with the hope for a bright tomorrow. We must build a global world community in order for globalization to benefit all of mankind, not only competitive commercial interests.
In conclusion, we hope that the Monterrey Consensus will be a first step in a world partnership for development. Billions of people, particularly those who suffer from disease and poverty, will seek follow-up mechanisms to measure the success of the commitments made at this Conference at all levels.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.