His Excellency Mr. Barrie Ireton
 Minister of State for Finance and Economic Development, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
22nd March 2002

I will indeed be extremely brief. I would just like on behalf of the United Kingdom to make very few points as Monterrey draws to a close. Firstly, perhaps I could say there have been a number of excellent national interventions, and I am sure that if my own Minister, Clare Short were here, or indeed Gordon Brown, our Chancellor, they would have been the first to have applauded the enthusiastic way in which our Dutch colleague encourages all - rich and poor - to live up to Monterrey. 

We believe the Monterrey Consensus is a good one. We endorse it. We think it is a good basis for mobilizing resources, domestic and external, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We must get on with implementation. We need effective monitoring processes, preferably based on the United Nations process of annual reporting on progress towards the MDGs. 

We are determined to press for an early adoption of improved trade regimes based on Doha to allow developing countries to participate in the world economy on fair terms. We think that it is important to find concrete ways of implementing commitments made here and also in the European Union Barcelona conclusions to strengthen the voice of developing countries in the international financial architecture. We will also continue to call for an agreement to release the Fourth Amendment Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation, which would generate additional significant resources for development.

Like others, I would just like to say that we firmly believe that no country seriously committed to poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals, based on sound poverty-reduction strategies and good governance, should be denied the chance of achieving those goals through lack of resources. This was said at Dakar in regard to universal primary education. This commitment goes much further and, I think, reflects the sound nature of the partnership we have forged at Monterrey. It is a challenge for all of us. 

We therefore welcome the commitments made on aid volume from the European Union and also the United States. The United Kingdom itself is committed to substantial increases in aid volume and in its ration of official development assistance to gross national product year to year. We will play our full part in delivering the European Union commitment to produce an additional $7 billion per annum by 2006. We regard this as a very important step towards the 0.7 per cent target.

Finally, may I just say that we need then to use the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to build on what we have achieved here and, at that point, renew our determination to eradicate poverty on a sustainable basis.

* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.

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