Mark Malloch Brown
at the International Conference on Financing for Development
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Colleagues,
We stand at a pivotal moment for development.
Gathered here in Monterrey, we have a real opportunity to forge a new Global Deal, built around a partnership of mutual self-interest aimed at building a safer, more prosperous, and more equitable world for all. A "big bargain" under which sustained political and economic reform to allow higher growth, more social spending, more private investment and better governance by developing countries is matched by direct support from the rich world in the form of the trade, aid and investment that is needed if they are to succeed. And the benchmark for that deal is the Millennium Development Goals.
The Millennium Development Goals are not just idealistic aspirations. They are something new and different: clear, time-bound targets for achieving rapid, measurable improvements in the lives of the world's poorest citizens from putting children in schools, to tackling killer diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, to promoting women's rights to eradicating hunger.
Just as important, they have unprecedented political support: the MDGs were agreed to by 189 countries at the Millennium Summit in New York, making the battle against poverty a collective responsibility to be undertaken by the entire world.
Critically, the goals do not stand in isolation.
They are part of an historic Millennium Declaration which states very clearly how they should be achieved -- on the one hand through a clear commitment by all countries to democracy, human rights and good governance, on the other by constructing a more inclusive globalization that provides developing countries with the support they need to compete on a level playing field.
It hinges on a mutual recognition that there is no substitute for internally-led, bold reform in developing countries. Aid cannot buy answers when governments and their citizens are not ready, or lack the institutions and capacity, to take on change themselves. But nor can developing countries alone, with the terms of the global economy tilted against them, succeed without enlightened, sustained support.
If the Millennium Declaration laid the foundation for this Global Deal, Monterrey is critical to helping us map out how it can be achieved - and giving impetus to the agenda for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg later this year where will work to agree on just what needs to be done to help countries implement the MDGs and sustainable development in practice.
It will not be easy. UNDP's Human Development Report Office calculates that on current trends over 70 countries, a majority in Africa, are likely to fall short in meeting the goals.
But the developing world is not sitting and waiting for help. Initiatives like the New African Partnership for Development show how governments are increasingly building on the promise of the Millennium Declaration, taking responsibility for their own failures and working to address the needs of their citizens directly
The burden is now squarely on the rest of the world to support these
good faith efforts.
First, working with a range of partners across the UN system and beyond, we intend to launch shortly after Monterrey a three pronged strategy encompassing a Millennium Project research initiative to cost the MDGs and develop action plans and partnerships to achieve them, a Millennium Campaign to helps spread awareness and information about them, and Millennium Reports at both global and country levels to monitor progress.
Second, to those countries that currently lack the policy environment
and human capital to use assistance well and will not benefit from a focus
on performance based ODA, we must have a strategy that that starts with
our regular capacity development and policy advice and allows them to get
a first foot on the ladder of results and hence larger aid flows.
In the years to come, our hope is that the Millennium Reports - which are already underway in over a dozen countries - will provide skeptics about aid's effectiveness with measurable benchmarks of progress and campaigners and activists in developed and developing countries the material and analysis to demand that the other end of the deal is upheld.
Because these efforts will at best only be partially successful if we neglect the second half of that "big bargain" : a clear, unambiguous commitment by the rich world to support these good faith efforts through tearing down trade barriers, accelerating debt relief, helping poorer countries raise the domestic resources and private investment they so badly need.
But they cannot do this without generous development assistance as well.
Last week in Washington and Barcelona a historic corner was turned. Leaders
rose to the moment and changed the terms of the debate from rationing declining
ODA among growing needs to a new start: where there is the promise that
serious, proven solutions will find the resources to succeed.
Statements at the Conference