His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Sofan
Minister of Planning for Development, Republic of Yemen

at the 
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico 
22nd March 2002

The delegation of the Republic of Yemen agrees in general with the principles, ideas and measures contained in the Monterrey Consensus document, including those related to justice, solidarity and shared responsibility, as well as the recognition of diverse national cultural circumstances and the independence of economic policies and national development strategies.

We also agree that we must pool our resources and release our political will by committing ourselves to achieving the objectives of international development, on the basis of a new partnership between developed and developing countries. Our countries must adopt the right policies by pooling domestic resources and attracting international flows that encourage international trade as an engine for development. We must also increase international cooperation, financing and technical cooperation for development, cancelling foreign debt and improving the international fiscal, financial and trade systems.

We affirm our recognition of the main responsibility of social, economic and national development and the priority roles of national policies and development strategies. But at the same time, we must recognize interdependence between domestic economies and the international economy in a way that reinforces the determination of partners for development to provide a propitious economic environment and development frameworks at the regional level.

The set of challenges engendered by globalization is so complicated that we can take measures only at the national level. It has also become clear that our national efforts require a complimentary international economic environment. As I said, that demonstrates the interdependence between the national and international economies. A comprehensive approach is required to face these interdependent challenges, particularly in financing for development.

As participants know, Yemen is one of the least developed countries. Therefore, it is pursuing a process of comprehensive development under very difficult circumstances because of the scarcity of resources that are necessary to finance development. It is doing this with a view to allocating development financing for investment to support an infrastructure for expenditure in the service sector, where greater expenditure was required after the Yemeni union in 1990. 

The Government is pursuing a comprehensive policy for development in all economic, social and political spheres. Our national economic reform programme in the areas of finance and cooperation with international institutions is six years old. Reform measures for restructuring and financial stability are aimed at reducing the budget deficit by providing the necessary currencies and moving investments. In this regard, we have adopted legislation on investment and regulations that ensure a smooth process for investors. Much commercial legislation has already entered into force.

Yemen awaits full membership in the World Trade Organization, having satisfied all the necessary conditions for it. We are now pooling our resources for development domestically and in cooperation with our partners at the bilateral and multilateral levels. It is also worth noting that among the more important development objectives for our Government are those related to combating poverty, in keeping with the objectives of the Millennium Declaration. Yemen will become the first country in the Middle East and Africa to issue, at the end of March 2002, the first poverty reduction strategy, which will improve the living standards of the entire population, as well as human resource and development programmes.

Yemen has adopted a governance approach based on democracy and respect for human rights. Our system is based on political pluralism and development of greater political participation in decision-making. Parliamentary elections are held at the governorate and provincial levels, and we have adopted decentralization measures. The first elections in that regard have been held.

In accordance with our Presidentís instructions, I wish to highlight here a new policy adopted by the Government of Yemen, on two of the most important issues of this Conference: corruption and good governance.

In conclusion, holding this Conference following major preparatory efforts and the important political document representing the universal response to challenges of financing for development is only an initial step on the road to strengthening international cooperation for development and the mobilization of resources needed by developing countries to join the globalized international economy.

Achieving the objectives of the Monterrey Consensus will be possible only through exercising determination and political will. This will provide impetus to multilateral and international cooperation for development, lead to the stability and prosperity of peoples and ensure international peace and security. I wish the Conference every success.

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

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