Mrs. Jelica Mimic,
Assistant Minister For Foreign Affairs Of The Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia
At The International Conference On Financing For Development
21 March 2002
I would like to join the previous speakers in congratulating the Government of Mexico on the excellent organization of this important meeting, held under the auspices of the United Nations.
The final document, entitled the Monterrey Consensus which is before us, is of extreme importance as it will contribute to mobilize funds for development and reach a firm consensus of all participants on a large number of issues.
No doubt, financing for development has to be carried out primarily from domestic resources. Although foreign financial support should not replace efforts to ensure domestic resources, it has to be a catalyst in the development of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Without foreign capital inflow it is not possible to carry out the necessary economic and political reforms. However, the terms for foreign financial support and assistance have to be adjusted to the local situation in order to be effective.
Allow me to touch upon the importance of development financing for the FR of Yugoslavia. After more than a decade of serious regional instability, wars, economic sanctions, mismanagement and corruption, which drastically crippled its economy, the FR of Yugoslavia has embarked upon radical economic and political reforms which will surely contribute to economic and political stability of our region and Europe at large.
The Yugoslav Government has adopted and started to implement a program of economic reform whose goal is the achievement of macroeconomic stability and structural reforms needed for the successful market economy. Direct foreign investment and trade are necessary to make this program work.
The FR of Yugoslavia needs assistance. However, we stand ready to implement all necessary measures at the domestic level to replace this assistance as soon as possible with trade and direct foreign investment.
For the new democratic authorities in the FR of Yugoslavia it is an imperative to deal with an enormous burden of the Yugoslav foreign debt. The new authorities were therefore compelled to seek a reduction of foreign debt on terms enabling Yugoslav economy to achieve a sustainable development in line with the program of structural adjustment supported by the IMF.
In this transitional phase, which we consider temporary, when many problems inherited from the past have to be resolved, we need the support and assistance of the international community.
We fully support the reform of international financial architecture, which should contribute to sustainable development in a more concrete way,
We join the efforts aimed at finding a pragmatic and innovative way to promote further efficient participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in international dialogues and decision-making processes. It is the only way to make globalization beneficial to all.
The FR of Yugoslavia is committed to the strengthening of the role of the United Nations in international relations. The UN has a crucial importance in the promotion of international cooperation for development. We support and encourage close cooperation among the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.
Finally, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to emphasize the importance of a follow-up conference and the need to use financial resources as efficiently as possible in order to achieve the goals listed in the Millennium Declaration; elimination of poverty, improvement of social conditions, raising living standards and protection of environment.