Office of the President of the Millennium Assembly
55th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Statement by
President of the General Assembly

Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the
High-level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development
12 February 2001


I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the Preparatory Committee for the High-level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development, and to share with you some thoughts at the outset of your deliberations.

The Millennium Declaration, which expresses the resolve of the Heads of State and Government, underlined the important linkage between development and peace. It also reiterated the goal of halving the extreme poverty by the year 2015. In my view, the clarification of the roles of the various partners involved in development financing is one necessary step in our fight against poverty and in our efforts to reach the other goals of the Millennium Summit. I am convinced that the Financing for Development process per se will contribute to a variety of other discussions taking place within various fora and events.

I am personally committed to the Financing for Development process, which is seeking fresh ways of thinking and acting together, and looking for fresh angles and interlinkages, rather than preparing merely for an isolated event. As a global intergovernmental forum, the United Nations is well suited to facilitate this preparatory process - a process which implements the philosophy of working together towards a common goal. The report of the Secretary General, which is before this preparatory committee, represents an unprecedented effort to involve all concerned. The issues on your preliminary agenda are difficult, but absolutely vital and need to be discussed openly.

I believe that complementarity between different forms of development financing can be improved. I have made personal efforts to convince colleagues and partners within and outside the United Nations of the necessity of achieving horizontal coherence and thinking both nationally and internationally. I should like to add here that coherence starts at home. I have personally brought this matter, and the need to participate in this process, to the attention of the ministers of finance and international trade of my own country. To me this process represents an important link between the domestic and international levels of thinking and decision-making, and therefore, I am happy to note that the whole process is built on constructive participation by various entities: governments, United Nations secretariats, funds and programmes, the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO, and the regional organizations, as well as on active contributions by the civil society. Complementarity is sharing.

Finally, Mr. Co-chairmen, I am convinced that under your able leadership, this preparatory committee will be able to tackle the difficult questions ahead of us. I believe that confidence and trust between all partners concerned in this process will help secure financing for development on a predictable and sustainable basis. I wish you success during the coming two weeks and in the months to come.