by the President of the General Assembly
to the Special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions
and the World Trade Organization
Monday, 14 April 2003
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join you at this important meeting.
Building a community of cooperation which brings together the
practitioners from Finance, Trade, Development Cooperation and
Foreign Affairs was at the heart of the success of Monterrey.
Equally important is maintaining the spirit of cooperation which
characterized the forging of the Monterrey Consensus by the United
Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the
World Trade Organization and a number of other stakeholders. Seeing
the participants from the major specialized intergovernmental
forums gathered here, gives hope for the accelerated implementation
of the Monterrey Consensus and through it for a more profound
progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
This meeting today constitutes a vital step in our efforts to
stay engaged in the Monterrey follow-up process. We can all take
stock of how far we have gone to implement the commitments of
Monterrey, a year after, and pinpoint areas where we need to move
faster or become more efficient and coherent.
The General Assembly has been dealing with the issue of how to
ensure that the United Nations´ work at all levels supports
the implementation of conference outcomes, the Monterrey Consensus
being one of them. Over the past decade, numerous UN conferences
and summits resulted in clarifying and setting development goals.
Now, the United Nations must prove its effectiveness in mobilizing
political will for their implementation. We have to do our utmost
in supporting implementation at the country level. There is an
urgent need to set up the most effective mechanism for monitoring
and review of the progress. We also need to look at how to carry
forward, in the UN's work, the new approaches and spirit that
emerged in the preparatory process for Monterrey and how to keep
building the political will and momentum for action. In this regard,
let me mention the General Assembly´s Ad-hoc Working group
on the integrated follow-up to the major conference that has been
dealing with these issues. It is supposed that its work will result
in concrete recommendations that could strengthen political engagement
in the pursuit of development goals.
The General Assembly stressed the substantive links between today's
meeting and the High-level Dialogue in the General Assembly to
be held at the end of October, which will serve as an intergovernmental
focal point for the general follow-up to Monterrey. The two-day
High-level Dialogue will consist of innovative plenary and informal
meetings. Prior to the High-level Dialogue, one day of informal
hearings will be arranged with representatives of civil society
and the business sector, to provide important inputs to the discussions
to be held at the Dialogue. The High-level Dialogue itself will
include a policy dialogue and interactive round tables with the
participation of the relevant stakeholders. The policy dialogue
will address the implementation of the results of the Monterrey
Conference and the theme of coherence and consistency of the international
monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development,
and consider the collaborative tasks ahead. The round tables will
discuss the regional dimensions of the implementation of the results
of the Monterrey Conference, and the link between the progress
in the implementation the commitments reached at Monterrey and
the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals,
in particular those contained in the Millennium Declaration. I
would urge high-level participation from all the stakeholders
- from Ministers of Finance, Development Cooperation and Foreign
Affairs, from the executive heads of the institutional partners,
from NGOs and from the private sector. The engagement of high-level
representatives will ensure the continued political attention
that is so important.
As envisaged by the Monterrey Consensus, the General Assembly
and ECOSOC each plays an important role in making sure that we
all stay engaged. Both bodies are working vigorously to do their
part in a complementary manner. The discussions of today's meeting
will be one of the crucial building blocks for the structure that
is being created for the follow-up of Monterrey, the next stage
of which will be in October during the 58th General Assembly.
I look forward to a productive and successful meeting.