Statement by Paul Ladd, UNDP

"Financing Development to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals"

17-18 June 2007
Doha, Qatar

Thank you Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Delegates, and all those involved with arranging this meeting. Thank you especially to the State and people of Qatar as our generous hosts.

This meeting is timely and important because it is taking place at the midpoint between 2000 and 2015 – when we have committed to achieving the MDGs – but also because it is a staging post to the Ministerial meeting on Financing for Development taking place in Doha in 2008.

Other participants have elaborated on the need for the donor community to meet the international commitments that have been made on financing development; and also for developing countries to meet their commitments – made within a framework of mutual accountability – to put in place inclusive and accountable governance structures and sound policies.

The Monterrey Consensus looked at financing development from many angles: domestic and external resources, public and private, and also governance frameworks that influence the ability to mobilize resources, and how those resources are allocated.

In the short to medium term external public flows will be especially important in supporting the capital accumulation process that underpins development. There is a need to increase aid in line with the Gleneagles and other pledges, and also improve its quality in line with the Paris Declaration. UNDP agrees, and is concerned, that aid delivered in line with donor priorities and not in line with country priorities – including through multilateral channels – will be less effective at reducing poverty, will constrain national policy space, and will undermine domestic accountability. Efforts are also needed to broaden and deepen debt relief to those still servicing unpayable debts, especially where these were contracted by undemocratic and unaccountable regimes.

Beyond these aid commitments, the international community has the responsibility to put in place supportive and coherent international policies for development – on trade, investment and capital flows, the environment, migration, technology development and transfer, intellectual property rights, and responding to crises. Many of the international policies in place currently are incoherent and undermine growth and sustainable human development.

In the long term, sustainability of the development effort implies relying primarily on domestic resources. This will mean putting in place progressive, equitable and efficient tax policies, improving revenue collection, and national and international actions to combat tax evasion and capital flight.

While this meeting has reaffirmed the importance of meeting the commitments on aid, UNDP believes that this meeting is also important because it gives an opportunity to emphasize a key message. Notwithstanding uneven progress between and within regions, and on the Goals themselves, it is still within our grasp to achieve the MDGs. The MDGs can be met if the right policies are put in place and supported by sufficient resources.

UNDP responds to the requests of governments to develop ambitious, MDG-based national development strategies, as requested at the 2005 World Summit, paying attention to basic rights and gender equity. We focus on building national capacities to lead the development process, and support practical initiatives to scale-up to meet the MDGs. In doing this work we have seen the leadership of developing countries displayed through many successful initiatives:

In summary, the MDGs can be met if political will is displayed on all sides. While the Monterrey Consensus outlined many areas in which progress must be made, an important area in the foreseeable future is meeting the existing international commitments on aid.

We therefore hope that the Financing for Development meeting in Doha next year will be successful in re-focusing attention on this most pressing global challenge.