Informal Interactive Hearings with Representatives of Civil Society on Financing for Development

United Nations Headquarters
New York, 22 October 2007

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to these Informal Interactive Hearings of Civil Society on Financing for Development. This event provides a remarkable opportunity for Member States to listen to the views and concerns of civil society and engage in a meaningful dialogue on key issues related to Financing for Development.  

There are many non-governmental organizations from both the North and the South that have been instrumental to the Financing for Development process. Since Monterrey, we have all come to realize that a global partnership for development cannot be achieved without the full and constructive engagement of all relevant stakeholders, including national governments, international institutions, civil society and the business sector.

The Monterrey Consensus called for the continued involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the follow-up process.  In response to the relevant mandates of the General Assembly, civil society organizations have been closely engaged in various multi-stakeholder activities organized by the Financing for Development Office.

Today’s Hearings take place on the eve of the third High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, which will be convened by the General Assembly over the next two days.  

The Dialogue will consist of a series of plenary and informal meetings on the overall theme “The Monterrey Consensus: status of implementation and tasks ahead”.  It will also include six multi-stakeholder round tables on the major thematic areas of the Monterrey Consensus.

In the ‘spirit of Monterrey’, I would encourage you to engage in a frank and inclusive exchange of views with all stakeholders.

Both these Hearings and the forthcoming Dialogue come at a crucial juncture.  As you all know, the General Assembly decided to hold a Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha, Qatar, in the second half of 2008.  

The purpose of the Conference is to assess progress made so far, reaffirm goals and commitments made and share lessons learned. It should also identify obstacles and constraints encountered; and identify actions and initiatives to overcome them, as well as new challenges and emerging issues.

In order to realize this ambitious agenda, it is imperative that the views of civil society be fully understood and duly taken into account. I sincerely hope that today’s presentations and discussions will provide useful inputs to the upcoming High-level Dialogue.

Along with the MDG framework, the Monterrey Consensus has helped strengthen the sense of shared purpose, harness and combine the energies of the UN, other institutions, faith groups, NGOs, civil society and the private sector.

I hope that this constructive interaction will continue in the preparatory process leading up to the Doha Review Conference.

Let me now pass the floor to the Moderator of this meeting, Mr. Oscar de Rojas, Director of the Financing for Development Office, to introduce our distinguished panelists and continue with our proceedings.

Mr. de Rojas, you have the floor.

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