The First Drafting Session on the Draft Outcome Document for the Follow-Up International Conference on Financing for Development

UN Headquarters , New York, 9 October 2008

Excellencies,
My Co-facilitators,

I join you today to express my concern and my support at the beginning of the drafting process for the Outcome Document of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha at the end of November. 

My concern is shared by all of you here today. The global economy is deteriorating rapidly. The outlook for financing for development is very different from what it was just a few months back.

Over the past weeks, I have been gratified to hear world leaders express, often in emotional and deeply felt statements to the General Assembly,  their appeals for support and solidarity with the poor of the world. Leaders from the North and the South reiterated their commitment to financing development during the High Level Panels on Africa’s Needs and on the Millennium Development Goals.

Today I am gripped by two emotions: uncertainty and urgency. The new reality is that  the global economy will get worst before it gets better. It warrants our undivided  attention.

The only planned, inclusive global gathering of leaders in the immediate future is the Follow-up Review Conference on Financing for Development on 29 November to 2 December  2008 in Doha. Leaders will need to take recent developments into account as they look to the future.

My dear friends,

My presence here today aims to reaffirm the importance which I attach to this Conference. I assure you all of my personal commitment to ensure the success of the conference and towards working with you, with our two distinguished and able facilitators, in order to reach a consensus on the draft outcome document before reaching Doha.

As we officially start the drafting sessions on the outcome document today, allow me to urge all delegations to constructively engage in this process. We all aspire to an ambitious outcome for this conference. At the same time we must remember that our goal here is to reach consensus.  

It is crucial that this consensus reflect the different ideas and positions that will be expressed in Doha. Let us begin this process with calm and awareness of what is a stake. I am sure we will have a successful outcome.

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