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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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UN Issues Factsheet on Finance and Trade Issues

New York, 19 August—The United Nations has issued a companion fact sheet on Finance and Trade issues to its recent report, Global Challenge, Global Opportunity, in advance of the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The new release shows that there has been a steady decline of official development assistance over the last decade, falling from 0.33 per cent of donor country GNP to 0.22 percent-far below the target of 0.7 per cent agreed at the Rio Earth Summit. Donors agreed at this year's United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico, to significantly increase development assistance over the next three years.

During the same period, the release shows, private financial flows to developing countries significantly increased, from US$36 billion in 1991 to US$185 billion in 1999 before dipping slightly in 2000. However, 80 per cent of these investments went to only 10 developing countries and the least developed countries attracted only 2.5% of these sums. In contrast, global foreign direct investment amounted to $1.1 trillion in 2000.

The debt burden of developing countries, the report noted, grew from US$1.3 trillion in 1991 to US$2.2 trillion in 2000. Under an initiative by the World Bank and IMF, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, 26 countries will receive debt relief that amounts to $25 billion of the $62 billion that they presently owe.

Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General, Nitin Desai, called the finance and trade issues some of the most difficult, and that they represent a large part of the last 25 per cent of the Johannesburg outcome documents that have yet to be agreed upon.

"These issues are central to the discussions on sustainable development," Desai said. "We need to create a framework that nurtures sustainable development, and providing the necessary resources is vital for addressing the problems that the Summit is tackling."

Click here for a copy of the factsheet on Finance and Trade.

Click here for a full set of factsheets prepared by the UN for the Johannesburg Summit

Click here for a copy of the recent UN trends report: Global Challenge, Global Opportunity


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24 August 2006