FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MONTERREY, MEXICO, PREPARATORY COMMITTEE TOLD

2 May 2001
DEV/2300

FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MONTERREY, MEXICO, PREPARATORY COMMITTEE TOLD

02/05/2001
Press ReleaseDEV/2300

Preparatory Committee for the

High-level International

 Intergovernmental Event on

 Financing for Development

1st Meeting (AM)

FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MONTERREY, MEXICO,

PREPARATORY COMMITTEE TOLD

The International Conference on Financing for Development would be held in Monterrey, Mexico, from 18 to 22 March 2002 it was announced this morning at the opening of the third series of preparatory meetings for that high-level event.

The Conference is aimed at eradicating poverty and fulfilling the social and humanitarian goals set by global conferences of the past decade.  Current preparations, due to conclude on 8 May, seek to address broad development concerns expressed by world leaders at the Millennium Summit, including, primarily, obstacles faced by developing countries in mobilizing the resources needed to finance their development.

Addressing the opening meeting today, the representative of Mexico said his Government was determined to contribute to an open, broad-based dialogue between the business sector, civil society and other relevant actors.  The Conference goal was to help structure a new global consensus and to meet the challenges of development.  Hopefully, history would look back on the consensus of Monterrey. 

Speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the representative of the Philippines said that the Mexico Conference provided the world community with a real opportunity to fulfil the promise of a United Nations that helped improve the lives of all.  Indeed, financing for development was a critical element in the future global security order, as a stable international peace and security regime could only be built on a solid economic and developmental foundation.  Of particular importance to ASEAN was full implementation of the outcomes of the major summits in 1990s and of the agenda for development, in particular, poverty eradication. 

The continued active involvement of all stakeholders, including civil society, was a key to the work ahead, the representative of Sweden said, speaking on behalf of the European Union.  Hopefully, regional development banks and members of the business sector would also become engaged.  The world conference should confirm a unique holistic approach towards development financing.  A priority outcome should be the recognition by key stakeholders -- public and

private -– at the national and international levels, of attaining the goals and

commitments of the Millennium Declaration and other internationally agreed development targets. 

1st Meeting (AM)

On behalf of the Rio Group, the representative of Chile said negotiations should be conducted in the context of a renewed North-South partnership that included active involvement of the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization, regional development banks and all relevant institutional actors.  Specific measures and actions could be identified to make the Conference a benchmark in the governance of economic globalization.

The representative of Israel said that the key to the success of the Conference was the format.  There should be no lengthy outcome document, or another plan of action, with hundreds of commitments that would only serve as a reference book for future summits.  There should also be no demarche of speeches by heads of State, whereby leaders come and leave while few, if any, even listen.  Official development assistance (ODA) and other means of providing aid should not be the focal point of the Conference.  Instead, the focus should be on how to attract the private sector, small- and medium-sized businesses, and long-term sustainable investment.

In introductory remarks, Economic and Social Council President, Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon, reported on the special high-level meeting held yesterday at the United Nations between the Bretton Woods institutions and the Council.

In other business, the Committee adopted its provisional agenda for the session, as well as its organization of work.  It approved the third report of its bureau and took note of the third report on the modalities of participation of all relevant stakeholders.  The list of non-governmental organizations for accreditation was also approved.

Committee Co-Chairman, Asada Jayanama (Thailand), made introductory remarks. The Executive Coordinator of the Financing for Development Coordinating Secretariat, Oscar de Rojas, introduced the compilation of initiatives or themes submitted by governments designed to serve as a means to further focus the substantive preparatory work, and the facilitator of the informal consultations on the substantive preparatory process and the International Conference on Financing for Development, Mauricio Escanero (Mexico), introduced his working paper, which is a compilation of inputs from the second session.  Co-Chairman, Jorgen Bojer of Denmark also presided today’s meeting.

Statements were made by the representatives of Iran (on behalf of the

Group of 77), Japan, Israel, Belarus, Norway, Dominican Republic, China, Nauru (on behalf of the small island developing States), Saint Lucia and Bangladesh.

The observer from Switzerland also spoke, along with representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Financing for Development will meet again at 4 p.m. today to continue its general discussion.

Background

The Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Financing for Development began its third session at United Nations Headquarters this morning. The first part of this session is expected to continue until 8 May.  The third session has been split into two periods of one-week each, with the second week to take place in October or November.

On 23 February of this year, the General Assembly decided that the Conference itself would be held in Mexico in the first quarter of 2002.  Representation would be at the highest political level, and the Conference will include a segment at the summit level.

For further background on the third session of the Preparatory Committee, see Press Release DEV/2298 of 30 April.

The Preparatory Committee had before it the Third report of the Bureau of the Committee (document A/AC.257/22), which addresses modalities for participation of key institutional and non-institutional stakeholders, arrangements for the Conference, and other organizational matters.

According to the report, the Preparatory Committee met on 5 February 2001 with the Executive Board of the World Bank, following up on its first meeting with this body last year.  It also met with the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 6 February in Washington D.C. -- for the first time -- to discuss modalities of participation.  The bureau travelled to Geneva for a meeting with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Trade and Development on

9 April 2001.  The Chairman of the WTO Committee sent a strong message about its desire to deepen WTO's engagement in the financing for development process.

The report states that business hearings were held in December 2000, and provided a cross-section of views from business sector representatives relating to the substantive themes within the financing for development agenda.  To give this matter appropriate consideration, the bureau set up a special task force, which produced an interim report that was circulated to missions in March 2000.  The bureau also had interaction with regional stakeholders and civilization society organizations.

The Government of Mexico has indicated that it anticipates announcing at the current third session of the Committee the precise venue and dates for the Conference, the report states.  Within the next months, the Committee should thus address, in collaboration with the host country and with the support of the coordinating secretariat, a wide range of issues related to the holding of the Conference, including rules of procedure, the role of high-level round tables, and modalities for participation.

Also before the Committee was a working paper prepared by the Facilitator (document A/AC.257/24), which seeks to further focus the substantive preparatory work.  The first section of the paper highlights the many interrelated issues related to financing for development.  Subsequent sections correspond to the six main headings of the substantive agenda.

According to the report, there are five cross-cutting issues that relate to the International Conference:  enhanced coherence in support of financing for development; participation and ownership; technical and financial assistance for capacity-building; regional complementarity and synergies; and public-private partnerships in support of financing for development.  The Conference is poised to foster convergence of efforts aimed at making globalization work for all and achieving the Millennium Summit goals.

The report also highlights the six main headings of the substantive agenda. The six headings are:  mobilizing domestic financial resources for development; mobilizing international resources for development:  foreign direct investment and other private flows; trade; increasing international financial cooperation for development, including through official development assistance (ODA); debt; and addressing systemic issues -- enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

In addition, the Committee had before it a list of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) recommended by the Bureau of the Committee for accreditation in the substantive preparatory process and the International Conference on Financing for Development (document A/AC.257/10/Add.3), which includes 13 NGOs not in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

It also had before it the provisional annotated agenda and organization of work (document A/AC.257/21).

Statements

ASDA JAYANAMA (Thailand), Committee Co-Chairman, opened the meeting.

MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon), President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), reported on the special high-level meeting held yesterday between the Bretton Woods institutions and ECOSOC.  The meeting had revolved around two subjects:  development financing, in particular ODA, the elimination of poverty and debt; and the creation of a global financial system favourable to promoting responsibility by public and private donors in preventing financial crises.  Hopefully, the meeting would have a positive effect on the work of the preparatory process.

He said that one key point made at the meeting had been that it was essential to have sustainable economic growth in order to attain the objectives of the Millennium Declaration, in particular with regard to the reduction of poverty.  Cooperation between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions held promise for the success of the Mexico Conference.  Delegations had emphasized that it was essential to go beyond the "Washington consensus" and to work more on the basis of the "Montreal consensus".  It seemed that strengthening social and institutional capacities was a precondition for sustainable growth.  That, in turn, clearly underscored the importance of technical assistance and ODA. 

Also underscored was the need to mobilize the social capital of the poorest countries, as that was the basis of any development process, he said.  Equally important was ensuring the implementation of programmes.  The importance of trade policies and debt alleviation was also reaffirmed.  Access to markets and the reduction of tariff barriers, especially agricultural, could considerably reduce poverty.  With respect to debt, it was acknowledged that the major problem of initiatives undertaken had been financing.  Hence, a major appeal was made to ensure that more financing was available and assurance given to the distribution of public funds to interim income countries.  That was the key to combating poverty.

He said that another key idea related to ODA.  The present very low level was deplored, as ODA was also a precondition to reducing poverty.  Hence, developed countries should draw closer to the agreed objectives set in that respect.  Efforts should also be made to ensure that ODA took the form of grants.  Particularly emphasized was the need for strengthening means to prevent a financial crisis.  In that regard, account must be taken of necessary time for adjustment within each country.  The question of transparency and regulation of speculative capital flows was also reviewed, in particular regarding risk capital funds and their proliferating effect. 

MIGUEL HAKIM (Mexico) said that a consensus had taken shape yesterday at the Economic and Social Council-Bretton Woods meeting.  Mexico had made a firm commitment to the process that would culminate next year at the highest political level.  As host country, Mexico was determined to contribute to an open, broad-based dialogue between the business sector, civil society and other relevant actors.  The Conference should define points of convergence based on an adjustment to world trade and financing systems.  The goal was to help structure a new world consensus and to meet the challenges of development.

He announced that the venue for the Conference would be the city of Monterrey, in the state of Estado de Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  On behalf of Mexico, he extended an invitation to the Member States of the United Nations to be in Monterrey from 18 to 22 March 2002.  Today, at 6 p.m., the Secretary for Economic Development of Estado de Nuevo Leon would be at United Nations Headquarters to provide information on the venue that had been selected.  He hoped that, after the Conference, history would refer to the consensus of Monterrey. 

MOHAMMAD ALI ZARIE ZARE (Iran), speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said he hoped the session would encourage deepening participation by all relevant stakeholders in the financing for development preparatory process and in the event.  The Mexico Conference would give high visibility to development financing.  The third session of the Preparatory Committee would be vital to shaping a revised draft outcome document.

RUTH JACOBY (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that participants in yesterday’s high-level meeting had confirmed the convergence of views regarding common development goals and had declared the need for convergence for the realization of coherent actions.  That was one of the most important challenges for the development financing process.  The Union strongly believed that the continued active involvement of stakeholders, including civil society, was a key to the work ahead.  Hopefully, regional development banks would become engaged.  More progress could also be made with the business sector.  The Union remained a committed partner.

She said that the Conference outcome should, among other things, confirm a unique holistic approach towards development financing.  A priority outcome should be the recognition by key stakeholders at the national and international levels -- public and private -- of attaining the goals and commitments of the Millennium Declaration and other internationally agreed development targets.  The Conference should adopt a concise and forward-looking political declaration, which set out coherent goals.  It should also take into account the key role of the private sector and secure a holistic approach to development financing.  In addition, it should identify and agree on the steps that would contribute to the realization of international development targets.  Existing bodies should be used for coordinated follow-up, and a pre-determined five-year or 10-year review event should be avoided.

JUAN GABRIEL VALDÉS (Chile), on behalf of the Rio Group, said the overall purpose for the Conference was to contribute to facing the challenges of development on a worldwide scale.  It would be an excellent opportunity for promoting concrete measures and action that would mark comprehensive progress in the international economic order.  The negotiations should be conducted in the context of a renewed North-South partnership that included active involvement of the Bretton Woods institutions, the WTO, regional development banks and all relevant institutional actors.

The rich debate at the second session of the Committee had enabled major progress in the preparatory process, he said.  The Group felt that, on the basis of the rich stock of proposals and suggestions made on that occasion, specific measures and actions could be identified to make the Conference a benchmark in the governance of economic globalization.  The countries of the Rio Group were prepared to negotiate flexibly during this session, in a constant effort to reach broad agreements that take into account all interests. 

MINORU KUBOTA (Japan) said that an increasing number of problems, including environmental degradation, were threatening the lives and dignity of people worldwide.  A human-centred approach would ensure that each person had the opportunity to live a creative and valuable life.  The challenge should be addressed from the point of view of human security.  Preventing poverty was among the most serious challenges and was critically important for developing countries.  Developing countries had the primary responsibility in that regard to actively improve domestic institutions and develop human resources.  They should strongly assert their ownership of the process, while acting in concert with development partners and aid institutions. 

He said that the primary requirement was to improve legal systems and endow them with measures that protected investment, thereby fostering an enabling environment for attracting international resources for development.  Japan had provided technical cooperation in that regard to developing countries.  South-South cooperation, including between Asia and Africa, could be useful in promoting the efficient transfer of technology.  Over the past several years, Japan had been the largest aid donor in the world.  Its net disbursements of aid in 2000 had totalled more than $13 billion.  Hopefully, donor efforts to provide development assistance would be strengthened as a result of the Mexico Conference.   The messages of the WTO and Bretton Woods institutions should be heeded.  Together, it was possible to send the world a strong political message expressing a determination to promote development for all.

RON ADAM (Israel) said that he wanted next year's Conference to yield constructive results.  To that end, Israel had contributed to the trust fund dedicated to preparations for the Conference.  The key to the success of the Conference was the format.  If the format were a duplicate of past United Nations conferences, it would be destined to fail.  There should be no lengthy outcome document, or another plan of action, with hundreds of commitments that would only serve as a reference book for future summits.  There should also be no démarche of speeches by heads of State, whereby leaders come and leave while few, if any, even listen.

The private sector should participate in the Conference, he continued.  The ODA and other means of providing aid should not be the focal point of the Conference.  Instead, the focus should be on how to attract the private sector, small- and medium-sized businesses, and long-term sustainable investment.

The Conference, he said, should operate through six working groups, corresponding to the six main headings in the Secretary-General's report.  Each working group should include experts in finance, representatives from the private sector and other stakeholders.  The opening ceremony should be limited to one speech from each regional group and the major international financial institutions.  In the closing session, the delegations should formally combine the proposals made by each working group.  This could serve as a modified outcome document.

ALYAKSEI MAZMUKHOU (Belarus) said yesterday’s high-level discussion would deepen the opportunity for greater participation in the preparatory process.  The idea put forth today about the future format of the Mexico Conference required further study.  The Conference was supposed to be inter-governmental in nature, with a specific mandate, from which participants must not depart.  The preparatory process and evolving partnerships must not be replaced.  The work done in the European region with respect to development assistance provided a valuable guide.  For example, when financial development issues arose, the region held an interesting forum devoted to partnerships between governments and the financial sector.  A compromise on private sector issues should not be precluded.  Above all, it was crucial to take into account the steps taken at the Millennium Summit.  With respect to a proposal to fragment the preparatory work into separate groups, he was not prepared to work that way, given the financial implications of such a proposal. 

SIGRUN MOGEDAL (Norway) said that the Conference was receiving increased attention, both as a major event and as an essential process.  It had been repeatedly noted that a change in development policy was needed and success in that effort was most of all dependent on the international community's ability to enhance coherence.  The new development policy required new forms of stakeholder dialogue, new attention to mechanisms for transparency and accountability, and new ways of communicating across divides.

The regional meetings organized by the United Nations regional commissions, in cooperation with regional banks and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), were innovative and important elements in the preparatory process, she said.  The Committee should encourage the regional and subregional financial institutions to actively participate in the Conference.  While there were some financing mechanisms already available for regional development, new and more readily available mechanisms should be considered by the World Bank, the regional development banks and subregional financial institutions.

Also, she added, the Conference should address issues relating to financing sustainable development.  Innovative financial mechanisms and the means of raising new resources were being developed on the environmental side, and were clearly relevant to the issue of financing for development.  There was now an opportunity to seek mechanisms that would improve coherence in United Nations efforts to reach the Millennium targets.

PEDRO PADILLA TONOS (Dominican Republic) associated himself with the statement made by the representative of Chile on behalf of the Rio Group.  Today, he said, the Committee was beginning a session aimed at peace, which was the foundation for global order and the most effective instrument for human progress.  The most urgent task for preserving peace was ensuring that countries that so far had remained on the sidelines became part of modern civilization.  A new international economic order must be established, with the guiding philosophy to “show” the world rather than divide it.  Developed countries should consider fully the aspirations of smaller countries.  There was an obligation to strengthen defective commercial relations between rich and poor countries, because everyone should enjoy the benefits of development.  The progress of some should not impede the development of others.

He said that the economic and social progress of nations was the responsibility of the entire international community.  The fruits of development efforts could only be ensured through coordinated and effective international cooperation.  Thus, he attached much importance to the Mexico Conference, whose themes were of critical importance.  External debt was a most pressing problem.  The question was when that would end.  Certain aspects of globalization, and the consequences of external debt, were “two sides of the same coin”.  Indifference to the damage caused by such a ruinous burden on the economies of poor countries amounted to a lack of true cooperation.  Debt should be cancelled in order to enable underdeveloped countries to join the globalized world.  It was time to put a human face on development.

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that for 10 years the vast number of developing countries had been making enormous efforts to encourage financing for development. Those efforts had failed to accomplish feasible results.  It was for that reason that the Conference should give priority to discussions on how to strengthen international cooperation to support developing countries in their efforts to finance development.  Industrialized countries should take into consideration the interests and requirements of developing countries, for the sake of common development.

The ownership of macro-economic policies and development strategies formulated by each country should be strengthened, he said.  The implementation of international standards and codes should be in full consultation with relevant countries and on a voluntary basis.  Countries should go step-by-step, in accordance with their domestic conditions.  Standards and codes should not be imposed on countries and should not be used as conditions of assistance and aid.

Although trade among countries had grown at a speed 2.5 times that of economic growth, the majority of developing countries had not benefited, he said. Therefore, questions as to how to implement the Uruguay Round agreements deserved the attention of all sides.  Another top priority was to reform the international financial and trade system.  The international community should seek to establish a future-oriented, just, fair, stable and effective new international economic system.  The core of such a system was increased representation of developing countries in the decision-making process.

JENÖ C.A. STAEHELIN, Permanent Observer of Switzerland, said he fully recognized the need for increased financial support for development, as well as the essential role of ODA, given its ability to mobilize private resources.  Over his country’s 30-year experience with development assistance, one lesson learned had been the importance of model conditions and good management of public affairs in the recipient countries.  In that context, the preparatory process so far had been gratifying.  Switzerland would contribute further to the United Nations Trust Fund and to the work of the expert panel.

He said that a broad majority of participants had recognized the need to expand the circle of partners to include representatives of the private sector.  He fully shared that view and hoped for active and sustained participation by the private sector in the preparatory process and the event itself.  Indeed, private enterprise had become an essential partner in all development areas, including foreign direct investment and the mobilization of internal resources in developing countries.  Three themes should be highlighted in the preparatory process and at the Conference:  partnerships between the public and private sectors; indebtedness; and global public goods.

VINCI NIEL CLODUMAR (Nauru), speaking on behalf of the small island developing States, said that the gathering of senior officials of the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO was a solid gesture of the efforts to reach solutions to the many challenges facing the world today.  He acknowledged the role of donors and other development partners, who had already taken strides in addressing the special concerns of small island countries.  He was hopeful that all donors and stakeholders would maintain and improve their participation in a constructive manner so as to ensure a very successful Conference.

Small island developing States, he said, fully supported the six thematic issues that were the basis of dialogue on financing for development.  Fragile structures and institutions within their economies forced reliance on inadequate domestic capital markets.  They, therefore, depended on international flows, through foreign direct investment and ODA, to meet the additional financing requirements created by the shortfall in he domestic flows.  Small island countries welcomed the initiatives undertaken by the Bretton Woods institutions, such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, to alleviate the debt burden.  The role of the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO was pivotal to the financing for development process.

CLARO S. CRISTOBAL (Philippines), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the group fully associated itself with the statement made on behalf of the G-77.  The world community had a real opportunity to fullfil the promise of a United Nations that helped improve the lives of all people.  Hopefully, summit level participation in, and commitments to, the Mexico Conference would occur, as participants charted a new course and embarked on a meaningful and innovative long-term process.  Courage and leadership were needed to ensure that the most was made of the opportunity.  Of particular importance to ASEAN was full implementation of the outcomes of the major summits in 1990s and of the agenda for development, in particular as they related to poverty eradication, and the Millennium Summit. 

He said that financing for development could ensure prosperity of all.  Indeed, development financing was a critical element in the future global security order.  A stable international peace and security regime could only be built on a solid economic and developmental foundation.  Given the dynamic nature of the preparatory process, a certain degree of flexibility should be maintained with respect to the Conference format.  At the same time, he favoured the convening at the Conference of a summit level segment to ensure that the rank of participants was commensurate with the event’s importance.  A political declaration, an action plan, and a flexible-yet-thorough follow-up mechanism were also essential. 

JULIAN HUNTE, Minister for Foreign Affairs (Saint Lucia), said that now was the time to focus on durable solutions to obstacles to financing for development.  The international community could not talk of taking a holistic approach to economic development until viable solutions were in place.  Financing of health programmes, technology transfers and education were key elements for a solid infrastructure.  There should be no conditions attached to development assistance. The idea of coherence had received a lot of attention in much of the Committee's discussion.  Coherence could be enhanced by the creation of a mechanism for dialogue between the WTO, the Bretton Woods institutions and the United Nations.

The United Nations, he said, had addressed most aspects of development, but this was not enough.  Developing countries were benefiting less from trade than decades ago, yet the WTO continued to be a law unto itself.  The WTO had to work in partnership with the United Nations and allow for the participation of developing countries in its decision-making process.  He hoped that a follow-up meeting would be held to ensure a higher level of participation by the WTO in the financing for development process.   Only that level of coherence would contribute positively to development.

Developing countries, he said, were repeatedly called upon to integrate, democratize and create an enabling environment for investment.  This could not be achieved without technical assistance from developed countries.  Developing countries were not in a position to compete, integrate or globalize.  Countries were not operating on a level playing field.  Investors operated on the overriding principle of profit.  It was imperative that the United Nations reinstate its transnational cooperation unit.  There should also be a global forum on tax matters that took into account the needs of developing countries.  

MICHAEL ROESKAU, observer from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), re-emphasized the need for cooperation in both the preparatory process and the actual event.  There were five areas in which the work of the OECD could matter:  official development assistance, where its statistical work had made global efforts more transparent; trade, where a recent study on trade and development issues went a long way towards publicizing developing countries’ interest in future trade negotiations; corporate governance, focusing on the importance of the recipient country’s respect for the rule of law; corruption and money laundering; and global tax cooperation. 

MONIQUE GARRITY, special representative of the World Bank to the United Nations, said that the Bank's mission was to reduce poverty and promote development.  It was therefore committed to making a contribution to the financing for development process, which had clearly picked up momentum in the past few weeks.  The goal of the process and the Conference was to make progress on the central issues mentioned in the reports before the Committee.  She hoped that the Preparatory Committee would reach consensus on the themes of the Conference during this current session.  It was important for the international community to heed the Secretary-General's recent warning that, without adequate funding, the development goals of the Millennium Declaration would not be reached.

ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said that in a global and interdependent world, the development financing process was critically important.   Financing for development meant that all sources of financing should be approached in a holistic manner, with a special focus on poverty eradication.  An additional important element was capacity building.  There was a need to reshape the mantra of the last decade that growth was everything.  Also, the outcomes of the major conferences of the last decade and relevant present ones should be implemented.  The Mexico Conference should incorporate the concerns of least developed countries more effectively than had been done so far.  Those States had been bypassed in trade, investment, and capital flows, and technological advancement had benefited them little. 

He said that the agenda must appropriately emphasize the concerns of least developed countries.  They sought strong international commitments in the areas of ODA, debt relief, foreign direct investment, market access and capacity building, along with an effective follow-up mechanism.  A comprehensive reform of the global financial system was also needed.  Domestically, national governance should play the lead role.   Regional and subregional institutions could also play a significant role in contributing to the stability of the world financial system and,  accordingly, they should be strengthened.  A well-defined mechanism should be developed quickly for harnessing support from all stakeholders in strengthening the role of the United Nations in efforts aimed at achieving more equitable growth and social development.

MOHAMAD CHATAH, Adviser in the External Relations Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reconfirmed the IMF's commitment to the financing for development process.  The IMF's participation in the process thus far had been very positive.  The degree of consensus and convergence on goals and priorities at the joint dialogue yesterday with ECOSOC was remarkable.  There was an increased need for international financial cooperation, so that poverty reduction and growth could be improved.  The effectiveness of the process needed to be heightened without compromising the quality of the tools used to increase growth.  It was also important to take into account the differences between the needs of developing countries and developed countries in the financing for development process. 

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For information media. Not an official record.