FOLLOW-UP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ENDS WITH ADOPTION OF TEXT CALLING FOR FURTHER MEETING ON WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS
FOLLOW-UP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ENDS WITH ADOPTION OF TEXT CALLING FOR FURTHER MEETING ON WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
FOLLOW-UP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ENDS WITH ADOPTION OF TEXT
CALLING FOR FURTHER MEETING ON WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS
Further Review of Development Financing Planned for 2013, According to Document
(Received from a UN Information Officer.)
DOHA, 2 December -- As the Financing for Development Conference concluded in Doha, Qatar, this afternoon, participants urged that aid commitments be maintained despite the global economic crisis and called for the convening of an inclusive international conference under United Nations auspices to review the international financial and monetary architecture.
The Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, which opened on 29 November, heard from high officials of more than over 160 countries, including nearly 40 Heads of State or Government, many of whom also participated in round-table discussions on each of the pillars of the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development -- domestic resources for development; international resources for development; international trade; increasing international financial and technical cooperation; external debt; and addressing systemic issues.
Welcoming “the remarkable” Doha Declaration on Financing for Development after its adoption by consensus, General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann said it “highlighted a new sense of solidarity and goodwill among nations at a time when we can be tempted to withdraw into our narrowly defined self-interests”.
Affirming in its entirety the Monterrey Consensus on aid, investment, debt relief and other spurs to poverty relief in poor countries, the outcome document emerging from Doha (document A/CONF.212/L1), said the economic slowdown and all other obstacles must not slow down efforts to achieve “people-centred development” in developing countries, particularly those in Africa.
“We express our deep concern that the international community is now challenged by the severe impact on development of multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges, such as increased food insecurity, volatile energy and commodity prices, climate change and a global financial crisis, as well as the lack of results so far in the multilateral trade negotiations and a loss of confidence in the international economic system”, the text stated.
Despite those restraints, and because of their impact on developing countries, participants pledged to “devise important measures for the full, effective and timely implementation of the Monterrey Consensus”. They affirmed that commitments for an increase in official development assistance made in Monterrey should be maintained despite the crises, including the pledge by many developed countries to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross national product to development aid by 2015.
They voiced encouragement that assistance had increased in real terms by 40 per cent since the Monterrey Conference, but noted that a significant portion of that aid comprised debt relief and humanitarian assistance, and that there had been a decline in assistance following a peak in 2005. They encouraged continuing efforts to increase the quality, as well as the quantity, of assistance, based on the fundamental principles of national ownership, harmonization and management for improved results. In that regard, they called upon donors to “untie” aid and make it predictable to the maximum extent possible, while calling for increased transparency in its use.
In stressing the need for a United Nations summit on world financial structures, participants acknowledged the need for low-income countries to participate in current discussions of the world financial crisis, and said the debate should include a review of the global economic governance structures, “in order to ensure more effective and coordinated management of global issues”.
Through the text, the Conference also stressed that foreign direct investment must be funnelled to the sectors that would most advance development, reduce poverty and increase employment opportunity. It also stressed the importance of gender equality for development. Pledging to increase the tax base in developing countries and to combat tax evasion, they acknowledged the need to further promote international cooperation in that area, requesting the Economic and Social Council to examine the strengthening of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
Agreeing finally to strengthen the follow-up on development financing, including the ongoing review of the fulfilment of commitments and challenges to be overcome, they agreed to consider the need to hold an additional follow-up conference in five years, by 2013.
Also during the closing session this afternoon, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, read a statement from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who expressed his gratitude to the people and Government of Qatar for hosting the Conference, saying the outcome document represented an “important milestone in the struggle for development” that added “significant value” to Monterrey. “We now have our marching orders, and the Secretariat of the United Nations will fulfil its responsibilities with utmost dedication.”
Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Qatar and Vice-President ex officio of the Conference, read out a joint statement by the State of Qatar and the President of the United Nations General Assembly titled “Doha Statement to Strengthen the Global Development Partnership for Financing for Development”.
Asking participants to strengthen that global development partnership in the face of the critical challenges and choices facing the global community, he also presented a report on the high-level discussions on Financing Education in Conflict Affected Areas, convened on 30 November by Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missaned in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The Conference adopted a resolution entitled “Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Qatar” by which it expressed its deep appreciation to Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, for his outstanding contribution, and its profound gratitude to the Government of Qatar for having made it possible for the Conference to be held.
Finally, the representatives of Antigua and Barbuda and France welcomed the Conference outcome on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China and the European Union, respectively.
Also this afternoon, the President of Georgia made a statement on development progress in his country and the impact of the recent conflict there, to which the representative of the Russian Federation responded in exercise of the right of reply.
The Conference resumed its general exchange of views.
MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, President of Georgia, said Qatar was a great inspiration to all small countries seeking development and socio-economic progress. No cause was more urgent than the one that had brought the international community together in “this great country”. Indeed, ensuring full implementation of the Monterrey Consensus was based on equity, justice and human rights, the very matters that had consistently called the nations of the world to action.
At the same time, he said, the international community was gathering “under the darkest economic clouds” in decades, as the fallout from the financial crisis impacted economies and growth prospects worldwide. Georgia understood the relevance of the Conference in light of the current economic climate, having learned that full development could only be assured through security, democracy and self-sustainability. Five years ago, the country could have been considered a “failed State by any and every credential”. Yet, Georgia had risen to the myriad challenges and allied itself with other nations that shared its values. It had fought hard against corruption, eradicated cronyism, and improved transparency. In just a few short years, it had become the fastest growing economy in Europe.
Things had been looking up despite the economic embargo placed on Georgia by its biggest economic and trading partner, he said. However, catastrophe had struck in August when the country had discovered that socio-economic growth and development could be derailed in an instant by the actions of a neighbouring country. The invasion of Georgia should serve as a parable of how development depended squarely on security. There had been no winners in that war. The invasion had left many Georgian towns and communities devastated. It had wrecked infrastructure and sparked mass population displacement. At the same time, Russia had seen its own recent economic progress grind to a halt as its capital markets plummeted, consumer confidence had faltered and its financial systems were now in ruins.
However, due in large part to the solidarity of the world community, Georgia was rebounding, he said. Some 50 countries had pledged more than $4.5 billion to help stabilize the country. Georgians understood that such generosity was not charity and was aware that it came with a responsibility. With that in mind, Georgia pledged to rebuild its democracy and make its institutions even stronger than before. Indeed, each and every day, Georgia moved another step closer to full recovery from the war. As a democracy, the country had nothing to fear. In fact, it had been attacked because it was an economic success and a model of democracy in a region where that was not the norm. Georgia would combat aggression with the rule of law, further liberalization, further promotion of fundamental rights and greater economic success.
AHMED BIN ABDULLAH AL-MAHMOUD, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Qatar and Vice-President ex officio of the Conference, presented a report on the high-level discussions on Financing Education in Conflict-Affected Areas, convened on 30 November in Qatar by Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser al-Missaned in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly had participated in the discussions as had high-level representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society. A Doha statement had been issued listing six goals for the expansion of learning opportunities by 2015.
He said the international community had reaffirmed its commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on education and health, but without decisive action, many countries would fall short and an estimated 20 million children would still be out of school in 2015. Education was a human right and one of the best means of escaping poverty. It carried high social returns, particularly for girls and women, and was a key element of poverty eradication. It was, therefore, a moral imperative that Governments and donors keep their commitments to achieve education goals by 2015.
Greater priority should be given to protecting education in areas of conflict, because students and staff were increasingly the targets of violent attacks, he said, stressing that the right to education must be respected by all parties to conflict. Without education, children could be subject to abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation and recruitment as child soldiers. Failing to ensure quality education would have serious consequences for future generations. Governments and donors should increase funding for and effective implementation of education for all in areas affected by conflict.
Right of Reply
The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the unjustified statement by the President of Georgia had compelled him to speak. Indeed, the Russian delegation was perplexed by his use of this important Conference to promulgate political insinuations. Moreover, the world community had no doubt that, last August, Georgia had attacked South Ossetia, an attack that had wrought massive devastation that was clear to all. The rostrum of the Conference should not be used for political ends or to distort facts.
Minister AL-MAHMOUD, Vice-President ex officio of the Conference, then read out a joint statement by the State of Qatar and the President of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “Doha Statement to Strengthen the Global Development Partnership for Financing for Development”, by which they called upon the Member States assembled in Doha to join them in responding to the complexity of the global crisis by reaffirming the commitment to the Global Development Partnership as the underlying principle of the financing for development process and the basic means for achieving the international development goals as outlined in the 2005 World Summit Outcome.
According to the Statement, poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses continued to threaten future generations by allowing some 10 million children to die every year. The most serious global financial crisis since the creation of the United Nations further threatened the ability to confront those issues and provide the necessary financing. While the crisis threatened both rich and poor, its greatest impact would be felt by those least able to bear it. Steps must be taken to protect and improve the operation of the financial system, but it should not be forgotten that it was the poorest people who deserved protection against the impact of the crisis. “We reiterate our pledge in the Monterrey Consensus and the Summit Outcome to maintain our commitment to official development assistance and action to ensure the least developed countries are not subject to unsustainable debt burdens, and recall the commitment of developed countries to dedicate 0.7 per cent of their national income to official assistance.”
Among other things, the Statement expressed the belief that the current financial crisis made imperative a more fundamental review of the global institutions governing international trade and finance. Measures taken to deal with the crisis should include major reforms to ensure a more equitable and stable global financial system that would provide the basis for sustainable and equitable development for all countries. Stressing the importance of coordinated, coherency action, the Statement urged the General Assembly to continue its efforts to reinforce the role of the Economic and Social Council as the central monitoring agency to ensure coordination of economic and financial policy across the United Nations system. Reforms would be required in the relationship between the Assembly and the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as regulatory institutions to enhance accountability.
The Statement noted that the crisis would cause reductions in growth and employment. Measures to combat the effects of the crisis must include additional support for developing countries to ensure their participation in the international trading system, which provided financing for development and served as an engine of development. The completion of the Doha Round should be pursued as part of an integrated response to the current crisis.
Simplistic short-term solutions that did not deal with the basic causes of the crisis should be resisted, according to the Statement. It was in the common interest of both developed and developing countries that the reform of the global financial system reflect adequately the interests of developing countries. Such reform must ensure sufficient and suitable financing for rapid and sustainable development in developing countries, including domestic financial systems to finance domestic investments for growth and employment creation.
It was important, the Joint Statement continued, that any reform of international institutions provide for adequate representation of developing and least developed countries, as well as emerging markets. It was appropriate that the outcome document called for the United Nations to hold a conference at the highest level on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development. “We call upon all countries to join us in supporting an international financial system that is fair and equitable in support of financing for development,” the Statement concluded.
The Conference then adopted, by consensus, the report of the Credentials Committee, contained in document A/CONF.215/5.
Assembly President D’ESCOTO then presented the report of the main committee, saying that what many had said could never be achieved had indeed been achieved. There was a “fine” outcome document of the Doha meeting.
In closing remarks, the Assembly President said that by adopting the outcome document in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis of far-reaching but as yet unknown consequences, the Conference had not only strengthened the commitment to innovative cooperation for development financing, it had also taken the first major steps towards agreeing on major changes to the system of international financial governance. “We agree that these changes must respond to the needs and concerns of all nations, rich and poor […] and that the process of change will be inclusive and democratic.”
Ultimately, he said, the negotiations and subsequent agreement had revealed a new sense of solidarity and goodwill among nations at a time “when we can be tempted to withdraw into our narrowly defined self-interests. In the face of a loss of confidence in our international financial institutions, the difficult process of rebuilding trust has begun”. Following the implosion of “the culture of greed and dominance”, the international community was replacing arrogance with humanity and agreeing that everyone must play by the same set of rules and take on responsibility for development.
He said the negotiating blocs had heard from the representatives of some 250 civil society networks who had come to Doha to speak on behalf of millions of people -- especially women -- whose voices usually went unheard. They had emphasized the need to invest in people-centred development and offered comprehensive and compelling proposals for changes that would enhance action for effective development, poverty eradication, human rights, gender equality, decent work and environmental sustainability.
He went on to say that delegations were aware that the 2002 Monterrey Conference had been convened in part as a response to the financial crises that had devastated economies in Asia and Latin America during the 1990s. At that time, calls had been made for reform of the faulty international architecture that had made all countries vulnerable to misguided policies and lack of regulation. It was certainly to be hoped that the current crisis could be brought under control so that a devastating global depression could be avoided. But there could be no doubt that fundamental change was now imperative. “Our Declaration is clear that we must seize the opportunity to make our global financial system more equitable, sustainable and stable.”
An essential part of such a system would require reform of all international economic institutions and standard-setting bodies to ensure the adequate representation of least developed countries, he said. The General Assembly must continue its efforts to reinforce the role of the Economic and Social Council in monitoring multilateral financial institutions and bodies, their governance, their decisions and the consequences of such decisions to assess their broader social and economic impacts on growth, employment and, in particular, poverty reduction. In making preparations for the proposed high-level international meeting on the world financial crisis a priority he had convened a Commission of Experts on Reform of the Monetary and Financial System.
Finally, he paid special tribute to the co-facilitators of the negotiations on the outcome document, Johan Løvald (Norway) and Maged Abdelaziz (Egypt); the Chair of the negotiations, Paul Oquist, Senior Adviser on Financial and Development Cooperation; the hundreds of United Nations staff and the national team that had worked together to ensure a seamless Conference; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar, and Her Highness, Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser al-Minad.
The Conference then proceeded to take action on the outcome document and the draft resolution contained in documents A/Conf.212/L.1 and corrigenda 1 and 2, by which it would recommend that the General Assembly endorse, during the main part of its sixty-third session, the outcome document as adopted.
JOHN ASHE (Antigua and Barbuda), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said major steps had now been taken in addressing the systemic challenges facing the international community. “The flexibility and cooperation by all allowed us to reach a successful outcome and reinforces the fact that we are an international community.” The Group proposed that the document be named the “Doha Declaration on Financing for Development” and that the resolution and the outcome document annexed to it be amended.
The representative of Mexico supported the amendments proposed, which were then adopted by consensus.
The Conference then adopted the draft resolution by acclamation, as orally amended.
The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, then introduced a draft resolution entitled “Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Qatar” (document A/Conf.212/l.3), by which the Conference would express its deep appreciation to Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, for his outstanding contribution, and its profound gratitude to the Government of Qatar for having made it possible for the Conference to be held and for the excellent facilities, staff and services so graciously placed at its disposal.
The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said his delegation was pleased with the “dynamic consensus” agreement. The international community had agreed to do more and do better towards creating a world that worked cooperatively to turn back poverty. While the Conference was supposed to have been only a “follow-up” event, in light of the parallel global crises, it had instead launched a new beginning for the development financing agenda. In Doha, the international community had laid the groundwork for building a world with greater solidarity that should include the voices of Africa and all developing nations and indeed all peoples.
Following that statement, the Rapporteur-General of the Conference then presented the meeting’s draft report (document A/CONF.212.L.2), introducing technical amendments to the document. The Conference then adopted the draft report and authorized the Rapporteur to finalize it.
The Conference also adopted the “Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Qatar”.
SHA ZUKANG, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, then read out a statement from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who expressed regret that he had been unable to be present.
The Secretary-General, reiterating his deep gratitude to the people and Government of Qatar, said the outcome document represented an “important milestone in the struggle for development” and added “significant value” to Monterrey. “We now have our marching orders, and the Secretariat of the United Nations will fulfil its responsibilities with utmost dedication.” Member Sates had worked laboriously to reach the outcome and without their political will it could not have been achieved. The President of the General Assembly, the two facilitators, the two Special Envoys and others should be recognized for their role, as must the crucial role played by other stakeholders, including regional organizations, civil organization and the business community.
Minister AL-MAHMOUD said the challenge of the Conference had not been so much to provide the negotiated solutions appropriate to solve the problems of the current crisis but to set aside individual concerns and interests. Many speakers had noted the contradiction between the ability of many countries to instantly mobilize billions of dollars to support their failing financial institutions, and their inability to find the conviction to meet commitments to finance the efforts of developing countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
He said the global crisis required global answers and alliances based on shared responsibilities. It was important for the United Nations system to be fully involved, alongside the Bretton Woods institutions, in responding to the call for global solutions to the global crisis. “Global answers require the presence of all regions of the world, representing the voice of the rich, the emerging economies and the poorest.”
One of the most obvious consequences of the financial crisis and the extreme shortage of liquidity would be the decline in international investment flows and the temptation to direct developed-country budgets to domestic needs, he said. The search for innovative sources of financing must, therefore, be extended to help offset the impact of declining investments. To that end, Qatar had proposed the creation of multi-partner investment consortia comprising donor countries, multilateral financial institutions and humanitarian bodies, administered and supervised by the United Nations or other regional developmental institutions. The profits generated by the projects could provide an increasing revolving fund for finance.
He said the principles of global solidarity and development partnership applied not only to solutions for the challenges raised by the crisis, but to its impact on other challenges of a more structural and long-term nature. “While we concentrate on the stability of the financial system and the accumulation of financial wealth, it becomes more probable that we shall no longer be able to provide for the basic needs of food, shelter and energy for the world’s growing population.” While a negotiated conclusion had been reached, the work was not over. It was necessary to monitor the commitments undertaken. Qatar had tried to support the multilateral process by hosting a number of international meetings, including the present Conference. It pledged to do everything it could to ensure its commitment to support the Global Development Partnership which was the basis for the financing for development process. Qatar, therefore, asked participants to strengthen the Global Development Partnership in the face of the critical challenges and choices facing the global community.
Selected Summaries of Interventions by Heads of State and Government
Following are selected summaries of statements delivered to the plenary on the opening day of the Conference:
GEORGI PARVANOV, President of Bulgaria, noted that developing countries had a huge unused human potential and that his country had trained and educated thousands of students from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the early 1990s. They had graduated from Bulgarian universities to become doctors, engineers and specialists in other fields. Today many of them held leadership positions in their respective homelands. Bulgaria would continue to advocate for high-quality modern education for all, as it was the key to resolving many problems of the developing world, such as poverty, illegal migration, crime and corruption.
MAHMOUD AHMADI NEJAD, President of Iran, said the oil market was a clear example of the manipulative techniques and deceptive economic ploys by which the capitalist bloc determined prices for the commodities of other nations in its own interest. By financial, monetary, economic and political pressures, the capitalist system imposed its problems on others while diverting their wealth to itself. It was regrettable that the capitalist system had imposed its views in the form of absolute principles of economy and finance. Even more regrettably, that system, led by the United States, had never allowed other nations to oversee the workings of its financial centres despite the thousands of billions of dollars circulating in those nations.
STJEPAN MESIC, President of Croatia, blamed the across-the-board imposition of the neoliberal economic model in poor countries for the lack of development progress. That model sought the maximum deregulation and the most open markets. The richest countries, on the other hand, had developed with regulation and protected markets. The neoliberal model, therefore, led to widening inequality and for that reason, unless there were essential changes in the world economic order, the present Conference would get no further than had Monterrey.
MWAI KIBAKI, President of Kenya, said his country had developed its VISION 2030, a blueprint towards achieving a middle-income economy, by that date, exploring innovative ways to mobilize resources towards that end. However, like others in the developing world, Kenya required increased development assistance, debt relief, and better integration into the multilateral trading system to get on the path of sustainable growth. “The challenges are certainly surmountable. What is remaining is a genuine commitment among us all to create a better world of equal opportunity for all mankind.”
OMER HASSAN AHMED AL-BASHIR, President of Sudan, pointed out the strong connection between development and peace, noting that his country had succeeded in concluding peace agreements in its southern and eastern regions, as well as in Darfur, with the help of the international community. However, the development assistance promised by donors in concert with those agreements had not materialized, with the result that “the average citizen who has long suffered from the atrocities of war in the said areas does not really feel the dividends of peace”. There was dissatisfaction with the process of writing off external debt, which was slow and laden with political conditions and selectivity.
BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, President of Malawi, expressed hope that delegates would leave Doha with a new commitment to achieve the objectives of the Monterrey Consensus and that mechanisms would be put in place to protect poor African nations against the financial and food crises. Donors were asked for a shift in mindset towards mobilizing aid and investment in agriculture, food production and irrigation. Improvements in rural infrastructure, food storage facilities, credit availability to farmers and other measures would save the lives of millions and help guarantee world economic and financial stability.
HAN SEUNG-SOO, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, stressed that it was through trade that his own country had transformed itself from a recipient to a donor country in a relatively short time. To help other countries develop in that way, it had steadily increased official development assistance. It had also launched the East Asia Climate Partnership to support developing countries’ adaptation to climate change.
PAKALITHA BETHUEL MOSISILI, Prime Minister of Lesotho, expressed disappointment at the implementation of Monterrey commitments, particularly in the area of official development assistance. “Progress towards giving aid recipients greater control over how they want to use the resources, as well as on harmonizing programmes among donors and generally reducing the cost of doing business, has been limited.”
LUISA DIAS DIOGO, Prime Minister of Mozambique, said her country had undertaken measures to improve the business environment and provide incentives for foreign and national investors. Significant progress had also been made in good governance and macroeconomic policy reforms. As a result, the national overall economic performance had been reasonably good over the last five years, with continued growth having reached about 7 per cent.
The Conference also heard statements from Presidents Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan; Fradique Bandeira Melo De Menezes of Sao Tome and Principe; James Michel of Seychelles; Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire; Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica; Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi of the Comoros; Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso; Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Boni Yayi of Benin; Haris Silajdzic (Chairman of the Presidency) of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Idris Deby Itno of Chad; and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi. The Conference also heard statements by Vice-Presidents Ana Vilma de Escobar of El Salvador and Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy of the Gambia.
Also addressing the Conference was Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Prime Ministers Mohamed Ghannouchi of Tunisia and Ahmed Tidiane Souare of Guinea also delivered statements.
Following are selected summaries of statements delivered on the second day of the Conference:
SIBUSISO BARNABAS DLAMINI, Prime Minister of Swaziland, noted with great concern the threats and dangers of the current global crises to the present path of economic growth, which came at a time when many African countries had begun to turn the corner, thereby undermining the progress achieved over the past decade. Swaziland was also concerned that the current debt-relief initiatives focused only on low-income countries, and proposed a review of the criteria, taking into consideration that many countries classified as middle-income, including Swaziland, faced the similar social and economic and challenges as poor countries, including poverty, high disease prevalence, unemployment and low economic growth rates.
TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELE GAOI, Prime Minister of Samoa, said that, as a small island developing State, his country’s vulnerability to climate change posed a real challenge to its already fragile environment. Urgent attention must be paid to programmes to reduce vulnerability and climate-proofing investments. Additionally small island countries should not be obligated to take loans to adapt to rising sea levels, which was due mainly to the carbon footprints of other countries.
ABBAS EL FASSI, Prime Minister of Morocco, said his country had already made substantial progress in overhauling its macroeconomic policies and performing other readjustments. It had opted to replace foreign debt with domestic debt, reformed the tax system and pursued an open economic and commercial policy. Worldwide, however, there was still a gap in implementing the consensus to help the poorest countries, especially those in Africa. Morocco called on the international community to help those countries meet the Millennium Development Goals and to support middle-income countries meet their many challenges.
CARLOS CORREIA, Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, stressed that together the world must meet the Millennium Development Goals, mitigate climate change, fight diseases and combat terrorism. “In this global village of ours, where interdependence has become a tangible reality, it is in our common interest to find innovative and pragmatic ways of strengthening our cooperation and solidarity … We must join our hands, our minds and our means in creating better conditions of living for the poor and neediest of the world.”
President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo also delivered a statement.
The Conference also heard statements from Prime Ministers Nader Dahabi of Jordan; Deleita Mohamed Deleita of Djibouti; Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf of Mauritania; Jean Eyeghe Ndong of Gabon; and Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic.
Also addressing the Conference were Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers, senior officials and diplomats representing Kuwait, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Mongolia, Syria, Solomon Islands,Bangladesh (on behalf of the Least Developed Countries), Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Spain, China, Switzerland, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Madagascar, Angola, Egypt, Lebanon, Norway, Indonesia, Ireland, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Guatemala, Ecuador, Myanmar, Senegal, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Andorra, Argentina, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Brunei Darussalam, Bolivia, India, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Austria, Japan and Belarus.
The Conference also heard statements from the Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
Following is the summary of a statement made on the penultimate day of the Conference:
JOSAIA VOREQE BAINIMARAMA, Prime Minister of Fiji, reiterated calls for greater recognition of small island States like his own, which tended to be forgotten and obscured from international aid, trade and development policies. Fiji supported an early conclusion to the Doha development and trade rounds. In any new trade agreement, greater emphasis should be placed on increasing the opportunities for small island States to widen and deepen their export bases, through better access to bigger markets.
Also delivering statements were ministers, senior officials and diplomats representing Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Bhutan, Portugal, Qatar, Zambia, Tuvalu, Libya, Viet Nam, Kazakhstan, Italy, United Kingdom, Romania, Maldives, Slovakia, Chile, United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Oman, Hungary, Cameroon, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Israel, Australia, Monaco, Russian Federation, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Uruguay, Botswana, Thailand, Cape Verde, Pakistan and Colombia.
A representative of the Holy See also addressed the Conference.
The plenary also heard from representatives of the International Monetary Fund, United Nations Commission for Social Development, Ibero-American Conference, Asian development Bank, Gulf Cooperation Council, International Development Law Organization and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
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