Doha, Qatar, 27 November 2008 - Secretary-General's message to flag-raising ceremony for follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Concensus [delivered by Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs]With the raising of this flag, we welcome the world to Doha for a crucially important United Nations conference.
This is a time of great turmoil in global finance markets and the world economy. Our vital work to eradicate poverty and promote development is threatened not only by an international credit crunch, but also by higher prices for food, energy and basic commodities, accelerating climate change, and a stalemate in global trade negotiations. There is great concern that a severe economic slowdown could have a chilling effect on trade, aid, investment flows and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
At such times, it is right and necessary that the international community gather under the auspices of the United Nations. These are global problems, affecting all people. They demand global solutions, arrived at with the involvement of all people.
The Monterrey Consensus can point the way forward. That landmark text is the most comprehensive and authoritative statement of development principles to which both developing and developed countries have formally subscribed. We are here now to assess progress in implementing those commitments, and to find ways past the obstacles in our path.
That effort has become more urgent and complex as a result of multiple global crises. We face big challenges. So we are called on to think big, and find practical solutions that work for all the world's people, especially the poor who bear the fullest brunt of the consequences. I urge all participants in this review conference to keep the global good foremost in mind throughout their deliberations. With leadership and goodwill, we can rise to the test.