Welcome Workshop on Debt, Finance and Emerging Issues in Financial Integration

I am pleased to welcome you to this Workshop on Debt, Financeand Emerging Issues in Financial Integration, organized by myDepartment’s Financing for Development Office.

We are fortunate to have with us such a distinguished group ofinternationally renowned experts – from academia, civilsociety, the private sector and international organizations –on these critically important issues.

Let me also thank the Government of Norway for its generousfinancial support of this project, which began last year with a firstworkshop in London.

This second workshop takes place in the midst of thesubstantive preparations for the Follow-up International Conference onFinancing for Development, to be held in Doha, Qatar, later this year.

The Doha Conference will review the implementation of theMonterrey Consensus, which lies at the heart of the global partnershipfor development, with its framework for mutual accountability. A majorthrust of the partnership is to integrate the role of trade, domesticand international finance, and systemic issues in promoting bothfinancial stability and access to finance for achieving the MDGs andthe other internationally agreed development goals.

The preparatory process of the Doha Conference provides aunique opportunity for all States and other stakeholders to strengthenmultilateral cooperation in development finance.

Informal review sessions on the six thematic areas of theMonterrey Consensus constitute the core of the Doha preparatoryprocess. The first four sessions focused, respectively, on“Mobilizing domestic financial resources fordevelopment”, “Foreign direct investment and otherprivate flows”, “External Debt”, and“Addressing systemic issues”. Held in February andMarch, the sessions attracted strong participation by Member States andrelevant stakeholders. The fifth session, on international developmentcooperation or aid, will be held next week.

These review sessions are critical for a successful outcome ofthe Doha Conference. They are meant to produce concrete recommendationsand proposals on how to overcome obstacles and constraints to theimplementation of the Monterrey Consensus, as well as to address newchallenges and emerging issues.

The latter – new challenges and emerging issues onthe financing for development front – will also be the focusat next week’s special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with theBretton Woods institutions, World Trade Organization and UNCTAD.

The present workshop aims to advance mutual understandingamong members of all relevant stakeholders – governments,international organizations, private sector and civil society– regarding emerging issues in international finance for bothmiddle-income and low-income countries. In particular, the workshopwill identify areas that need policy intervention, at both domestic andinternational levels, and cooperation among stakeholders in order to:maintain financial stability; ensure sustainable external debtobligations; maintain access to finance; and build suitable cooperativemechanisms for the re-structuring of sovereign debt and for crisisavoidance and management.

Over the next two days, you will focus on prioritizing theissues and policy options. This workshop is thus very well positionedto contribute directly to the Doha preparatory process. Let us seizethis important opportunity – to advance the substantivediscussions for implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, and to laythe groundwork for a successful and meaningful outcome to the DohaReview Conference.

Thank you.

File date: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Welcome Remarks By Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairsto the Workshop on Debt, Finance and Emerging Issues in Financial Integration

New York, 8-9 April 2008