Doha, Qatar

29 November 2008

Remarks at Side-Event on Innovative Financing Mechanisms

Minister Alain Joyandet [Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophony, France],

Mr. Douste-Blazy,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be with you at this important side event.

The Monterrey Consensus recognizes the value of innovative sources of financing as a complement to, and not a substitute for, traditional official development assistance.

Today, the search for new sources is even more urgent. The current financial crisis and the looming economic slowdown will certainly affect the budgets of developed and developing countries alike.

Since Monterrey, there has been significant progress on innovative financing.

One major development was the establishment in 2006 of the Leading Group on Solidarity Levies to Fund Development. The Group has generated several new and well recognized projects.

The International Finance Facility for Immunization has been raising funds for programmes through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. GAVI is delivering on its promise of providing reliable, long-term and stable funding for children's vaccination.

In addition, an advanced market commitments programme aims to provide long-term funding for the development of much-needed vaccines. The challenge ahead is to expand the scale of this effort to cover a longer time period.

And the Air Ticket Solidarity Levy is meant to scale up access to treatment against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Twenty-five countries have committed to introducing the levy.

The funds raised so far through innovative sources of financing remain small compared to ODA. But these pilot initiatives indicate the great potential that exists. And there are more initiatives in the pipeline.

President Arias of Costa Rica recently launched an initiative that would provide extra funding for countries that limit military spending.

Other proposals include internationally coordinated levies on carbon emissions, arms purchases and currency transactions.

My Special Adviser on Innovative Sources of Finance, Mr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, is exploring other ideas as well, and building consensus around pilot projects.

I am eager to see the international community bring its creativity to bear on this effort. Indeed, many new initiatives will be developed during this conference.

This is still a growing area, but already I know it will feature prominently in financing for development in the future.

I look forward to working with you to realize the great potential in this area.

Thank you very much.