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UNCTAD chief outlines challenges for next year's forum on development financing

UNCTAD chief outlines challenges for next year's forum on development financing

A senior United Nations official today said the upcoming global conference on financing for development should aim at helping countries have access to a set of economic tools needed to respond effectively to crises.

Speaking this morning to the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Financing for Development, Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said that as the 11 September terror attacks against the United States showed, the world was increasingly interdependent.

It was therefore important that the same recipes - more liquidity, more fiscal stimulus and more targeted assistance - should be available to all countries to respond adequately to crises, Mr. Ricupero said. Unfortunately, many countries were unable to respond adequately due to a lack of necessary mechanisms and infrastructure so it was up to the international community to determine how these instruments could be improved.

In his statement to the Committee, Mr. Ricupero highlighted the fact that many governments of industrial States had undertaken vigorous efforts to help the most seriously affected industries within their economies following the attacks. However, while many developing countries were also affected, their governments, in some cases, were not capable of responding in the same way. There currently were no mechanisms to help such countries, particularly the least developing countries.

The Conference, slated for 18 to 22 March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, should set the general direction in which to move in order to make the necessary improvements, Mr. Ricupero said. There must be assurances that the agenda was broad enough to address issues such as governance and policy coherence. It was also necessary to ensure that all voices were heard throughout the process, as well as after the Conference.

The Committee will conclude tomorrow its latest discussion of arrangements for the Monterrey Conference, which will seek to address broad development concerns, primarily obstacles faced by developing countries in mobilizing the resources needed to finance their development.