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Mustering resources for development a key goal of Monterrey forum - Fréchette

Mustering resources for development a key goal of Monterrey forum - Fréchette

Louise Fréchette
Next week's global conference in Mexico will be a unique opportunity for countries to tackle head-on the question of resources for financing such development goals as alleviating poverty and achieving education targets, according to Louise Fréchette, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General.

The International Conference on Financing for Development will be about "mobilizing resources for development," Ms. Fréchette said on Monday as she briefed the press at UN Headquarters about the key goals of the forum, which is expected to draw at least 50 heads of State or government and thousands of other officials and non-governmental participants when it convenes from 18 to 22 March, in Monterrey, Mexico.

"It will be looking at all types of resources: the internal resources that developing countries can generate themselves; and the resources that can come from trade, from foreign direct investment, from official development assistance (ODA), from debt relief," she said.

The Deputy Secretary-General noted that a consensus document adopted a few weeks ago by countries established very clear agreement on a number of points, including harmony on the general policy directions that countries have to follow to ensure that they create a receptive climate for growth and for attracting foreign direct investment.

The document is also very clear on its support for continuing trade liberalization and debt reduction, as well as the possibility of developing new mechanisms to deal with situations like the recent one in Argentina, Ms. Fréchette said.

There is further agreement on the need for increased ODA, she added, pointing out that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has promoted the notion that current levels of assistance must be doubled. "[While] this is not in the document at the moment, we still think that that is a reasonable level to aim for," she said.

Ms. Fréchette said there was hope that individual countries might "come up to the plate" during the conference and announce their commitments regarding follow-up. "We hope very much that Monterrey will contribute to developing a momentum and to feeding a momentum of interest and commitment around the world towards the pursuit of the development goals and, therefore, towards finding the resources to accomplish them," she said.