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In Mexico, Annan says Monterrey forum is key to unlocking development resources

In Mexico, Annan says Monterrey forum is key to unlocking development resources

Secretary-General Kofi Annan
As he headed to a major United Nations forum on development currently under way in Monterrey, Mexico, Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed the importance of unlocking badly needed resources to help countries pull themselves out of poverty.

The Secretary-General, who arrived in Monterrey this afternoon, will deliver a key address to the plenary session of the International Conference on Financing for Development tomorrow, urging donors to provide more resources to help developing countries, according to UN officials.

On his arrival in Mexico City yesterday, Mr. Annan met with President Vicente Fox and Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda. They primarily discussed the Monterrey Conference, but also touched on regional issues, including Colombia and Argentina, the AIDS epidemic and the pending ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

At a press conference with President Fox afterwards, the Secretary-General said that he did not expect the Monterrey Conference to achieve all objectives in a day. But, he added, “We don’t have two worlds. We have only one world. And we cannot have a situation where you have immense wealth and extreme poverty living side-by-side and not try to do anything about it.”

Later, in an address to the Mexican Congress, the Secretary-General describe the Monterrey forum as a “crucial” part of the effort to promote new and urgent commitments for economic and social development.

Mr. Annan also noted the important announcements of increased aid by the United States and the European Union. “Perhaps just as important as the sums they pledged is that the argument in favour of aid has now been won,” he said.