Monterrey Consensus must become reality, Annan tells UN-Bretton Woods meeting
The recent consensus on global development adopted at a United Nations conference in Monterrey, Mexico, must be transformed into reality, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today told key finance ministers from across the world meeting with the UN Economic and Social Council in New York.
"Our challenge now is to maintain the positive spirit that led to the Monterrey Consensus, and translate it into real and meaningful implementation," the Secretary-General told a high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions. He pledged to ensure that "the requests addressed to me in the Monterrey Consensus are carried out fully and in a timely fashion," adding that he would do all he could to ensure that "our organizations 'stay on the same page.'"
Looking ahead, the Secretary-General stressed the need to ensure the success of the World Summit for Sustainable Development later this year in Johannesburg by building on pledges at last year's World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Doha, Qatar, for a "development round" of trade negotiations.
"Monterrey offers the promise that developing countries will be able to seize such an opportunity by mobilizing the resources that are so desperately needed for development," he said. "Johannesburg must put a crucial piece of the puzzle into place by offering the prospect of sustainability - development that makes a difference not only today, but over the long term."
The UN projects a slow global economic recovery, with growth expected at 2 per cent this year and 3 per cent by 2003. But Mr. Annan pointed out that "many questions remain regarding the strength of the recovery, its breadth across economies and sectors, and its sustainability."
While emphasizing the need for development in all countries, the Secretary-General called for efforts to tame "development's worst enemy: armed conflict, which can extinguish, in days or even hours, years of work to reduce poverty."
For his part, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Ivan Simonovic of Croatia, said the Monterrey Conference had been an important first step in creating a coherent and more participatory multilateral system. He noted, however, that a massive effort was now required to mobilize more and better cooperation for development and to build an international economic system that was more conducive to the development of the poor.
The goal was obviously to make financial, trade and economic activities and systems more supportive of development goals, as well as to make the most of existing institutions by strengthening cooperation between them, Mr. Simonovic said. He stressed that a close link must be established between individual Millennium Development Goals and principles set in Monterrey for their financing. That would finally improve effectiveness in dealing with the real world problems such as hunger, illiteracy, poverty and disease, he said.