ECOSOC gears business leaders on investment in poor countries

ECOSOC gears business leaders on investment in poor countries

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) heard proposals today from private business leaders for increasing the scope and spread of private investment in poor countries and establishing a framework for resolving national debt crises to the benefit of both creditors and the debtor country.

The session was part of the key follow-up role assigned to ECOSOC in the Monterrey Consensus establishing a working agreement on development principles between developing and developed countries. The Consensus was adopted last year by the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, which recognized that development advances are a precondition for world stability and security.

In April, ECOSOC will hold a meeting with finance ministers en route from the World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual spring meeting in Washington, D.C., as well as by representatives of the World Trade Organization, as further part of this follow-up role.

Among business leaders at today's meeting were Maria Livanos Cattaui, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Barbara Samuels II of President Samuels Associates; Crocker Snow, Director of Money Matters Institute; and Paul Underwood, Executive Director of the Business Council for the United Nations.

The proposals presented included the development of a venture capital fund for low income countries, consideration of various types of mechanisms in relation to sovereign debt and a discussion on the responsibility and transparency of sovereign credit ratings.