UN, Bretton Woods group to review progress since Monterrey financing summit

UN, Bretton Woods group to review progress since Monterrey financing summit

USG Nitin Desai briefs journalists
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions are set to meet on Monday for the first follow-up review of the agreements reached at last year's global conference on financing development projects.

The meeting takes place under conditions of a continuing global economic slowdown, uncertainties about the war in Iraq and stalled international trade talks.

By bringing together ECOSOC and the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) under a more formal mandate, the meeting aims to take stock and to maintain the political momentum for implementing what had come out of the International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, Mexico, a senior UN official said today.

The key point is whether the sense of partnership and dialogue built up between the Bretton Woods institutions and the UN development agencies - not merely at the secretariat level, but especially at the intergovernmental level - could be maintained, Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

There is also a need for coherence between development, trade and finance policies, which must be pursued with a common set of goals and objectives, he added.

Representatives of the non-governmental community and the private sector will also participate in the meeting, addressing specific questions on what actions were required at the domestic, international and systemic levels to implement the agreements reached at Monterrey, Mr. Desai said.

The 54-member ECOSOC has taken a lead role in other international policy areas in recent years. Its 1999 "Manifesto on Poverty" anticipated the development goals that were approved at the UN Millennium Summit in New York the following year. The Council's Ministerial Declaration in 2000 proposed specific actions to address the digital divide, leading directly to the formation in 2001 of the UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force. ECOSOC's consideration of African development also resulted in the first formal international endorsement of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), also in 2001.