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UN concludes high-level meeting on development financing
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05:48, October 26, 2007

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The 62nd session of the UN General Assembly concluded on Thursday a three-day high-level meeting on development financing which focused on preparations for a review of anti-poverty promises pledged by world leaders in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus in Mexico.

More than 90 speakers took the podium to address the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, calling for more concerted efforts by the international community to ensure the implementation of the consensus.

In Monterrey, developing countries took primary responsibility for their development, and for mobilizing domestic resources. Developed countries, in turn, agreed to provide assistance and promote an enabling international environment for development.

Since then developing countries have worked to improve macroeconomic and fiscal management and increased social expenditure but commitments to provide new resources to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have not been fully met, according to a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

During the high-level dialogue, the third one sponsored by the UN in the last five years, representatives from developing countries voiced concern at the weak implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, urging the international community to take concrete measures to maintain the overall credibility of the consensus.

They called on developed countries to deliver commitments to increasing aid and achieve the 0.7 percent official development assistance target so as to help achieve the MDGs.

On behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, Pakistan's Minister for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said that the Monterrey Consensus suffered from a "serious implementation deficit."

While some developing countries had exhibited dynamic economic performance, many countries remained mired in a vicious circle of poverty, far from achieving the Millennium Goals, Khar said.

In the future, the international community should redouble its efforts to enhance official development assistance and to secure additional resources for developing countries, she said.

The United Nations should increase the ability of poor and vulnerable economies to attract private and multilateral investments and member states should do more to help solve the external debt problems of developing countries, she added.

In closing remarks, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said that many representatives expressed their concern with the growing economic inequalities, not only between countries but also within countries in the context of globalization.

Many speakers stressed the need to promote foreign direct investment in lower-income countries in order to boost productive economic activity, he said.

Many delegations urged "decisive progress" in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations in order to accelerate progress on development and poverty reduction, Kerim said.

Many participants reiterated the need to improving the voice and effective participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making, he said.

Delegates also stressed that adapting to climate change was an emerging issue that should be linked to the financing for development process, he added.

The meeting, which included a series of plenary sessions and informal meetings and six round-table conferences, brought together finance ministers, central bank governors and representatives from world finance and trade institutions, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.

The high-level event was aimed at preparing for the International Review Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Doha late next year.

Source: Xinhua

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