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  Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the draft final document of the International Conference on Financing for Development - Monterrey, March 2002New York, 17 October 2001 Introductory notes by Dr. Jana

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the draft final document of the International Conference on Financing for Development - Monterrey, March 2002
    New York, 17 October 2001

  • Introductory notes by Dr. Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, Format and Rules of Procedure of the International Conference on Financing for Development Monterrey, March 2002
    New York, 15 October 2001

Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the draft final document of the International Conference on Financing for Development - Monterrey, March 2002

Madam Co-Chair,

As this is the first time, I am taking the floor, let me appreciate the enormous effort of our facilitator, Mauricio Escanero, in dealing with the extremely difficult task we entrusted him with. Although the paper provoked very different reactions, we have a proposal for our consideration and we are proceeding in the preparation of the conference. So thanks, Mauricio. The Czech delegation expressed its general position on the draft paper through EU statement which was presented by the Belgien presidency on Monday. Today, I would like to make just one point which is, however, crucial from the conceptual point of view.

The point is that something very important is missing in the draft. We all agree that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development. But what does that mean? Does it mean that a country is responsible for mobilizing resources for development? Only? Is the mobilizing of financial resources, no matter whether domestic or international, private or public the primary responsibility for development? Or does the responsibility for development rather mean that a country is also responsible for setting development goals and for their implementation?

We are strongly convinced that national responsibility for development begins with setting goals, formulation of a specific development or poverty reduction strategy. We even believe that financial resources can hardly be mobilized without good development goals and well formulated strategies.In fact, it should be much easier to mobilize financing for implementation of specified development goals or a good poverty reduction strategy rather than for development in general without any specification of objectives.

What is missing in the draft is that a key prerequisite for mobilizing of development finance is a nationally driven and country-tailored comprehensive poverty reduction and development strategy. Precisely the kind of strategy which is currently being introduced by IMF in LDCs - PRSP - and the strategy which is called for in the New African Initiative. The Czech delegation has stressed on several occassions how exceptionally important the instrument PRSP is. In our view,

- the development strategy should set nationally agreed goals for poverty reduction, economic and social sustainable development and develop all specific policies for achieving the agreed goals,

- the goals should reflect a country´s needs and correspond to UN development goals,

- the strategy needs to cover wide range of governmental responsibilities, from enabling environment for private sector, to good governance and provision of public goods and services, incl. education, health care, social security etc.,

- the strategy should establish linkages between macro-economic policies, such as fiscal and monetary policies, micro-economic policies, such as structural adjustment, diversification or regional development policies, trade liberalization, decentralization and social policies etc.

- the strategy should be formulated in a participatory manner (with participation of governmental authorities of all relevant sectors, academia, business, labor and civil society) in collaboration with relevant international organizations and interested donors.

Even more important than the strategy itself is the. process of decision-making and strategy formulating. If done in a participatory and transparent way, it could have the following positive impacts:

- it would raise public awarness of development goals and mobilize efforts in favor of development and against violation of peace,

- it could help engage various stakeholders, including business sector and civil society,

- it would strengthen transparency in setting goals as well as their implementation,

- by the same token, the room for corruption and mismanagement can be narrowed substantially

- it would enhance coherence of policy advice, coordination and efficiency of ODA.

That is why, the strategy making process is so important. Sorry for making one point so long. But I want to emphasize the importance of such a strategy-formulating process for development and its financing.

We all hope that Monterrey should change "the business as usual" that it should strengthen the will to support development. But we cannot mobilize efforts and resources without doing the business of development differently. The key change is - more coherency, coordination, transparency, and efficiency at both levels - national and international . But development is a hard work primarily at the country level. We have to establish partnerships not only here, at the international level but also and more importantly at the country level. We have to bring various stakeholders to the table at the country level and make them agree on nationally owned and internationally supported strategy. The strategy is the instrument we need as a tool for national ownership and responsibility for development as well as for establishing partnerships.

Madam Co-chair,

We suport the proposal made by Norway to move par. 6 to the chapter I. Furthermore, we suggest to elaborate more on our conceptual messages in chapter I. The Czech delegation would like to see among them:

- prioritizing consistent national development strategy and coherent policies at the country level and making the strategy a common denominator for domestic efforts as well as international assistance,

- introduction of new national strategy - oriented mobilization of resources.

Thank you.

Introductory notes by Dr. Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, Format and Rules of Procedure of the International Conference on Financing for Development Monterrey, March 2002

Madam Co-Chair,

It is my honor and a great pleasure to present today to the Preparatory Committee proposals on specific format and rules of procedure of the International Conference on Financing for Development as requested by the Prepcom at its third session in May. Both proposals were prepared by the open-ended Bureau task force that was entrusted with this task under my chair.

First of all, I would like to state that the proposals resulted from an extremely intensive work of the open-ended Bureau task force which was continuously and efficiently supported by the FfD Bureau. We have had a lot of open-minded discussions about the program of conference, various aspects and alternatives of its meetings and rountables. Let me seize this opportunity and appreciate the enormous efforts and determination of all Bureau members who participated in the work of the Task force, including the officials of the host country Mexico. It was hard work but we managed to pursue our task in a truly constructive manner and in a cooperative and forthcoming atmosphere. What deserves a particular appreciation is a great deal of innovative thinking, creativity and imagination which was frequently offered in order to find acceptable alternatives. There was a lot of understanding for other parties´concerns and relentless will to find the best possible solution. Many thanks to all for the excellent cooperation. In addition, I would like to thank for valuable assistance and reliable support we were given from the FfD Coordinating Secretariat and the UN Secretariat, incl. the Legal Department and the Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services.

Before I start introducing the proposals, let me point out that we approached our work with understanding that this is to be a format for intergovernmental deliberations of a broad cross-sectorial topic which embraces development, finance and trade issues and requires participation of the respective ministries. This multi-sectorial feature of the Conference is suggested to be symbolized in the format, for instance, by co-presidency at the ministerial segment which will be assumed jointly by the ministers of Finance, Trade and Foreign Affairs of the host country. The same scheme of co-presidency will be also applied at the high-level official segment.

On the other hand, we aimed at creating such a format which would reflect an innovative nature of FfD process, particularly the fact that a number of various stakeholders have been involved in the entire preparatory process. All our stakeholders, being it institutional stakeholders, representatives of civil society or business sector will participate in the Conference and our task was to propose the most suitable modalities of their participation. In so doing, we had objective to provide adequate opportunities to the respective stakeholders for delivering statements in plenary meetings as well as for their participating in interactive round table dialogs.

Let me start with the introduction of the format and then continue with the rules of procedures. The proposal of the format is contained in chapters I. of the Fourth Report of the Bureau to the Prepcom.

As previously decided, the conference will be divided into three segments - H-L official segment, ministerial segment and summit. At each segment, a different combination of plenary meetings and interactive round tables is scheduled.

1. The high-level official segment will comprise only a plenary meeting on Monday morning. This segment will elect the President and the General Committee of the Conference, will consider the report by the co-chairs of the Prepcom and other reports from relevant processes and will hear statements by regional commissions and regional development banks.

2. The ministerial segment will consist of a plenary meeting on Monday afternoon and 8 multi-stakeholder round tables on Tuesday and Wednesday. The plenary meeting will hear statements on behalf of intergovernmental economic, financial, monetary and trade bodies (ECOSOC, Development Committee etc.), statements by various UN bodies (UNDP, UNCTAD, DESA etc.), and reports from the civil society forum and FfD business forum. It is supposed that one joint statement will be delivered by a representative of the International Business Forum and one joint statement will be made on behalf of the Civil Society Forum. (I am now deliberately skipping the description of the round tables and I will come back to round tables a bit later.)

3. The summit level will consist of 5 plenary meetings on Thursday and Friday and 4 multi-stakeholder round tables. These round tables will run concurrently with the plenary on Friday. Statements by heads of delegation will start on Thursday morning after introductory statements made by the President of the General Assembly, Secretary General and the heads of major institutional stakeholders (WB, IMF and WTO). The statement by heads of delegation will continue through Friday afternoon. The plenary will be concluded by adoption of the final document, followed by closing remarks by the head of the delegation of Mexico and the Secretary-General.

This is briefly the broad structure of the conference. Let me now return in more detail to the round tables and begin with the only issue we failed to completely agree upon - the issue of theme for round tables as described in par. 11 of the Report.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to resolve the issue of whether there should be specific themes for discussion at the ministerial round tables or not. The Bureau is of the view that this issue requires further consideration and consultations and suggests to take decision on the theme or themes of the ministerial round tables in January 2002. The Bureau however came to an agreement on the theme for round tables at the summit level which would read "The International Conference on Financing for Development: looking ahead".

In order to ensure as much opportunity for an interactive dialog as possible, while also respecting signals from the host country, it is being suggested that 12 multi-stakeholder round tables will be held during three days. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we will have four roundtables a day, meaning 2 simultaneous roundtables in the morning and 2 simultaneous roundtables in the afternoon. This will allow each government delegation to participate in one roundtable a day.

As to the size and the composition of round tables, we tried to ensure participation of all stakeholders and by the same token to preserve a reasonable size of round tables. We resolved the dilemma in the way which is described in par. 12 - 17 of the Report.

Each round table will comprise a maximum of 70 seats. This will enable the participation of 48 government delegations, 8 representatives of institutional stakeholders, 7 representatives of accredited NGOs and 7 representatives of business sector entities. The respective regional groups will determine which of their members will participate in each round table while maintaining the equitable geographical distribution as set in par. 13. It is proposed that the UN Secretary General and the heads of the major as well as other relevant institutional stakeholders will designate their representatives to the round tables. And finally, organizers of civil society and business sector fora are invited to make selection among the respective accredited participants from civil society and business sector.

The multi-stakeholder feature of the Conference is not being expressed only in the composition of the roundtables but also in the scheme of chairing of the roundtables. What the Bureau is suggesting here is that the four round tables at the summit level will be co-chaired by five heads of delegation together with the heads of the major institutional stakeholders - WB, IMF and WTO. Likewise, eight ministerial round tables are supposed to be co-chaired by ten ministers together with the heads of six relevant institutional stakeholders, namely UNDP, UNCTAD and four regional development banks. At this point, I have concluded the introduction of the format.

Let us turn to the proposal of the Rules of procedure contained in the Addendum I to the Fourth Report. The Bureau is submitting to the Preparatory committee the proposal that is based on formalized version of the Rules of procedure that is commonly used for UN conferences. We gave a thorough consideration to the Rules, particularly from the point of view of the unique features of the upcoming Conference on FfD and came to the conclusion that only minor adjustments were needed. Those minor changes were made in to the following rules:

In Rule 6 - the Bureau is proposing that 23 vice-presidents to be elected to the General Committee. The General Committee will be composed of the President, 23 vice-presidents and a rapporteur which would make together 25 members - the number we like, because it is dividable by 5 and allows the equitable regional distribution to achieve easily. If adopted, each region will have 5 representatives in the General Committee.

Furthermore, we added Rules 64 and 65 in order to specify participation of non-governmental organizations and business sector entities and slightly amended the Rule 67 in order to provide an equal treatment to both civil society and business sector entities.

That is all about the rules of procedures. In addition, I would like to briefly mention that many side-events will take place separate from the official proceedings of the Conference. The Bureau has been informed that major business sector interlocutors for the financing for development process are organizing the International Business Forum. There will also be a Civil Society Forum organized by the Organizing Committee for the NGO Forum. The host country is planning to organize a "retreat" for Heads of State or Government on Friday. There are supposed to be numerous press conferences and many other meetings and events, the up-to-date list of which is provided in the chapter II of the Bureau Report.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the proposals you have in front of you accommodated already all concerns raised and reached a unanimous consensus by all 15 members of the FfD Bureau. Therefore, the FfD Bureau recommends to the Prepcom these proposals to be favorably considered and adopted.

Thank you madam co-chair.