MULTIDIMENSIONAL NATURE OF DEVELOPMENT CALLS FOR COHERENCE, SPEAKERS STRESS DURING ROUND TABLE
(Received from a UN Information Officer.)
MONTERREY, 20 March -- The multidimensional nature of development was underscored this afternoon during Ministerial Round Table B3, held in conjunction with the International Conference on Financing for Development.
Given the complexity of the issue, speakers stressed that conceptual and operational coherence was needed at all levels, including between the major financial actors at the international level, such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Coherence was the very reason for being of the Conference, Enrique Iglesias, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, said in his opening remarks as round-table Co-Chair. Development was extremely complex and cut across many levels, making coherence essential. It was encouraging to see how important it was for the world to see the different actors in the development process speaking together. The Conference was the beginning of something that had been missing for some time.
Ram Sharan Mehat, Minister for Finance of Nepal, the other Co-Chair, said in his opening remarks that coherence was a key word in the context of development, which must take into consideration the particular needs of each people and involved a consistent framework of policy and actions at all levels. There was no single definition for development. Coherence must be achieved in policies, in goals and targets, and at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels.
The discussion, which was one of four round tables held today on the subject of coherence in development, involved United Nations Member States and institutional stakeholders, as well as participants from the business and civil society sectors.
It was stressed during the debate that consideration of financing for development should bear in mind the increasing phenomenon of globalization. There were many opportunities offered by globalization to help nations and peoples develop. Principles of coherence would help to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of globalization. A system could not be effective if it was not coherent. Ideas should be reformulated with all aspects of development in mind. Coordination among all actors was needed if the Millennium targets were to be reached.
Another speaker said the costs and benefits of globalization had not been fairly distributed. Reforming the multilateral trading system was key to achieve coherence. Trade restrictions on agriculture and textiles should be removed. Global, not just local, good governance should be observed. All developing countries should coordinate their input in multilateral forums. Regional groups should, in that regard, be strengthened.
A coherent and effective development policy should sensibly and rationally determine the role to be played by every economic actor and institution, another speaker said. Such a policy should design a system of international relations that led to a reduction in the inequalities between countries and favoured the equal participation of all in global decision-making.
There must be coherence between the social, economic and environmental aspects of development, a speaker stressed. Biodiversity must be promoted and commitments must be undertaken to cover the costs of maintaining it. It was time for new ethics and commitment. Development financing was not an end in itself – people-friendly planet-centred development must be the outcome, another speaker said.
A speaker said the Monterrey consensus might be one of the most important documents in the history of development cooperation. It outlined how the international community could create the necessary conditions for sustainable development. Coherence, globalization and interdependence were key concepts in the development context. He called for good governance at all levels with rule of law and the proper methods to fight corruption. True gender equality and equal opportunity for women in the development process were also essential. Developing countries should receive duty- and tariff-free access to the markets of developed countries.
Another speaker drew attention to the problem of mobilizing resources in economies in transition. Coordinating international financial flows was essential. A fair and non-discriminatory trade and financial system was of extraordinary importance. Increasing resources for the poorest countries at the expense of middle-income countries lacked coherence, another speaker pointed out. Resources should be increased for all, and middle-income countries should not be discriminated against.
"If coherence is necessary, let’s start by being coherent in ODA", a speaker said. It must serve the interests of the population of the developing country being served. All other considerations should be eliminated. Another speaker said that financing for development must be put into action if developing countries were to enjoy even a minimum level of sustainable development. Agricultural subsidies in the face of trade restrictions was just one of the incoherent policies developing countries had to deal with. What had happened to the "new economic order", which had held out so much hope for developing countries? he asked.
Coherence within the United Nations processes was also important, another speaker said. The Millennium Declaration gave Member States huge responsibilities. Coherence would be necessary if its goals were to be achieved. The maximum proof of coherence would be in the ability of financial and developmental policies to eliminate poverty, a speaker said.
Participating in the round table were:
African States: Cameroon, Comoros, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia.
Asian States: Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.
Eastern European States: Georgia, Ukraine.
Latin American and Caribbean States: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala.
Western European and Other States: Belgium, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain, Turkey.
Institutional stakeholder participants: United Nations; World Bank; IMF; WTO; Inter-American Development Bank; Organization of the Islamic Conference; Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica; Pacific Island Forum.
Business sector participants: Business Council for Sustainable Development (Mexico); Business Council for the United Nations; Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and Industry; TechniQuímica; Potomac Associates; Standard & Poor’s; Upstart Business Strategies.
Civil society participants: African Center for Empowerment Gender and Advocacy; ATTAC/Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development; Intermon Oxfam; WFUNA/UNA-Argentina; Campaign to Reform the World Bank; World Council of Churches (EcuTeam); Third World Network.
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