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STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. NOBUHIDE MINORIKAWA
FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF JAPAN
AT THE FOLLOW-UP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
30 NOVEMBER 2008
I am honoured to speak on behalf of the Government of Japan, as we gather here to review the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus on financing for development at this critical juncture. Before I begin, let me join others in expressing profound gratitude to the Government and the people of Qatar for their gracious hospitality. I also congratulate the facilitators, which are the delegations of Egypt and Norway, for their tireless efforts in pushing forward the negotiations to draft an outcome document, and the UN Secretariat for their support to the Member States.
What has changed since the year 2002, when the world agreed on the Monterrey Consensus? The recent financial crisis has become a focus of attention for everyone involved in financing for development, and with good reason. There are widespread concerns that the impacts of financial turmoil and the plummeting stock market worldwide are seeping through into our real economy. In all likelihood our common efforts to achieve development are going to face even harsher realities because of the current financial crunch. At the same time, issues like climate change and increases in food and energy prices have become serious concerns in the international community today. These issues are not necessarily new in themselves, but there is a much greater sense of urgency today about the need to address them timely and effectively. We now face a growing and diversifying demand for financing sustainable development, with an ever growing number of factors that can jeopardise our efforts for ensuring human security and attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
Having said that, I must emphasize that these recent developments have not fundamentally altered the significance of the principles agreed in 2002. The Monterrey Consensus remains the cornerstone of our overall efforts to secure financing for development. We need to build on this and ensure that the efforts of both industrialized and developing countries to achieve MDGs will not falter, even in the midst of the recent financial setback.
Earlier this year, through the processes of the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) and the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, Japan has led international efforts to lay out strategies for development, and announced its development-related commitments such as doubling its ODA and private investment for Africa by year 2012. Just two weeks ago, the G20 leaders gathered in Washington and agreed to work together to restore global growth and achieve needed reforms in the world's financial systems. To help emerging and developing economies gain access to finance, we all agreed on the need to ensure sufficient resources for the IMF and other international financial institutions, and in this context, Japan expressed its readiness to finance up to USD 100 billion to the IMF, as an interim measure before a capital increase in the IMF takes place, so that the IMF can extend necessary assistance to those in need.
I assure you, Japan for one will not reverse its course on the promises it has made through these meetings. In delivering on our commitments, we believe in doing so steadfastly and promptly, rather than making extravagant new gestures without any credible follow-up. And we call on other donor countries to carry out their existing commitments as well. At the same time, in an imperfect world where financial resources for development are not unlimited, donor countries should strive for getting the maximum result out of the same amount of input, by coordinating with each other to utilize resources in an even more effective and efficient manner.
In many ways, the development agenda adopted in Monterrey in 2002 is just as, or even more, relevant today. The Monterrey Consensus rightly shed light on a wide range of possible financing measures for development, devoting separate chapters for domestic resources, ODA, external debt, international trade, and foreign direct investment and other private flows. Even then, it was evident that the increasing development needs of the world required much more than just ODA and traditional donors. Today, the need to mobilize a wide variety of resources is taken more seriously than ever, with a diverse set of players asserting themselves as major stakeholders in development, from governments of developing countries and emerging economies to international organizations, private foundations, corporations, and academia. It is therefore necessary to adopt a participatory approach in reviewing and following up the Monterrey Consensus, so that we can draw strength from all these players.
Another point that was stressed in Monterrey, and holds true today, is the importance of national policies and development strategies. It really goes without saying that each country should take on the primary responsibility for its own development with a strong sense of ownership. Good governance, sound macroeconomic policies, solid democratic institutions, anti-corruption measures, an enabling environment for capacity building and investment, are essential ingredients for a government to ensure human security for its citizens and attain sustainable growth. These elements should be fully acknowledged in the outcome of this review conference, and should be pursued vigorously in our shared endeavour to achieve development.
This review conference is being held in challenging times indeed, but challenges can also be opportunities in disguise. It is my sincere hope that this conference, building on the original consensus in Monterrey, will give renewed impetus to, and provide a reference point for, further global efforts on financing for development in the years ahead.
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