|For information only - not an official document.|
|Press Release No: UNIS/SG/2603|
|Release Date: 27 June 2000|
|Transcript of Press Conference Given by Secretary-General Kofi Annan
And Other Officials to Launch Joint Report “A Better World for All”
NEW YORK, 26 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a transcript of the press conference given by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other officials at the Palais des Nations on Monday, 26 June, to launch the report entitled “A Better World for All”, which is a joint report by the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr. Annan was joined by Mark Malloch-Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Vito Tanzi, Director of the IMF; Ian Johnson, Vice-President at the World Bank for the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network; N. Ngongi, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme WFP); Brian Hammond from the OECD; Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Kul Gautam, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Secretary-General: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am glad to see so many of you here, on the first day of the United Nations special session on social development, and for the launch of this important and timely report.
During the 1990s, United Nations world conferences set major goals for economic and social development. All countries, developed and developing alike, signed on to this agenda, often at the highest political level. Since then, people have been asking whether the world has made good on these commitments. What has worked? What did not, and why? And what can we do better?
This report provides some answers. It is the product of an unprecedented collaboration among four major multilateral organizations. And it responds to a specific request from the G-8 countries that such a report be prepared -- to help monitor progress in the reduction of poverty worldwide and to guide them in their partnership with developing countries.
The result is a common understanding -- a score card and policy road map with which to measure progress in banishing extreme poverty from our world and in achieving the targets set by the world conferences of the past decade.
We are launching the report today -- in Geneva and in Paris -- because it addresses the very same issues being examined by the “Copenhagen Plus Five” special session that began today. We hope that the two events will reinforce each other, and serve as a springboard for action.
The report has three main messages:
First, considerable progress is being made in achieving each of the seven international development goals that the report outlines. In recent decades, most countries have seen big improvements in life expectancy, and big declines in infant and maternal mortality. We have seen more and more children, especially girls, gain access to education. But progress has been uneven. Some countries and regions are taking big steps, while others see little improvement -- and a few see none at all, or even a decline.
Secondly, the targets can be met. The goals are not utopian. They are ambitious, but achievable. To reach them, we will need to work hard. In every region of the world there are some countries which have made rapid progress, showing others what can be done.
That brings me to the report’s third message, which is that, if we are to succeed, developed and developing countries must work together -- in ways that, up to now, they have not been willing to do. Developed countries, especially, must do more to open their markets to products from the developing ones, as well as giving more generous debt relief and official development assistance (ODA).
Poverty is an affront to our common humanity. It also makes many other problems worse. Poor countries are far more likely to be embroiled in conflicts. It is in poor countries that the worst effects of HIV/AIDS and other diseases are concentrated. And it is poor countries -- especially the least developed, and those in sub-Saharan Africa -- that most often lack the capacity and resources to protect the environment.
In an interdependent world, that is something that should be a concern for all of us. That is why the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the OECD have joined forces. We believe a better world can be ours. We believe we can put the great new global market within reach of the poor. We believe globalization can be a positive force for all the world's people.
That message is also at the heart of my own Report – “We, the Peoples” -- which I have put before the Member States in preparation for the Millennium Summit in September. That report, too, deals with poverty -- but also with conflict and the environment. It is aimed at helping world leaders to arrive in New York ready to make concrete commitments -- to their peoples, and to the United Nations.
Question: Mr. Secretary-General, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have nicknamed this report. They call it not a better world for all but a Bretton Woods for all, and their critique is that the recipes are too one-sided, making demands only to the countries of the South. What is your response to this critique? And secondly, why does this report not contain the old United Nations goal of having the industrial countries paying at least 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for development aid?
The Secretary-General: Let me first start by saying that we stand by the target of 0.7 per cent. It is regrettable that very few countries have met that target and this is a point I make often in my own statements. And so we have not moved away from that target. That figure is actually there, my colleagues tell me it is there on page 23. But let me say that I think it is unfair to treat the report as a Bretton Woods institution. Bretton Woods for all. Yesterday, I had the chance of speaking to the NGO Forum and I made the point that we all need to work together. This is a point I made on the first day in office from the General Assembly podium, that as Secretary-General, I would want to work in partnership with everybody, stressing the fact that the United Nations alone can do very little or can do nothing, and that we needed to reach out and work in partnership with NGOs, with the private sector, with civil society generally, foundations and universities and link up with all the international organizations to have greater impact and expand our reach. The NGOs are a very essential part of this partnership, so are the Bretton Woods institutions and so are the private sector, and I think we ought to be careful not to necessarily sow dissent, but find ways of pooling everybody together and, by pooling our efforts, we will have a really great impact on the problems we are dealing with. I did not expect everyone to agree with everything in the report as I do not agree with everything in many reports that I read, but I think the general thrust is right. I think it is a clever slogan, but I do not think it really analyses the report effectively. Thank you very much.
Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator: Let me just, if I may, say a few additional words and then each of my colleagues is also going to say something very quickly, then we can get questions. I think the first good news about this report is now you have a story, because it is extraordinarily important that at this summit, which is about the tensions and trade-offs and fights to get better social development in the world, that these issues are posed occasionally in a way which forces the debate and allows some confrontation. Because there are differences of opinion between civil society and international organizations and between international organizations, and that is part of the valid debate to improve the commitment to social development.
Let me just say, though, that the origins of this report lie in a request from the G-8 to have a tool each year when they meet to benchmark progress towards the development goals. The goal here for us is to create a report which will annually ensure that at the G-8 summit these issues of development and the failures of development are addressed and that is no bad goal, because in many of the recent years development has rarely appeared on the agenda of the G-7. This is an effort to create an annual bench marking exercise which, at their request -- which is the good news -- will put it in front of them every year, and when you see the weak level of attendance by heads of government from the developed countries at this Conference, you know that a bench marking advocacy tool of this kind has to be a plus. So, second, as to its content, does it somehow bias the goals in favour of actions by the South? Everyone of these goals are the goals acclaimed by the United Nations conferences and in the case of one by the Secretary-General -- I mean six by the United Nations conferences and one by the Secretary-General in his Millennium report: The income poverty goal, which we expect to be adopted by the Millennium Assembly. So these are goals adopted by the South as much as the North. And they are aimed at a northern audience, the G-7, to force them to do more to support poverty reduction in the South. So I don’t think it is a bad goal, and finally on the language which has caused most concern, the language about open markets.
As the Secretary-General said, we in the United Nations are internationalists, we believe in an open global society, a society where ideas, trade and everything can flow across borders -- but we believe in a managed one. The language which has caused such concern is, if you compare it to the language of the Copenhagen Declaration five years ago, almost the same. It is balanced in this report as it was at Copenhagen, with language about social protection, social investment, the inclusion of the poor. So please take the document as a whole. Thank you.
Marie Heusé, Director of the United Nations Information Service at Geneva: I would like to introduce everybody on this podium. First of all you have heard Mark Malloch-Brown, Administrator of UNDP; on his right, Mr. Vito Tanzi, Director at the IMF; Ian Johnson, Vice-President at the World Bank, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network; at his right Mr. N. Ngongi, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme. On the other side, when we look at the left, first is Mr. Brian Hammond from OECD; Mrs. Nafis Sadik, the Executive Director of the UNFPA and she will speak after Mr. Malloch-Brown. On my side Kul Gautam, Deputy Executive Director for UNICEF, and Mr. Vladimir Petrovsky, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Nafis Sadik, UNFPA Executive Director: I want to just make a couple of points. I think that the goals that come out from these conferences, and I think maybe Mark already mentioned them, that are used in this report, come out of the global conferences and, therefore, there is an international consensus on these goals amongst all countries and especially the developing countries for whose benefits some of those goals were agreed. I think that these goals are in the interests of all of the developing countries and what we need to do is to find a way to make that international commitment a reality. As far as population issues are concerned, we see this as one of the areas where, in fact, the United Nations has made a great deal of progress, but yet many things still remain to be addressed.
First of all, the very high rate of maternal mortality, which is, as the report says, difficult to measure, but it is really one of the biggest single differentials between the developed and the developing world. Maternal mortality is 600 times higher in some of the African countries than it is in some of the more developed societies, and what is worse about maternal mortality, which numbers between 500,000 and 600,000 deaths each year, is that 98 per cent of those deaths are taking place in the developing countries and are preventable. The majority of those could be prevented by very simple means, and I think what we need is to apply what we know. They are not very, as we say, rocket science-type of technology, it’s just simple technology in its attention to people, especially attention to girls and to women.
We also know that the reproductive health area which includes maternal mortality reduction, family planning, delivery, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, etc., while we have an international agreement and consensus starting from the ICPD in Cairo and the Beijing Conference, and human rights, etc., but at each of the review conferences you will have noticed that these same issues are always in brackets. We have the right to reproductive and sexual health and services in brackets at this conference, as well. The needs of adolescents for reproductive health information, education and services are in brackets, even though we know that HIV/AIDS is rampant now in Africa, and that adolescent girls are six times more likely to get and have it. The data is that adolescent girls are six times more likely to be infected with HIV than boys, and some girls are as young as 10 and 11 and 12 years of age.
So I think while we are making a great deal of progress, these issues still need constant advocacy and support. I think here the NGOs and the media have a very important role to play in the advocacy part in presenting to the world community the individual human interests stories that will create the support and mechanisms that are required and the environment support that is required at the highest political levels. The Secretary-General already mentioned the needs of Africa. I think all of the statistics show that Africa is lagging behind in the reproductive health-care services and maternal-mortality reduction. Also Africa lags behind, for example, on contraceptive problems or levels of access to attend delivery. Contraceptive use in Africa is only something like 10 per cent compared to the world total now of like 59 per cent, and yet this is a huge progress because, just a few years ago, Africa was only at 3 per cent. So while it is huge progress, they are very far from achieving the goals that have been set and that they have set for themselves.
I think also there is the issue of gender equality and women's empowerment which is very much linked to reproductive health rights and to the reduction of maternal mortality and safe motherhood. Also one can say there is that great progress, but yet a great deal more needs to be done and must be done. And here also you see some signs of a small backlash, but I think it's small and I think we will overcome that. I think we all just need to work together, so I am very pleased to have the Cupertino of the big financial institutions. I do not think there is any danger that they are going to take us over. I think that we are influencing them, if I might be so presumptuous as to say and think that people are more important than GNP; that per capita income is less important than the person. And I think if that lesson gets heard in the financial institutions, not just in the multilateral world, but also in the private world -- private sector -- I think that we would have made big process. And I think that the United Nations is, in fact, doing that and will continue to do that. So I would see this partnership more as United Nations dominated because it comes from the conference's goals that have been set under the United Nations-sponsored conferences, and I think that we will, together, make a difference. And I must include civil society in all of its range of institutions and groups. Thank you.
Question: My question is to the panel. When do you see the World Trade Organization (WTO) joining this partnership, and what exactly do you see as the role of the WTO in relationship to these goals? In addition to that, this is question specifically to Dr. Sadik since more women die of tuberculosis than die during childbirth. What exactly do you see as the conflict which is likely to happen between your organization and the World Health Organization (WHO), which is not present here right now? Could we have a little more clarity on what the partnership really was?
Mr. Malloch Brown: I see no reason why this group will grow beyond these four organizations because this is not a policy partnership. It is a partnership to benchmark these issues for the future years, so if we can add a health goal, it will be great and if we need WHO involved to do it, we do it. But it's not intended to be some broad partnership to set development policy for the world. Its four agencies -- United Nations which already includes members of the United Nations development group of which WHO is a member -- and the United Nations itself with the other three groups: the IMF, the World Bank and OECD. Because collectively, we can provide the data for this system of annual benchmarking and if necessary shaming the G-7 to do more. And it is not intended to be a prescriptive group that's going to set policy. Instead, it's going to measure progress. So I think there are enough measurers here at the podium already.
Dr. Sadik: Your question is our relationship with the World Health Organization. You know, the UNFPA is a population fund and our main area of work is reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, etc. As far as tuberculosis and malaria, for example, we do also work on these issues in relation to women in the reproductive ages. For example, in the maternal mortality reduction programme, one of the things that we have included in our criteria for attention to the group of women that we addressed is women who are at risk when they become pregnant, and tuberculosis is a risk. In fact, during pregnancy, tuberculosis, as you know, subsides. but immediately following, it just rages and, therefore, deaths become very rapid at post-delivery. So we are working on it with them, and it's a good collaboration because it's a targeted group that we can address while the WHO tuberculosis programme addresses all women regardless of whether they are in the reproductive or the maternal health target group.
Kul Gautam, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF: In terms of the health-related goals, in fact, among all the goals adopted by the United Nations conferences, the most numerous and the most quantifiable goals had been in the health area. And some of the greatest progress had been made in that area. And I would say that, in this report, we talk about infant mortality, under-five mortality and even when we talk about poverty, we don't just talk about the income part of poverty, malnutrition, and manifestation of poverty. So I think this report contains many, many goals in the area of health. May I also say that at this kind of a conference, there is generally an undercurrent of cynicism that goals are ever set and never met. I think what this report tries to do is to present a balanced picture. Yes, there are goals that have not been met, I think particularly in the area of resources. That 0.7 per cent of GNP has not been met and we deplore that. That 20/20 commitment has not been met and we deplore that. That debt relief has not been provided and we deplore that.
However, there are also very significant achievements and I hope we will take encouragement from goals like the eradication of polio which we are now on the verge of eradicating, and it is not a minor goal. It involves reaching every year half a billion children. And we have done that every year for the last couple of years. And that goal is on the verge of achievement. I hope you will take courage from the fact that we are in the health area dealing with a goal to deal with the greatest causes of mental retardation in the world which caused millions of people to be mentally retarded. It is iodine deficiency disorder. An iodized salt programme that has been launched all over the world is one of the greatest success stories. The numbers involved are astounding. That between 1990 and last year, 3 billion additional people have access to iodized salt. And I will bet that not even the Coca Cola Company or Microsoft or any of the big giants can claim to have that kind of reach and we have that kind of a reach. So I think there is some message of hope, as well as a message of disappointment that some of the goals have not been reached.
Question: I would like to have a comment from the IMF and the Bank. The Secretary-General said last night at the forum, and Dr. Sadik said it again here, that you are learning from the United Nations organizations. Could we have a comment on that and could you please tell us how had that resulted in changing the way you operate in the countries.
Ian Johnson, Vice President of the World Bank: Yes, I think where we are collectively at our best is when we learn collectively. I should say the World Bank is a member, part of the United Nations family, and it is not as if we are distant relatives -- we are close relatives.
I think there are a number of areas to be specific. If I think of our work in post-conflict work, it's a natural marriage in many respects where the United Nations is really empowered to undertake the political work, the early work in post-conflict and we can provide the downstream investment, the downstream work in social capacity-building, in infrastructure building and the likes and is one example, where I think historically we haven't work very well together. The second one, I think, is on some of the technical areas we have partnerships with the WHO, with UNICEF. I personally have a very close relationship with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) where we again can work with the technical expertise that is in the United Nations that frankly we don't have in the World Bank. There are areas where we have technical expertise that they don't. So there are many; many partnerships have emerged over the last five years which are basically unheard and unseen but very important in terms of us trying to get collective work together, work on research, work on policy work, work on operations and investment. So there are many, many cases where we are working together. But I do think it is the bringing together of the deliberative and roles that the United Nations can play with frankly the more downstream operations work and economic and social policy role that we can play. And it is, I think, when it works well as I believe it has done in a number of cases on post-conflict, very powerful.
Vito Tanzi, Director at the IMF: On the Fund, I really clearly believed that we have learned a lot from the United Nations, but also we hoped that United Nations has learned something from us as a symbiotic relationship. We have had continuous contacts, especially which have become more and more frequent in recent years. In terms of what we are doing differently, well, if you look at the work of the Fund over the past 10-15 years, you will see that there has been a tremendous change, especially a change in attitude in paying attention to certain things. Maybe until the mid-1980s, we really felt that poverty issues, issues of income distribution and so forth, were not really our concern. Then the mood started changing and, in recent years, we have been paying much more attention to this, without abandoning our major mandate which is to improve the working of economies. The work has changed in many areas, for example, it has changed in the design of our programmes. There was a time when we designed a programme without really worrying too much about the redistributional consideration about poverty consideration, as long as the programme was successful in terms of promoting stability and promoting growth, that was good enough for us. But in more recent years, we really worry when we design a programme whether some groups, particularly some poor groups, would be impacted by it. We have changed in the sense that we worry a lot about safety nets. Now when we cannot change the design of the programme in many countries, we are recommending a safety net and we have lots of missions, especially in technical assistance in various countries, and we are clearly worried about issues like unproductive spending. You know, there is a lot of data which have been assembled over time, we are worried about expenditure, say, for military expenditure; we are keeping track of how much the countries spend. Sometimes we urge countries to reduce that. Sometimes we have gone to two different countries which are rivals, trying to tell both of them to lower spending, so there is a lot of this kind of work which is taking place and much of it is not very visible because it is behind the scenes. It is being done quietly. But I want to stress that the major mandate of the Fund is still that of promoting good working economies, so that this economy can grow. We are not abandoning obviously that mandate, but we are working much more closely with our colleagues from other institutions. Thank you.
Question: This is actually more of a follow-on for the Bank and the Fund. Whenever we hear them speak, it always seems as if the real trouble has been in the past. Just in the last couple of months, a chief economist from the Bank, eased out for being, perhaps, too critical of the IMF, the lead author of the World Development Report, after going through a two-year consultative participatory process to produce a flagship on poverty reduction, resigns under pressure to tone down comments about the negative impact of globalization. One might add that the G-7 goes to hide in an island far away from everywhere, elsewhere -- to get anywhere close, you have got to stay in a $400 a night hotel -- and rather strangely the World Bank has its major conference on development policy to clash with this review of the Social Summit. I wonder what is going on. Juan Somavia of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said that the technology of globalization may be a fact, but the policies that go along with it have been made by policy makers and can be changed by policy makers. I wonder why the Bank and the Fund are still so afraid of dissenting views?
Mr. Johnson: I do not want to put any conjecture as to why Joe Stiglet left the Bank or Ravi Kandar, who is the author of the World Development Report. I understand that in the case of Ravi, it was somewhat unfortunate and I think the major debate that he has stimulated -- and it is a debate that I feel extremely close to, I must confess -- is one that I think will go forward in the final World Development Report. One of the questions, I think -- and it is an interesting question to put forward -- is what is the balance between social transformation and economic transformation? We realize that economic growth alone will not get us where we need to be on a sustainable development path, but we equally realize that just dealing with social issues without also dealing with economic growth won't. So it has the combination of both and it has, in my view, developed a very open debate in terms of the openness.
I think the World Development Report has really been a very open process with a great many debates around the world over the last 18 months. I myself have been involved in a number of issues of our policy work -- on forestry and global environmental issues -- which have been very, very open to debate and discussion by civil society, NGOs, academia and others. So I think the Bank 10 years or so ago was a very closed institution. I think it is now a very open institution. That does not mean we have to agree with everything in the case of this World Development Report -- there was a genuine debate about what the right balance was. And that was with Ravi and others. In terms of the Paris meeting and the report, let me say that we have a very strong World Bank team here, led by a managing director and including a large number of vice-presidents from the Bank. We are committed to the social agenda and we are committed to the work of the United Nations. We have worked extremely closely and will continue to do so, so I think this is something we in the World Bank are very, very committed to. We are bringing many people who are coming from Paris to this meeting and so we will have a number of people coming today and tomorrow.
Mr. Tanzi: Nobody has resigned from the Fund, so I suppose that the question was much less relevant to the Fund. I just want to say that, first of all, the Fund has become a much more open institution. If you don't believe me, just go to the Web site and you will be overwhelmed with more information than you possibly might want to have. Also I want to add that there is a tremendous amount of debate inside the Fund. This view that I hear that there is an orthodox view of doing things, that there is one side fits all, doesn't really correspond to the Fund that I know. We have a violent, strong debate inside, and we are learning a lot about the new things. Sometimes, we make mistakes for sure. We are involved in so many things that we must make mistakes and we are more willing to admit now, probably more than in the past, that occasionally we do make mistakes. But really the point I want to make is that the Fund has changed a lot and is much more open to outsiders and also open inside to debate and we have people with different views within the institution and everybody is free to express those views. Thank you.
Brian Hammond, of the OECD: I would just like to bring us back to this report actually. Because this is a sign of partnership in action between the four organizations and it is partnership in action for the long term. We are not in this for the short term. Most of these goals are for 2015 -- that is, 15 years away. We are here at the Social Summit reviewing the fact that progress has not been as good in the 1990s as we would have liked and it is a call to action, as Mr. Mark Malloch-Brown has said, to the G-7, to development cooperation ministers for whom I work, to actually say "you are off track, we need to get back on track", but that it can be done and to demonstrate that in figures, to use it as an advocacy tool, including on this island of Japan, Okinawa, where the G-8 Summit will take place, and there is a call to action sent out by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD just a month ago, in their high-level meeting, to move from commitment to implementation of these goals.
Yes, the 0.7 target is not being met, only by four donors. But ODA has actually stopped declining. There were increases this year that brought it back to 0.24 per cent of donors' GNP, still way below the high point of 0.33 per cent. But the corner has been turned, and it has, in part, been turned because of a focus on these long-term goals, on actually achieving something with donors' tax-payer money. Yes, the 20-20 target has not been reached. It has not been reached by either side of the partnership. As it says in here on the developing country side, some 12 to 14 per cent is going into social services -- basic social services. I have a report here which we will be tabling with the United Nations that some 11 per cent of ODA of development aid is going into that. That needs to be increased, and work to increase that is going on, including through the other subject that was mentioned, debt relief. The increase in debt relief, delivering that faster to a wider number of countries and linking that debt relief to poverty reduction will be a way of getting those social expenditures up, and will be a way to make the differences that are called for in this report. Thank you.
Question: My question is of a general nature to the panel, general but related to poverty and social misery. Before Copenhagen and even after that, and up to this report, it is seen that the issue of disparity and income inequality is not seriously addressed in the international forums. From a statistical point of view, this is not seriously addressed in these forums. What is the reason?
Mr. Tanzi: Let me try and say that I think, as a collection of agencies, we in our different ways are trying to address poverty reduction in a very strategic way. I think these very large gatherings of world leaders make it very hard to have the detailed programmatic discussion of poverty reduction that your question looks for. What you can do in these conferences is generate the political will and the follow-up action to make sure the will is translated into action. You can't really get down into poverty reduction strategy, it just isn't a forum that allows itself to do it, although I would encourage you to go to many of the workshops where much of this discussion is taking place.
If your question implied a sort of ideological bias in these meetings to gloss over the sources of poverty, I would say to you I hope that is not true in that the very power of the United Nations conference is that every point of view is represented here -- governments of different political persuasions, civil society of different persuasions -- and I think the more we fall behind the target in poverty reduction, the more we are pushing the pendulum towards more radical approaches, and so I imagine that much of the thinking you will hear in the corridors this week takes a more radical approach to poverty reduction than five years ago, because we are seeing very clearly, as Juan Somovia and others have pointed out, that the benign hand of the market alone is not going to succeed in poverty reduction, and we need more and more effective strategic policy interventions to correct that.
N. Ngongi, Deputy Executive Director of the WFP: I think that if I understood, the last question was, what stops the United Nations and the international community from giving higher priority to poverty reduction measures? That is the question. I think if globally 10 per cent of ODA is going to really provide the reduction measures, what are the other aspects of development which are so important that it takes more than 90 per cent of the resources going to developing countries? Somehow, I guess that is where we collectively can admit that we can do a lot more.
We probably should have that almost as an exclusive target in the future, to ensure that we have a benchmark or to the portion of ODA plus United Nations resources which are going to the poverty reduction areas. Or else we can go on from one conference to the other and not make a real dramatic increase in it. Why should we, in the year 2000, still be talking about the basic needs of people, of food, of basic health, of shelter, of going to school -- things which are so clear? I think maybe we can all accept, of course, that we can also benchmark our resources and make sure a larger proportion, than what is 10 per cent or 11 per cent till you go into poverty reduction, should be allocated to those areas.
Kul Gautem, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF: I hope you find that the issue of disparities is in fact addressed in the report. We talk not only in terms of average figures of what has happened to education or health, we talk about gender differentials, we talk about urban-rural differentials -- and certainly disparities need to be taken into account. But I also hope that you will take one other point from this report. That is, that it is sometimes said that poverty eradication is too difficult, it costs too much money. I hope this report makes it clear that, in fact, far from being unaffordable, development and poverty eradication is a bargain, that actually meeting poor people's needs is surprisingly cheap. It is meeting the rich people's greed that is very expensive.
Food is cheap, cosmetics are expensive; education is cheap, it is the military armaments that are expensive. Essential drugs are cheap, vaccines are cheap, Viagra is expensive. So the things that are really necessary for people are in fact affordable and to the extent that we are not meeting these goals it is not because they are too expensive and unaffordable, it is a question of priority and it is a question of choice and I think this is what the Secretary-General was intending by bringing this to the club of the richest countries in the world to say that these are in fact quite affordable. We estimate that to meet all the basic services and basic needs of people, it will cost an additional $80 billion. That may sound like a big amount of money, but we all know in a $30 trillion world economy, $80 billion is not that big. In a world where $700 billion are spent every year, even after the cold war, on the military, $80 billion is not unaffordable. So I hope that one of the messages that we will take from this is that the fight against poverty and its many manifestations is achievable and affordable, and I think this is the message that the Secretary-General is trying to give to the G-7 and to all of us, and we are delighted that the World Bank, IMF and OECD are part of that recognition and appreciation.
Question. If the report actually draws on conclusions from United Nations goals before, do I understand right the G-7 were not paying attention to what the United Nations was saying, and what is the guarantee that now that the Bretton Woods institutions also lend their voice in the symbiotic relationship they will listen? That is number one. And number two, what does the panel have to say -- I am sorry Mr. Mark Malloch-Brown has already left -- on the new conditionalities that are being proposed and increasingly being adopted by multilateral institutions, including those present here, on democracy, good governance and human rights of various sorts? Thank you.
Mr. Hammond: If I can first just adjust the fact that only 10 per cent of aid goes to poverty reduction. Of course, most aid, most of the $55 billion of aid goes to poverty reduction. There is some 11 per cent that directly goes to basic social services -- primary education, primary health care. But a lot of that assistance goes to the benefit of poor people, and I think that it is an important point. Were the G-7 not listening at United Nations conferences? Quite the reverse. It was G-7 ministers in the Development Assistance Committee with their colleagues that first came out with this selection of seven goals in shaping the twenty-first century. By saying that there are so many goals that to follow them all and understand them all does not help in raising funds for development assistance. But by following seven key interrelated goals which, if they were to be achieved, would make for a much better world, and the title is deliberate, would raise the cause of development cooperation. And that was because they were looking at those conferences and chose to take goals from those conferences to which all countries had signed up and to which all countries are recommitting themselves here in Geneva as we speak.
As for the conditionalities, as you put it, to democracy of human rights, there is a recognition in here, there is a recognition in this year's human development board, there is a recognition everywhere. That if development is to succeed and to be for the people of countries, then voices for the people are important. That they have a say in their futures and that there be a say for women just as much as for men is absolutely vital. And that is clear both in this document that originated in this and in the, "A Better World for All" report, that they go hand in hand in order to make that difference and to make it sustainable.
Mr. Tanzi: Poverty alleviation requires money. And as you know, ODA money has been falling over the years and we have been calling attention to this repeatedly. But there is a correlation probably between the fall in ODA money and the growing concern about governance and lack of transparency and so forth. Unfortunately, lack of transparency and lack of good governance sometimes is being used as an excuse for reducing assistance. And we want to remove that excuse. So with paying more attention to transparency, to corruption and so forth, we will remove that excuse so that ODA money can go back to the 0.7 that we hoped to get.
Question: I would just like to ask Mr. Tanzi. This morning, at the press briefing, Mr. Lango said that the European Union and Canada are inclined towards an international form of taxation of finance to raise funds and to fight poverty. Is this a good idea? Could it be useful in your opinion?
Mr. Tanzi: I think that, over the long run, I don't see how we can get away from the fact that we will need to raise some public money to support public goods which are of an international character. Right now, we have international public goods and the financing of these goods comes to the willingness of government to provide funds to the United Nations, to other agencies. But with time, this probably would set in a sustainable situation so that there would be a time where we will develop certain ways of putting taxes on the world community and using this money to support courses which have to be supported internationally. But I am also convinced that, probably, that time has not come. I really cannot see many governments supporting this. But it doesn't mean we should not keep pushing for that. We should do the technical studies that allow us to see whether those kind of taxes are feasible to try to think about the administration. At some point in some of my writing, I would suggest that the time has come to create a world tax organization, which is not, by the way something to put taxes, but at least to discuss tax issues, to raise information and so forth. We have now organizations for many other activities and this is a very important activity.
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