Press Releases

    10 July 2002

    General Assembly Adopts Resolution Endorsing Monterrey Consensus

    Text Commits to Strengthen United Nations in Revamp of International Financial System

    NEW YORK, 9 July (UN Headquarters) -- Endorsing the Monterrey Consensus as adopted by the International Conference on Financing for Development on 22 March 2002, the General Assembly this morning stressed the importance of keeping fully engaged -- nationally, regionally and internationally.

    Adopting today's resolution, without a vote, the Assembly also stressed the importance of ensuring proper follow-up to the implementation of agreements reached at the Monterrey Conference and of building bridges between development, finance and trade organizations and initiatives within the framework of the Conference.

    The Monterrey Consensus, adopted by acclamation as the signal achievement of the development financing Conference, asserts the international community's resolve to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in the context of a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system. The text contains a commitment to strengthen the United Nations as the main organization to revamp the international financial system, working with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    Introducing the resolution today, the representative of Mexico said Monterrey had been the culmination of an historic process, which situated the fight against poverty as the highest priority of the world's focus on development. It was the crystallization of a major effort as the fight against poverty was taking place under the structure of the United Nations. The idea of holding a conference had circulated in the hallways for decades, concentrating the attention of many of the Organization's finest minds.

    He said it had taken many years, but the first step had been taken to make poverty the highest priority on the development agenda and to open up significant "political space" for that purpose. The United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO in association with regional development banks, United Nations regional commissions and all actors, including parliamentarians, civil society and the private sector, would be able to promote the agenda elaborated at Monterrey. Moving forward, however, required more intensity, he said. In adopting the draft today, the Assembly had taken the first step towards implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.

    The representative of Venezuela, a co-sponsor of the draft, said the Monterrey Consensus represented a new level of achievement by the international community. It was now time to proceed to the implementation of the agreements reached at Monterrey.

    Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the representative of Denmark, another co-sponsor, expressed her sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of the Monterrey Conference, whose outcome text was an important step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A strengthened coordinated follow-up was crucial in that context.

    Andorra became a co-sponsor before the Assembly took action. The others were: Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation and the United States.

    Reviewing the programme budget implications of the draft resolution, a Secretariat representative said that while endorsement of the Monterrey Consensus might entail financial and administrative implications, it was too early to provide a specific and detailed description at the current stage. Details would be provided in the Secretary-General's report to the Assembly at its next session. To the extent that the implications entailed additional resources over and above existing resources approved for the 2002-2003 biennium, the activities to be funded from additional resources would be carried out only on the condition that the Assembly provided those resources and/or that extra-budgetary resources were made available.

    Also speaking after adoption of the text, the representative of Cuba said that while he had joined consensus, he considered the Monterrey Consensus represented an "imposed consensus" and "interventionist charity", as had been stated by President Fidel Castro at Monterrey. Its commitments and goals were well below the challenges faced by the developing world today. Instead of commitments for financing from developed countries, the Consensus had simply added unfair and discriminatory conditions. The Monterrey Conference had not even achieved a concrete plan for implementation. Thus, financing for development was still an unresolved issue on the international agenda, he added.

    Cuba had joined the consensus for the sake of unity with the Group of 77 and China (G-77), he said. In Monterrey, the Cuban delegation had not prevented adoption of the document, but had requested a vote or insisted on formal reservations, since its position had been made quite clear in the statement delivered by President Castro. Now was the time to take up the North-South dialogue, in order to change the unfair, exclusive and unsustainable economic order. The Monterrey Consensus must replace the "Washington Consensus", in order to move towards a more equitable international order.

    The representative of India said that certain domestic procedures necessary for endorsing the Monterrey Consensus had been completed. The upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development would be an important opportunity for the international community to demonstrate its political commitment. It was important to endorse the outcome of recent major conferences, and, for that reason, India had joined the consensus today.

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