Press Releases

                                                                                                                            13 April 2004

    Major Effort Needed to Mobilize Additional Financial Resources for Development, Secretary-General Says in Message to Paris Ministerial Forum

    NEW YORK, 8 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Ministerial Forum on Financing for Development in Paris, delivered today by José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs:

    If the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we will need not only significant changes in policies and priorities, but also a major effort by developing countries and the international community to mobilize additional financial resources.  Most estimates suggest that on top of domestic resources, this would require at least a doubling of recent levels of official development assistance (ODA).

    But even if such unprecedented levels were attained and the Goals were reached, there would still be a vast backlog of human deprivation.  We would still need a broader, longer-term strategy that would provide the financing for the complete eradication of poverty for infrastructure such as roads, ports and telecommunications, and for “global public goods” such as fighting communicable diseases and protecting our planet’s air, water, land and other essential resources, upon which all nations depend for their well-being.

    Despite recent improvements, it appears unlikely that the resources required for these purposes will be forthcoming soon.  ODA has increased recently, but many developed countries currently face fiscal constraints.  Total resources are still falling far short of needs.

    I am glad that this ministerial forum will continue the very lively international debate on potential new and additional sources of development financing.  We need to think creatively, and consider what both the public and private sectors can do.  And we need ideas that are both technically feasible and that can attract very broad political support.

    One of the most innovative ideas is the International Finance Facility proposed by Gordon Brown, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer.  I welcome this initiative, and call on the international community to give it careful consideration, since it could provide the financing needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

    At the same time, we must also continue to consider how to meet longer-term needs after 2015. I hope that this forum will mark a first step in devising arrangements for financing that will enable the Millennium Development Goals to be met in the current generation, and for progress to be sustained into the next.  I look forward to working with you to meet the development needs of all the world’s people.  In that hopeful spirit, please accept my best wishes for a successful forum.

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