|Remarks by Mr. He Yafei Special Representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao at the UN Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development|
|30 November 2008|
I wish to extend, on behalf of President Hu Jintao and the Chinese Government, warm congratulations on the convening of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development and express my heartfelt thanks to the Government of Qatar for its thoughtful arrangement.
The world economy is at a highly complex and grave juncture. The international financial crisis has spread from one country to the whole world, from developed countries to emerging markets, and from the financial sector to the real economy, seriously affecting the economic development and people's life in all countries. All these undoubtedly have added to the difficulties for developing countries which are already hard hit by the energy and food crisis. This has brought unprecedented challenges to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
Funding is the keyto development and is indispensible for economic and social development and environmental protection. The goal of financing is to achieve development and to provide developing countries with funding support for their economic and social development and keep their vitality so as to bring benefit to mankind. The development and prosperity of the world will not be possible without the revitalization and rising of developing countries. Therefore, we should think out of the box, treat financing for development in an overall and long-term perspective, and take concrete steps to help developing countries resolve their difficulties. The Monterrey Consensus is a blueprint for a holistic, comprehensive and far-sighted solution to the issue of financing for development. Since the International Conference on Financing for Development, the international community has implemented the Monterrey Consensus with success in some areas and deficiencies in others. Progress made has been uneven. There is still a big shortfall of funds for economic and social development and environmental protection and there is still a long way to go before global development goals are realized.
We are facing both old problems and new challenges. The traditional issue of funding shortage and the uncertain and destabilizing factors brought about by the financial crisis are intertwined. No country can tackle these problems on its own. Under these circumstances, to revisit the global partnership for development demonstrated at the Monterrey Conference and to strengthen dialogue and cooperation are of particular importance. All stakeholders should make good use of this opportunity to have candid, practical and in-depth exchange of views on a series of issues in the field of financing for development, build consensus, overcome the difficulties through coordination and cooperation to promote common development.
In the current highly complex circumstances, a solution to the issue of financing for development calls for a broad perspective, the resolve to take decisive actions and practical and effective measures. In particular, we need to properly handle the following relationships.
First, the relationship between stabilizing the financial markets and helping vulnerable countries and groups. It is hard to ensure stable and reliable financing during any financial turbulence. All parties must now take joint and effective actions to tackle the financial crisis. Governments should adopt resolute and prompt measures to speedily restore market confidence and maintain economic growth through necessary fiscal, monetary and regulatory means. The international community should continue to strengthen macro-economic policy coordination, expand economic and financial information sharing, and deepen cooperation in financial oversight to curb the spreading of the financial crisis. At the same time, we must note that developing countries are the most vulnerable given their low economic development level, single economic structure and weak risk control ability. Special attention should be paid to minimizing the impact of the crisis on developing countries so as to prevent the difficulties they face from getting graver. Well-targeted measures should also be taken to help those developing countries in need the most so as to alleviate their pains.
Second, the relationship between development at the national level and common development at the global level. In the context of economic globalization, countries and economies are getting increasingly interconnected and interdependent. Every country has a responsibility to map out and implement the development strategy that fits its national conditions, improve governance and maintain stability and development. In addition, all countries should do more to serve world economic stability and growth and refrain from adopting beggar-thy-neighbor policies. It is important to firmly oppose trade protectionism, bring the Doha round negotiation to a conclusion at an early date, achieve the goal of the development round and put in place a fair, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trade regime. Developed countries should honor their commitment of allocating 0.7 percent of their gross national income to ODA. To make aid more efficient, it is important to eliminate the preconditions for ODA and sincerely help aid recipient countries carry out national development strategies and achieve development goals. Furthermore, debt relief for and technology transfer to developing countries should also be long-term policies.
Third, the relationship between traditional development issues and new challenges. The development deficit has been there for years, the shortfall of development fund remains big, the external support developing countries badly need is not in place, and, on the whole, an enabling external environment is yet to take shape. Recently, energy, food security, climate change and other new challenges have emerged one after another, seriously eroding development gains and overshadowing development prospect. Developing countries, the least developed ones in particular, are facing more serious difficulties. It is in this context that the international community should pay equal attention to traditional missions and new challenges, mobilize new and additional funds, meet the fast growing funding needs, and help developing countries effectively tackle various traditional and new challenges.
Fourth, the relationship between crisis management and crisis prevention. The financial crisis once again reveals the underlying problems and deficiencies in the financial system. While stabilizing financial markets and avoiding economic recession, it is important to seize each and every opportunity to reflect upon the causes of the crisis and institutional deficiency, continue to establish a fair, equitable, inclusive and orderly new international financial system, and carry out necessary reform of the international financial system and governance structure in a comprehensive, balanced, incremental and practical manner. All countries should strengthen cooperation on international financial regulation, improve international regulatory system, advance reform of international financial organizations, give developing countries greater say and representation in international financial institutions, put in place as soon as possible an early warning system that covers the world, particularly major international financial centers, and improve the internal governance structures of international financial organizations. Meanwhile, it is also important to encourage regional financial cooperation, strengthen regional financial infrastructure, make the most of regional funding relief mechanisms, improve and steadily diversify the international monetary system in an effort to jointly support its stability.
The Monterrey Consensus provides a comprehensive framework to address the issue of financing for development. This meeting should, on the basis of reviewing its implementation over the past few years, take stock of experience and lessons, pool wisdom from all parties and further substantiate relevant policies to make international cooperation on financing for development more effective.
We are of the view that the six areas of financing for development are an integrated whole and should be implemented in a holistic manner. Despite certain developments in the international situation over the past five years, the principles, policies and goals of the Monterrey Consensus remain relevant. What we need today is to appropriately adjust priorities and substantiate and improve relevant policies in light of the changing situation and the differences among countries in their national conditions.
The Monterrey Consensus takes "addressing systemic issues" as one of its chapters, which fully shows the importance of tackling institutional issues. Wide participation of the parties is needed in both the efforts to address the financial crisis and the discussions on reforming the financial system. Today's conference provides an opportunity to discuss the systemic issues. We hope all parties will carry out in-depth discussions on the issues related to reform, enhance mutual understanding and work to achieve consensus so that we can have an impact on relevant international process.
As the most representative and authoritative international organization, the UN should continue to play a leading role in financing for development and encourage governments and social sectors to establish broad partnerships. It should step up efforts to increase input and guarantee resources for development, strengthen development agencies and ensure the coordination among different international policies to promote development. It should put in place appropriate follow-up mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the implementation of relevant consensus and commitments at the national and international levels to make sure that they are well implemented.
We should use this meeting as an opportunity to be more action-oriented and translate the consensus on paper into concrete actions by fostering a sense of urgency and responsibility and mobilizing the parties.
China, as a large developing country, attaches great importance to the issue of development. In the past 30 years, by constantly deepening reform and opening-up, mainly relying on ourselves to create conditionsand mobilizing both domestic and foreign funding for development, we have managed to achieve fairly fast growth and greatly improved economic development and people's livelihood.
We highly appreciate the importance of financing for development and promoting common development, and are committed to implementing the Monterrey Consensus. At home, we work to ensure that international policy goals are compatible with our national realities and focus on practical results while pressing ahead. We have realized ahead of schedule the goals of poverty reduction and universal primary education in the Millennium Development Goals, and we have full confidence in meeting other targets as scheduled. Internationally, we vigorously promote South-South Cooperation. We have put forward a series of policy measures in support of other developing countries to contribute our share to achieving common development of all countries. In the just concluded G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, President Hu Jintao stressed that when coping with the financial crisis, the international community should pay particular attention to and minimize the damage of the crisis on developing countries, the LDCs, in particular. When attending the UN High-level Event on the MDGs last September, Premier Wen Jiabao announced six new measures to help other developing countries meet the MDGs, which include: help developing countries build more agricultural technology demonstration centers and train more agricultural experts and technical personnel; contribute 30 million US dollars to UN Food and Agricultural Organization to set up a trust fund; increase exports and aid to countries facing food shortages; offer more scholarships for developing countries and provide training programs exclusively for principals and teachers from African countries, and help enhance African countries' capacity to provide medical service; cancel the outstanding interest-free loans borrowed by the LDCs that mature at the end of 2008; develop small-scale clean energy projects for developing countries.
China is implementing these measures step by step. I wish to emphasize that China will continue to take an active part in the process of financing for development. We will work with other parties to ensure the full implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the outcome of this follow-up conference, and together, we will overcome the difficulties and promote the cause of global development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.