Statement by His Excellency Mr. Festus G. Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana
at the International Conference on Financing For Development
Monterrey, Mexico 18th- 22nd March 2002
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If I were to convey a single message to this Conference, it would
be that whereas individual countries bear the primary
responsibility for their own advancement, development nonetheless,
is a global challenge requiring global solutions and the active
participation and inclusion of all stakeholders. Indeed
mobilisation of domestic and international resources, including
foreign direct investment and other private flows; policies
conducive to equitable growth of international trade; increased
Official Development Assistance (ODA); resolution of external debt;
and conducive, coherent and consistent international monetary and
trading systems as well as the fight against HIV/AIDS are pivotal
to poverty eradication across the globe.
This Conference should therefore mark the beginning of a common
global approach to development financing.
Using aid as an instrument of promotion of economic activity in
donor countries themselves distorts development priorities of the
recipient countries. Aid policies should also be flexible and
forward looking and ensure equitable access by developing countries
at various stages of development. Penalising countries that have
made some advances by not giving them sufficient resources with
which to overcome remaining challenges is counter productive.
- Let me also emphasise that for developing countries to
overcome poverty, significant volumes of ODA are required to
spur economic and social progress in the short to medium term.
Whilst increased efficiency of aid should be a major concern,
it should however not be used as a pretext for not allocating
additional ODA resources. ODA can contribute to building the
human and institutional capacities. Furthermore, the value of
aid can be considerably enhanced by untying it, harmonising
donor policies and procedures as well as making it more
responsive to developing countries needs.
We in the developing world, especially in Africa, look to the
Monterrey Consensus to give greater impetus to global, regional and
national strategies and actions for resource mobilization,
particularly resources for investment in poverty reduction and
improvement in health, education and physical infrastructure.
- That additional ODA is necessary does not in anyway detract
from the major responsibility of developing countries in their
own development in terms of optimising domestic resource
mobilisation and ensuring good governance-as well as
appropriate social and economic policies that recognise the
crucial roles of the private sector, civil society and other
It is estimated that 20% of the world population enjoy 80%
of its wealth and that over 1.2 billion people around the
world live in poverty. This requires immediate redress and
development strategies focussed on poverty eradication.
The sluggish economic growth, imprudent socio-economic policies and
management, political instability and an unfavourable global
economic environment continue to aggravate the prevalence and depth
of poverty, disease, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment
and inadequate shelter. This in turn leads to loss of hope and an
insecure future for multitudes of people. All these factors pose
the greatest threat to world peace, stability and security.
In particular, the poor economic and social conditions in
Africa should be a major concern of this Conference. There
exist wide disparities in human development, as indicators
between Africa and the rest of the world illustrate. And even
worse, these disparities are widening, depriving a vast number
of people the basic necessities of life and human dignity.
NEPAD envisages a strong partnership with the international
community built on mutual goodwill, respect and solidarity. The
support of developed country partners in increased access to their
markets as well as technological know how, higher volumes of
Official Development Assistance (ODA) and technical assistance, in
line with NEPAD's established priorities, are imperative to the
success of NEPAD This is necessary in order to, inter alia, bridge
gaps in infrastructure, foster regional integration, combat
HIV/AIDS, enhance availability of information and communications
technologies (ICT), and ensure Afirica's meaningful integration
into the global economy.
We, therefore, implore the international community to
support the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
NEPAD is anchored on the fundamental principles of African
ownership, leadership and accountability as well as good
governance and maintenance of peace and security.
HIV/AIDS is a human tragedy and core development issue of
our time and there can be no development in Africa without
concerted efforts to ensure adequate financial resources to
combat the pandemic. HIV/AIDS is a major crisis requiring
emergency response from the international community. Unless
additional ODA and technical assistance resources are
allocated 'to fight the scourge, sustainable development will
be seriously compromised.
Whilst HIV/AIDS is a daunting challenge, it is not an
insurmountable challenge. With the requisite international support,
political will and resources, we will be well-positioned to turn
the tide against the pandemic and realize our-full development
Botswana is severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The
war against HIV/AIDS is being waged with determination and
resolve so that the socio-economic progress we have achieved
is not reversed.
Botswana continues to take constructive steps to solidify peace,
democracy and good governance upon which ' our pursuit of
development is grounded. We are also committed to fostering
partnerships with the broad spectrum of stakeholders, including
both foreign and domestic, in order to achieve "Prosperity for All"
as enshrined in our national vision, Vision 2016. Continued donor
support is still necessary in order to consolidate the development
achieved and to ensure sustainable development.
Botswana has long recognized that sustainable development
has to be a nationally owned and led process that requires
sound democratic institutions, prudent economic management.
Adherence to these principles, coupled with exploitation of
mineral resources and donor support, has propelled Botswana
from the category of the poorest countries at independence in
1966 to the middle income status of today.
It is critical also, that in the new development financing agenda,
small and middle income economies which continue to demonstrate
true commitment to global governance, the rule of law, economic
reform, but are unable to access private sources of capital due to
lack of interest by investors or perceived lack of strategic value,
be supported as they grapple with uplifting the standard of living
of their people and emerging challenges of globalization.
Now is the time for a new architecture for development
cooperation. Firstly, the scope of development cooperation
should be broadened to include not only development
assistance=but trade, private sector development, private
investment, access to technology as well as and equitable and
inclusive global governance. Development assistance should
also be synergistic with private sector development and
contribute to national capacity-building. Common interests and
complimentary needs of the rich and poor countries, as well as
global goals forged through the United Nations, must provide
the basis for new partnerships and compacts.
It is unfortunate Mr. President, that at this
confluence of immense needs and great opportunity in the
world, we find that official development assistance (ODA) is
declining. The ODA target of 0.7% of developed countries GNP
should be met, or even surpassed, in the immediate future if
the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved. The
present level of 0.24% is a serious under achievement that
My Government values interaction with the private sector. We have
in fact, instituted consultative mechanisms to ensure continuous
engagement with the private sector and civil society in an effort
to enhance their contribution to national development.
Dialogue and positive engagement with stakeholders,
especially those in the private sector who make decisions
which profoundly affect development around the world, is a
matter of great importance to us.
The WTO has to be transformed to incorporate the development
dimension of trade and to ensure coherence in global trade,
financial monetary and development policies.
It is clear that trade is the primary means through
which developing countries could be integrated into the global
economy. For trade to have an enduring impact, developed
countries need to take concrete steps to address the concerns
of developing countries over the implementation of the Uruguay
Round undertakings, particularly the Agreement of Textiles and
Clothing, the Agreement of Agriculture, the provisions
concerning special and differential treatment, and the
provisions on technical assistance.
We are encouraged by the dialogue and cooperation
between the U.N., World Bank, IMF and other important
stakeholders that has characterized the financing for
development process. This cooperation should be further
consolidated to ensure coherent and mutually reinforcing
multilateral development policies. Similarly, development
policy concerns that do not precisely fall within the purview
of existing international organizations should be addressed as
a vital step in bridging the "global governance deficit".
The world will be safer and more secure with shared values, broad
based development and when all its inhabitants can see promise of a
bright future instead of perpetual despair. The United Nations
strong advocacy for human centred development should therefore be
intensified. In this regard, my Government wishes to reiterate its
unfledging support for the U. N. System.
The United Nations must also ensure that there is
adequate follow up to resolutions of previous world
conferences. Concrete proposals such as the feasibility of an
international tax system, the International Development
Association (IDA) providing a greater proportion of its
resources to the poorest countries in the form of grants,
rather than loans, should be analyzed objectively and firm
proposals put forward without procrastination. The U.N. must
promote good global citizenry so that countries are not just
pre-occupied with their parochial interests.
However, this would be incomplete without the establishment of
clear mechanisms to monitor the implementation of resolutions of
this conference and achievement of Millennium Development Goals to
ensure that the Monterrey Consensus leads to sustainable
development financing and poverty eradication in the world and,
more importantly, that all stakeholders play their full part in the
It is my ardent hope that this Conference will herald a
paradigm shift in international development cooperation
underpinned by strong political commitment, by both developed
and developing countries and coordinated support of
multilateral development institutions.