2005.06.27: Financing for Development

H.E. Ambassador Choi Young-jin, Permanent Representative, at High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development

Mr. President,

I am honoured to participate in the follow-up discussion on the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development. I would like to begin by thanking the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.

Mr. President,

This year¨s high-level dialogue has afforded us the opportunity not only to further review the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, but also to provide crucial input to the upcoming September summit. I hope that this meeting will contribute to the September summit by encouraging the international community¨s recommitment to providing financing for development.

In Monterrey, the international community agreed on the principles of shared responsibilities and global partnerships for development, according to which developing countries would bear the primary responsibility for furthering their own development, while the international community would assist these countries in implementing their development strategies.

My delegation welcomes the Secretary-General¨s assessment that through the agreed global partnerships, progress has been made in mobilizing domestic resources and increasing official development assistance (ODA), as well as in reducing external debt. However, if the Monterrey Consensus is to be fully implemented, further measures must be undertaken by both developing countries and the international community.

I would like to focus on four issues that we believe are crucial to implementing the Monterrey Consensus and other development goals: cultivating domestic resources, providing sufficient and effective ODA, promoting trade and enhancing regional cooperation.

To maximize domestic financial resources, every developing country must adopt a national development strategy that strengthens good governance while supporting private-sector-led economic growth. Domestic financing for development can be greatly expanded through a combination of increased domestic savings, improved tax administration and more transparent public administration that widens public participation. My own country¨s development experience demonstrates the value of these approaches.

Also crucial is sharing knowledge and lessons learned regarding the strengthening of good governance. To this end, the Republic of Korea, in cooperation with the United Nations, hosted the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government in Seoul last month, at which thousands of participants from all over the world exchanged views and shared experiences on creating and sustaining participatory and transparent governance.

Regarding official development assistance, the Republic of Korea agrees that it plays a critical role in supplementing domestic resources. We are encouraged that global ODA has reversed its downward trend and shown a net increase in the three years since the Monterrey Consensus. However, global ODA is still well below the agreed target of 0.7 percent of GNI of developed countries, leaving much room for improvement. In this regard, we would like to join others by welcoming the recent decision of the European Union to set a target date of 2015 for reaching the 0.7 percent threshold.

But just as important as increasing the quantity of aid is ensuring that it is used effectively. Further measures should be taken to improve coordination among donors, strengthen good governance and align the dispersal of aid with the priorities of recipient countries.

As an emerging donor, the Republic of Korea has intensified its efforts both to increase its volume of official development assistance and to improve its policies and procedures on ODA implementation. In concert with global efforts, we are developing medium- and long-term strategies to further increase and improve our ODA.

We welcome the recent proposals and initiatives made by some countries to explore innovative financing mechanisms that would stabilize development financing, making it more predictable and thus allowing the governments of developing countries to plan more effectively. In particular, the Secretary-General¨s recommendation on launching an International Finance Facility (IFF) as a mechanism for securing a stable and predictable source of financing deserves serious consideration. More detailed and concrete plans are needed, however, and we will be watching closely to see how well the pilot project works.

While ODA is an important source of financing for development, aid alone cannot ensure sustainable development over the long term. Our own experience of development and that of many other states have proved that one of the most effective means by which developing countries can sustain growth and ensure a reliable stream of development resources is to grow international trade. In this regard, the Republic of Korea supports the Secretary-General¨s recommendation that the Doha Development Agenda be concluded successfully and soon. Additionally, we hope that the September summit will send a strong message to the WTO ministerial conference to be held in Hong Kong in December 2005.

Finally, as the Secretary-General makes clear in his report, regional cooperation will be necessary for the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Regional cooperation, when properly coordinated, can complement national and global efforts to achieve development goals.

The Republic of Korea has participated in several regional cooperation projects. For example, last year my Government, together with the United Nations, sponsored an international workshop on information technology (IT) to train IT professionals from developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We will also provide US $10 million over the next five years to support the Asia-Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology (APCICT), to be established in the Republic of Korea, which will help to bridge the digital divide in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. President,

Let me close by reiterating the importance of the follow-up process to the Monterrey Consensus and its impact on other development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. The Republic of Korea remains committed to sharing its development experience with developing countries and to joining global efforts to enhance financing for development. Through these efforts, we hope to play a part in achieving the shared goal of mutual prosperity.