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Speech High level dialogue Financing for development by Mr. Raymond Landveld, Counsellor
09 October 2008 / 06:40

Mr. President,

On behalf of H.E. Lygia Kraag- Keteldijk, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Henry Mac Donald, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, I would like to express the appreciation of the Republic of Suriname for organizing this important dialogue, which is very significant in preparing for the Follow-up International Conference for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus to be held in Doha, Qatar next year.

At the outset my delegation wishes to align itself with the statement made by the State Minister for Economic Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on behalf of the Group of G77 and

China and underscores the importance of the Monterrey Consensus as a comprehensive agreement outlining national and international policies required to achieve the internationally agreed development goals.

We strongly believe that the United Nations is the principal forum to discuss this important matter and to find ways to resolve global economic development issues and improving the standard of living for millions of the world poorest people.

Although the Secretary-General’s Report on Follow-Up of the International Conference on Financing for Development mentions some improvements, it also calls our attention to unresolved issues such as:

  • Unequal distribution of wealth, nationally as internationally, evidenced by the fact that 70% of the flow of private resources to developing countries is being absorbed by a dozen countries.
  • Increasing poverty worldwide.
  • Emerging new forms of protectionism and lack of decisive progress in the Doha trade negotiations.
  • Declining current and projected levels of Official Development Assistance (ODA), which fall far short of targets to achieve the MDGs worldwide.
  • Increasing total debt of developing countries at a significant pace. While debt relief can influence   the development process positively at the same time the vulnerability middle –income countries is increasing due to a major shift from official to private debt.
  • Incomplete efforts to restructure the international financial architecture in response to profound changes in the global economy.

Mr. President,

The Government of Suriname remains committed to realizing by 2015 the targets set forth in the Millennium Declaration, which form the guiding principles for our development policies and programs.

Suriname has achieved an economic growth of approximately 5% per year during the past 5 years as a result of new investments in the mining sector, implementation of stringent macro-economic policies and increased cooperation with bilateral and multilateral donors.

The economic growth of our country as of many other developing countries is extremely vulnerable because of the dependency on a limited number of sectors. The vulnerability is compounded by the fact that

Suriname is a low lying coastal country, and the majority of the population is concentrated in the coastal zone, where most economic activities including fisheries, agriculture and industries are located. It is indisputable that sea level rise would therefore be catastrophic for our country and others alike.

It is therefore important to include this issue within the agenda of Doha 2008 and to find innovative ways to finance adaptation and mitigation of climate change as well as transfer of technology.

Mr. President,

Suriname acknowledges the contribution of the private sector and civil society to development and development financing. We are therefore proud to inform that Suriname organized the first worldwide Civil Society Forum on the MDGs in our capital city of Paramaribo from 2 – 4 May this year. This was a successful partnership effort of the Government of Suriname, MDG Global Watch and the United Nations Association-Suriname, civil society, international organizations such as the UN-bodies, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union (EU), and also a number of countries with whom Suriname maintains close bilateral relations.

Mr. President,

As we look forward to next year’s Follow-up International Conference on Financing for development in

Doha , we are reminded that the development promise of the Doha round of trade negotiations is yet to be fulfilled. This new road to Doha offers us all a welcome opportunity to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to deliver on the pledge to place development at the centre of the international trade agenda. The exceptional challenges of small states must therefore be fully addressed in this framework and more specifically, by putting emphasis on the special and differential treatment of the most vulnerable economies among us.

In closing Mr. President, allow me to summarize a view essential points in bringing about speedy development for all:

  • First, it is time to introduce a monitoring mechanism to assess the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and to keep it on track.
  • Second, we should continue our efforts to increase aid effectiveness and explore inventive ways for development finances.
  • Third, we should strengthen international financial institutions as a crucial step by reforming their governance and giving developing countries adequate voice and representation;
  • Fourth, we need to actively support the poorest countries with their integration into the world trade and economic system, by allowing them to protect their markets during a transitional period and against unfair competition that affects their development and food security.  
  • Fifth, in Doha next year, we are obliged to deliver substantial change in the current development process by supporting innovative finance initiatives.
  • Finally, South-south cooperation, including through triangular cooperation should be supported under the condition that it should not be a substitute but rather complimentary to north-south cooperation. 

Thank You.