I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia*and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union takes this opportunity to express its satisfaction on the consensus reached on the modalities of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.
A consensus on this resolution was possible thanks to the able leadership of the two facilitators, the Permanent Representatives of Egypt and Norway, the valuable support of the Secretariat and the excellent dialogue and constructive spirit in which all delegations participated in the negotiations.
Significant concessions were made by all parties involved, but with an end result that the European Union is comfortable standing behind. The European Union made it clear throughout the negotiations that it was in favour of a Ministerial-level conference. The language just adopted in the resolution leaves the decision on the level of participation up to Member states, therefore we are most satisfied that each Government will take its sovereign decision on how to be represented in Doha.
The resolution also sets a preparatory process in motion that is flexible and responsive to the needs of the review conference. The EU looks forward to the substantive discussions on the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and reiterates its conviction that these meetings, to have the biggest impact on our work, should be well planned, bearing in mind the need to take into account the existing calendar of work of the United Nations in 2008, and benefit from the technical input and active participation of all of the relevant stakeholders in the six thematic areas of the Consensus. The fact that delegations were also able to accommodate a process that does not have any programme budget implications is important to the EU. In this context, the EU thanks the President of the General Assembly for his efforts to accommodate the needs of this process in a way that does not incur any additional costs to the regular budget.
We take this opportunity to reiterate also our conviction that the outcome of the Doha conference should be short and political in nature and focus on the reaffirmation of the Monterrey Consensus and on how to promote its further implementation. Emerging issues will also be integral to this discussion, and the EU looks forward to identify key issues that have arisen from the changing landscape in development cooperation since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus. We look forward to further considerations on the content of the final outcome of the review conference in due time.
The EU is also pleased with the fact that the major institutional stakeholders, civil society and the business sector and other stakeholders will be invited to participate in the Doha review conference in the same way that they did in Monterrey. This decision is reflective of the truly collaborative process that was born through the preparations for and follow-up to the Monterrey conference.
The EU looks forward to the President of the General Assembly providing, as soon as is feasible, the programme of work for the preparatory process, so as to permit delegations to ensure the most appropriate participation in these meetings. We also look forward to the Secretary-Generals note on the organization of the conference.
Before closing, the EU would like to reiterate its plea that all efforts be made in 2008 to complete the work of the Second Committee before the Doha review conference and that the focus of our work during the second semester of 2008 in the macroeconomic and financing for development cluster be focussed on ensuring the success of the review conference.
*Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.