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, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union welcomes the discussions held in the context of the April high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council with the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UNCTAD that dealt with the important theme of coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The summary of the President of the Council on this meeting provides a good reflection of the discussions held during our meeting on 16 April.
The EU is looking forward to the follow-up international conference on financing for development to review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, to be held in Doha in the second half of 2008. The EU will continue to actively and constructively engage in the preparatory process of the review conference led by the Permanent Representatives of Egypt and Norway in New York. The decision on the dates of the High Level dialogue of the General Assembly on financing for development, expected to be held on 22 and 23 October 2007, is the first step in this process. The EU looks forward to the note on the organization of work on the High Level Dialogue to be circulated shortly by the Secretary-General.
The role of ECOSOC in the follow-up of the International Conference on Financing for Development is well established. In the run up to the 2008 conference and bearing in mind that we are mandated to make full use of the existing institutional arrangements for the review of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, the Council will contribute to the preparations and to the substantive discussions on the follow up of the Monterrey Consensus through its spring meeting with the BWIs, WTO and UNCTAD and its high level policy dialogue with the international financial and trade institutions. The high level segment of the substantive session of the Council, namely the Development Cooperation Forum, could also provide important contributions to themes to be discussed in the context of the conference.
The Council should ensure that its 2008 spring meeting will be well prepared and contribute to the conference objectives. In this regard and in order to ensure that all the stakeholders are in a position to contribute substantively and actively, the decision on the specific themes to be discussed by the spring meeting should be taken at the earliest possible time. We request the future President of the Council to decide on these themes as soon as possible, bearing in mind the contribution that the Council can make in terms of the assessment on the progress made in the implementation, best practices, lessons learned and identification of obstacles and constraints encountered as well as new challenges and emerging issues in regards to the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.
The Monterrey Consensus calls for interactions between representatives of the Economic and Social Council and the directors of the executive boards of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on matters related to follow-up to the Conference and preparations for the annual spring meeting between those institutions. The European Union strongly supports these important interactions and consultations in the run up to the High Level Dialogue of the General Assembly on financing for development and the Councils spring meeting. Indeed, these interactions should not be limited to these specific instances, and invites the Chief Executives Board to consider, in light of the important meetings taking place in 2008 on financing for development, to take up the follow-up of the Monterrey Consensus in its discussions.
Other important meetings being held outside the context of the United Nations family in 2007 and 2008 will also be in a position to contribute, either substantively or through their discussions, to the follow-up conference. The High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness taking place in Accra, Ghana in September 2008 is a good example of such a meeting.
The important role of civil society and the private sector in the implementation and follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus cannot be forgotten. The Monterrey process is participatory and transparent in nature and should continue to be so. The EU continues to support this approach, in particular in the run up to the 2008 conference.
Thank you, Mr Vice-President.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.