I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Montenegro, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
The Monterrey Consensus of 2002 was a milestone in the establishment of a global partnership for development. Since then, the international situation has evolved and continues to do so in some ways dramatically, in some ways quite subtly. An effective intergovernmental follow-up process is essential for the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. We have to continue to address the full range of Financing for Development (FfD) challenges facing the world new and old alike.
The experience with the FfD follow-up process as set up in Monterrey is mixed. Perceived flaws triggered reflections on possible improvements early on, as documented in annual reports of the UN Secretary-General. In Doha, UN member states seized the opportunity to resume this discussion. The outcome is contained in para 89 of the Doha Declaration in which the need for a strengthened and more effective intergovernmental inclusive process (to carry out the FfD follow-up) is acknowledged. Such strengthened FfD follow-up would review progress in the implementation of commitments, identify obstacles, challenges and emerging issues and propose concrete recommendations and actions.
Specific ways and directions for the improvement of the follow-up have not been predetermined in Doha.
Before defining some of the key aspects of the FfD follow-up as the EU sees it, let me first state that the EU attaches great importance to addressing the challenges of FfD in the spirit of global partnership. Consequently, the EU is willing to play an active and constructive role in the joint search for a strengthened and more effective follow-up process.
In the discussion on proposals and possible options, the EU will be guided by the question of what is needed and promises to be an effective and productive follow-up. Having carefully reviewed the proposals, both of the Secretary General as well as the RIO-Group, there seems to be a broad consensus already on quite a few general observations: The main fora of the existing follow-up mechanism both the work of the ECOSOC spring meeting and the work of the GA on FfD could and needs to be improved. Overlaps need to be avoided. Better use can be made of existing data and reports from major institutional stakeholders and their presence and participation in various ways. These improvements could help make discussions and interactions more substantial and lively.
The EU concurs with the criteria for a strengthened follow-up process as summarized in the Note by the Secretary-General. These criteria include, first, maintaining the multi-stakeholder nature of FfD. The 6 pillars of FfD cover a very wide array of topics. Therefore, inputs from various actors from different backgrounds are needed. This calls for close involvement of the major institutional stakeholders and UN agencies as well as great openness to other official and non-official players, particularly civil society and the business community. Second, in order to make the process more productive and visible, more time should be allotted to the FfD follow-up, and meetings should result in concrete policy recommendations that can be translated into actions. The ECOSOC continues to play a critical role in this regard. The FfD-related work in the GA could be streamlined, for instance by integrating the various separate GA resolutions each year on specific FfD-relevant topics into one annual FfD resolution. Third, ensuring effectiveness, dynamism and credibility is key. The EU agrees with the view expressed by the Secretary-General that what is needed is not a large, intergovernmental new entity but a dynamic, inclusive, efficient, transparent and cost-effective working mechanism, which would facilitate continuous dialogue and enhanced policy coherence.
We will actively engage in the upcoming consultations and present more detailed proposals as the process continues. We look forward to agreeing among member states on concrete results in time for the ECOSOC substantive session.
I thank you.
* Croatia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.