Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma addressing the international conference on Financing for Development, Doha, Qatar, 30 November 2008
30 November 2008
Secretary-General addresses international conference on financing for development in Doha
Doha, Qatar, 30 November 2008 – Speaking at an international conference on Financing for Development, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma looked back on the six years since he was present at the creation of the Monterrey Consensus, as Chair of the UN Working Group.
“Some things have been laudable – and some not so,” he told the plenary session.
He continued: “The current financial crisis must not divert us from addressing the continuing development crisis. This is not a matter of ‘either/or’: the world must mobilise the resources to meet both.”
Trade, Mr Sharma stressed, can generate the most enduring finance for development. “The message from this Doha meeting of November 2008 must be that the high hopes of that other Doha process – the trade negotiations which began in this city in November 2001 – must come to fruition.”
He emphasised the Commonwealth approach that women and young people must be at the centre of the development process, “first in guaranteeing their rights and basic needs, but also in unleashing all of their potential to benefit themselves and the societies of which they are a part.”
It is only through international co-operation, and in hearing the voice of all countries, rich and poor, that the world’s development challenges can be met, said the Secretary-General. “The key to success in defining the Monterrey Consensus when we first forged it, and in renewing our commitment to it now, is partnership. Responsibility for implementation and contribution is shared.”
Mr Sharma also addressed a conference panel on mobilising international resources for development, especially foreign direct investment and other private flows.
“We have heard a good deal about Aid for Trade,” he said. “But let us keep up the parallel focus on Aid for Investment.” In the last 10 years, he pointed out, Commonwealth feasibility studies and training have unlocked nearly £1 billion which has subsequently been invested in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific – largely in small enterprises, and recently in a number of public-private partnerships aimed at developing infrastructure.
“We call on our partners in the Commonwealth and beyond to work towards investment that is targeted at the countries which can manage it transparently and effectively, and which are committed to setting free the latent entrepreneurial skills of their women and young people. Therein lies true development: it is the fortunes of these two groups – women and young people – which will determine its success.”
Click here for the full text