The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development. in Monterrey, Mexico. It was adopted by Heads of State and Government on 22 March 2002. Over fifty Heads of State and two hundred Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade participated in the event. Governments were joined by the Heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), prominent business and civil society leaders and other stakeholders. New development aid commitments from the United States and the European Union and other countries were made at the conference. Countries also reached agreements on other issues, including debt relief, fighting corruption, and policy coherence.
Since its adoption the Monterrey Consensus has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The document embraces six areas of Financing for Development:
- Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development.
- Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows.
- International Trade as an engine for development.
- Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development.
- External Debt.
- Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.
Some critics suggest that the US has ignored the Monterrey Consensus because the amount of US official development assistance (0.18% of its gross domestic product in 2008), is still well below the 0.7% target, which it endorsed in the Consensus. It is much lower than some other developed countries, especially those in Scandinavia.
2008 Follow-up Conference in Doha, Qatar
The Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (Doha,Qatar, 28 November - 2 December 2008) was attended by some 40 Heads of State or Government, 9 Deputy Heads of State or Government, 50 ministers and 17 vice-ministers of foreign affairs, finance, development cooperation and trade, as well as other high-level officials of 170 States and major institutional stakeholders.
Following intense intergovernmental negotiations, the Conference concluded with the adoption of the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development (http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/doha/documents/Doha_Declaration_FFD.pdf). The two key messages included in the document were a strong commitment by developed countries to maintain their Official Development Assistance (ODA) targets irrespective of the current financial crisis, and a decision to hold a UN Conference at the highest level on the impact of the current financial and economic crisis on development.
Other main highlights of the Doha Declaration are:
Domestic resource mobilization: the importance of national ownership of development strategies and of an inclusive financial sector, as well as the need for strong policies on good governance, accountability, gender equality and human development.
Mobilizing international resources for development: the need to improve the enabling environment and to expand the reach of private flows to a greater number of developing countries.
International trade as an engine for development: the importance of concluding the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations as soon as possible.
External debt: the need to strengthen crisis prevention mechanisms and to consider enhanced approaches for debt restructuring mechanisms.
Addressing systemic issues: the need to review existing global economic governance arrangements, with a view to comprehensive reforms of the international financial system and institutions.
The Conference was chaired by the Emir of Qatar and included seven plenary meetings. A total of 133 Governments made statements to the plenary. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, the Director-General of WTO, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the Administrator of UNDP spoke at the opening.
In their statements, Member States took stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, identified obstacles and constraints encountered and put forward ideas and proposals to overcome these difficulties. Many statements focused on the consequences of the global financial crisis for development and the need for bold and urgent measures to address them. Much attention was also devoted to the food and energy crises and to the untapped potential of innovative sources of finance.
Amb. Oscar de Rojas, a former Venezuelan diplomat and Director of the U.N.'s Financing for Development Office, served as Executive Secretary of both the Doha and Monterrey conferences.
Six interactive multi-stakeholder round tables were held concurrently with the plenary meetings, centering on the six thematic areas of the Monterey Consensus. Each round table was co-chaired by two Heads of State or Government and ministers from developing and developed countries and moderated by a high-level official of the major institutional stakeholders.
Panelists included HRH Princess Maxima of the Netherlands; S-G’s Special Envoys for the Conference, Mr. Trevor Manuel, South African Finance Minister and Ms. Heidemarie Weiczorek-Zeul, German Minister for Development Cooperation. Following presentations by panelists, interactive discussions took place among representatives of Member States, inter-governmental organizations, UN agencies, civil society and the business sector.
The Conference was preceded by a high-level retreat on the global financial crisis, hosted on 28 November by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Emir of Qatar. The retreat was attended by some 30 Heads of State or Government and ministers from both developed and developing countries, as well as high-level representatives of the major institutional stakeholders. The retreat was meant to serve as a “bridge” between the discussions on the financial crisis that had taken place among smaller groups of countries and the wider membership of the United Nations.
A Global Forum of Civil Society was held from 26 to 27 November on the theme “Investing in people-centered development” and attracted participation of more than 250 civil society organizations and networks. In addition, an International Business Forum, held on 28 November focused on mobilizing private sector resources for development and was attended by more than 200 participants from the private sector.
More than 50 side events took place at the Conference site. In the spirit of Monterrey, the organizers were Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and the business sector. The issues of inclusive and innovative financing for development featured prominently in several side events. High-level speakers included: HRH Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, the President of Tanzania.
For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/doha/index.htm
Press and NGO reactions to the Doha Conference
The press noted that few leaders of Western countries attended the meeting. The meeting was also marked by the absence of the heads of the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and IMF). The United States aid chief still thought the meeting was worthwhile, and welcomed the outcome. Other, such as the Eurodad network criticised it.
- Conference website: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/doha/
- Host country website: http://www.ffd-qatar.org/english/
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- Development Assistance Committee
- Aid effectiveness
- Washington Consensus
- United Nations Millennium Campaign
- Sachs, Jeffrey (May 2004). "A Simple Pan to Save the World". Esquire. Archived from the original on September 14, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- See http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/CONF.212/7&Lang=E
- Abocar, Amran (November 28, 2008). "Western leaders stay away from UN Doha aid meeting". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "US aid chief denies UN Doha meet a waste of time". Yahoo (AFP). November 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09.[dead link]
- Fore, Henrietta H. (December 2, 2008). "United States Welcomes Adoption of Doha Conference Outcome Statement". USAID Administrator and Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance (press release). Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Ninan, Ann (December 4, 2008). "Why Doha meeting failed test". Business Daily Africa. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "Leaders in Doha fail to agree significant development finance reforms". Eurodad. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09.