Statement on Agenda Item 54: Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference

David Carbajal, U.S. Adviser to the Economic and Social Council
New York, NY
October 15, 2009


Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

The United States is pleased to be here today participating in this discussion of Financing for Development issues.  We view our work together this year in the second committee, as well as in the upcoming high-level dialogue, as very important opportunities to consider the impact of the global recession on development finance flows.  We are united with you today in our shared goal of making economic growth and inclusive development a reality for all, and know these topics are of vital importance in these difficult economic times. 

The economic downturn has impacted every country, and even though there are signs of recovery, the international community must remain vigilant.  Some nations may take longer to recover than others, and require more financial support.  World Bank estimates are for a global contraction by as much as 2.9 percent in 2009, and world trade is expected to decline by 10 percent.  Developing countries, most of which had enjoyed rapid growth over the past decade, are expected to grow about 1.2 percent this year.  Unfortunately, the poorest nations, which are least able to take appropriate fiscal action to counteract the effects of the downturn, have also been seriously affected.  Export demand for products from the poorest countries has dropped 5-10 percent in 2009.  Private capital flows to the poorest countries are projected to drop to $13 billion in 2009, from $21 billion in 2008 and $30 billion in 2007.  Remittances to these same countries are forecast to fall between 5 and 7 percent in 2009, and recover only modestly in 2010.

Statistics such as these are sobering.  While we take hope in recent economic data showing signs of increased industrial output and trade, there is a clear need to strengthen the international dialogue on sources of financing for development.  The UN, with its universal membership and development mandate, is an important forum for this discussion.

The United States has been a consistent and strong supporter of the Financing for Development Process since the Monterrey Conference in 2002.  We view the global consensus on development finance that resulted from that conference, as well as the multi-stakeholder follow-up process that ensued, as the UN’s premier engagement in international economic and financial issues.  The statistics I just cited highlight more than ever the importance of furthering the global financing for development process.  For these reasons, we believe next month’s High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development can be an important event that helps deepen our understanding of the issues and opportunities to safeguard development progress.  In order to maximize this opportunity, we hope for an open, frank and substantive exchange that welcomes new thinking and practical steps the international community can take.  The United States intends to be fully engaged in that process.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairperson.


PRN: 2009/218