Secretary General, Excellencies, delegates,
Five years ago, the world community made a promise to the world’s poor. Ten years from now, they will hold us to our word. Today we are meeting to confirm our resolve to reach the MDGs before the deadline.
The clock is running.
A third of the time we have set ourselves has gone. But we are not a third of the way there. The MDGs can and must be met. But they won’t be unless we all, donors and developing countries alike, improve on our past performance. We need to do more, and do it better and faster. We know what is needed to follow the roadmap from Monterrey. The Monterrey consensus was not an optional “to-do” list from which we can choose what is easy and ignore what is difficult – and still expect results. All of us, donors and developing countries alike, need to deliver, in all areas of the agreement – now.
We know we need to work better, more closely, more efficiently. We agreed on this in Monterrey, but our actions have not yet matched our words.
We need reform in four key areas.
First, we need to reform international framework conditions. Trade and market access, investment and debt must be addressed. We must all be willing to help develop a level playing field.
Second, donor reform. We need more and better aid. The Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness, with its commitments, timetables and targets, is now the benchmark instrument in shifting from the donor circus of the past to a country-owned, country-led development. It should be endorsed in the Summit Declaration. And UN development actors should act on it. We are acting too, now moving to multi-year commitments in our bilateral aid and our aid to reforming UN-agencies.
Third, we need governance reform in the developing countries. Development starts from the inside. Lasting development in any country requires responsible and transparent governance, including a strong and persistent focus on anti-corruption efforts.
And fourth, we need to mobilise the private sector and civil society. One is creating jobs and economic growth, the other empowering the poor. Both are key to fighting poverty.
We know all of this is essential, yet we are dragging our feet.
If we lack the will to reform the way we work, the MDGs will end up being little more than wishful thinking. They will join all the other well-intended initiatives in the graveyard of broken promises to the poor, and our generation will have failed its most important test. We cannot let that happen.
At Gleneagles and at the UN Summit, world leaders must renew their commitment to all parts of the Monterrey roadmap. We know what is needed.
We need more aid. Recent events offer reason for optimism. The EU has promised ODA increases leading to a doubling of aid from 2004 to 2010. This is a considerable step towards MDG-sufficient and predictable ODA. Timetables for 0,7% of GNI by all donors - and delivering on them – will help us complete the job. We have a timetable to reach 1%. We now look to Gleneagles, and urge them to follow suit.
We need more debt relief. The G-8 has led the way – let’s continue the good work! The world community must provide immediate relief, multilaterally and bilaterally. Many poor countries still see their fledgling development efforts crushed by the debt burden – a burden that could ultimately stand in the way of the MDGs. Norway is ready to participate in further debt relief, in concert with the G-8 and other donors. But who will pay the bill? That will be the test of our efforts. It is a collective responsibility to ensure that debt is not written off by using existing aid budgets, but comes additionally.
We need fresh money. Recycling is a good thing – but not when it comes to ODA. New initiatives must mean new money. Norway welcomes new and innovative financing mechanisms. But we do so only as long as these funds come on top of, and not instead of, - or at the expense of increased ODA, now – or in the future.
We need to make sure that development lasts – that developing countries take responsibility for their own development, and that they have the domestic capacity needed to translate temporary assistance into permanent progress. We know that capacity remains a major obstacle, particularly in the poorest countries. This must be addressed in tandem with our efforts to increase the flow of ODA and deliver on market access.
We know what needs to be done in order to reach the MDGs by 2015.
We have the roadmap and the resources.
Let us renew and strengthen our resolve and make sure we deliver the results: at Gleneagles next month, at the UN Summit this fall, and – most importantly! – on deadline in 2015.