Statement of the Committee for Sustainable Development
endorsed by the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
at its 166th session (Amman, 6 May 2000)

The IPU Committee for Sustainable Development warmly welcomes the initiative of the United Nations to convene for the year 2001 a high-level intergovernmental consultation of political decision-makers on financing for development that will address national, international and systemic issues relating to financing for development in the context of globalisation and interdependence.

The Committee recommends that the Inter-Parliamentary Union lend its full support to the holding of this event and that it be involved as a stakeholder in its preparatory process. Moreover, it proposes that Parliaments play an active role in the preparatory process at the national level by making full use of existing parliamentary procedures to engage the government in a dialogue on its preparation for the consultation.

Financing for development is of particular importance to the world parliamentary community, as demonstrated by the numerous debates it has devoted in recent years to this subject and the declarations and resolutions it has adopted at the IPU on declining official development assistance (ODA) and financial aid in general as well as on the need to reform the global financial architecture, on debt relief, and on trade and development issues.

The Committee stresses the importance of mobilising domestic resources. National development priorities and strategies that are well suited to the particular circumstances of each country can best be pursued when a domestic resource foundation is in place. In order to establish or preserve this foundation, the Committee feels that beyond the usual sources of locally generated finance such as savings and tax revenues, countries should act to preserve and develop other potential sources of income such as biodiversity resources and should promote better use of funds by fighting corruption and promoting accountability and transparency in private and public transactions.

Resource mobilisation is not an end in itself but rather a first step in the development process. For resources to be used effectively for development, nationally and internationally, development efforts must be aimed at meeting basic human needs. All these issues call for closer involvement of Parliaments in the allocation and management of resources at the national and international level.

The Committee therefore proposes that as part of its contribution to the high-level intergovernmental consultation, the IPU organise a parliamentary debate on this issue at its world conference in Jakarta (Indonesia) later this year with a view to producing a comprehensive political statement by the world parliamentary community on financing for development.

The Committee suggests that a statement of this nature must address a wide variety of issues, such as the mobilisation of domestic resources as well as of international private financial flows for development and, in particular, private direct investment. It also needs to build on work undertaken by the IPU in relation to international financial development cooperation, external bilateral, multilateral and commercial debt, trade and financing for development and innovative sources of funding. Finally, it should also deal with the reform of the international financial architecture and governance of the international monetary, financial and trade

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