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Speeches
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the Conference on Development Financing
Monterrey, Mexico
21 March 2002

Your Excellency,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a privilege to be with you today. Let me thank and congratulate our hosts, Mexico, and all those who have worked so hard to bring this Conference to a success.

Our meeting is an important step in history's march towards truly universal, truly humanised development. We have set bold goals, eradicating poverty, promoting development, and sustaining economic growth. Our challenge is to meet these goals, and meet them soon. I believe we can succeed, if we grasp todayØŸs unique opportunities for change.

First is the unprecedented awareness of our mutual reliance as people and as nations. Today's global markets are driving home a powerful truth. Over the long term, growth for any requires growth for all. Failure of one country can send ripples of crisis around the world.

To act together, to defend our weakest, to raise our poorest, is a moral obligation, and more, it is recognition of our common, economic, and political fate. Truly, the 21st century is an era of shared interests, and mutual benefits. Therein lays our opportunity and our strength. A global burst of communications, technical knowledge, mobility, and economic exchange, is making it possible to work together as never before. We can, and must, organise for change, not only through country-to-country relationships, but also through vigorous multilateral and regional organisations. Indeed, soon in Amman, we will be articulating a common social, political and economic vision for 114 non-aligned countries.

A second opportunity for constructive change is a new and global sense of urgency. For too long, deep pools of poverty, and desperation, have served as breeding grounds for conflict and division. Too many people, especially youth are alienated from all that makes our era, so promising. They perceive an unbridgeable divide between Western haves and worldwide have-nots. In their despair, they are listening to the voices of hatred and violence, instead of freedom and hope.

On September 11, a worldwide alliance was finally roused. Its mission cannot simply, or even primarily, be military. Victory over terror will require economic, diplomatic, and development efforts. We must move quickly, to remedy unfairness, and heal despair. One essential step is a comprehensive lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Now, more than ever, it is time to bring justice, peace and hope, to the people of Palestine and Israel. The parameters of the solution are there, so let us act now.

Excellencies,

A third resource is a growing database of effective development strategies. We know that the marketplace is a powerful engine for growth. Countries that participate in global commerce are boosting per capita income and opening new horizons for development. We know that sound domestic policies, good governance, and the rule of law, are key to economic growth. And we know that international financial and technical cooperation is vital. Such cooperation, public and private, serves as a catalyst to launch education, health, and economic initiatives, and put developing countries, on the path to sustainable growth.

Yet, in 2000, developing countries received just 19 per cent of all foreign direct investment inflows, down from 41 per cent in 1994. And in 1999, total Development Assistance, represented a mere 0.2 per cent of the GNP of the developed countries, down from 0.33 percent in 1990. In contrast, the Monterrey Consensus would reaffirm a target for increased direct assistance of 0.7 per cent of the GNP of the developed world. Let us put that figure in perspective. If you divide a year into days, 0.7 per cent equals about two-and- a-half days' production a year. Two-and-a-half days a year, to reach the billions of people who need access to education, jobs, and hope. Two-and- a-half days a year, to support strong, productive societies, free of crushing unsustainable debt, able to move forward with democratic and economic reform. Two-and- a-half days a year, to build stable trading and investment partners, partners, who see that globalisation can be inclusive and desirable.

Friends,

We have the awareness. We have the urgency. We have the strategies. Now, we must leverage development through the energy of our peoples, and through global cooperation. Leveraging our inter-dependence is the vision of this conference, a vision that humanises economic development through global partnership. It is a vision that will enable us to address fundamental imbalances, and meet the hopes and expectations of peoples around the globe.

Thousands of years ago, the ancient mathematician Archimedes had something to say, about the power of leveraging. "Show me where to stand," said Archimedes, "and I can lift the world." Today, we know where we must stand. We must stand together. And we will lift the world.

Thank you very much.