Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba, Ambassador Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, at the High-Level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing for Development. New York, 30 October, 2003.
Sense of urgency and despair: in the few minutes I am going to use, 40 children will die of starvation and preventable diseases. We have just had lunch while 779 million people starve to death. We cannot wait until the wealthiest economies become even wealthier, to begin to solve this crisis. It will not be possible to progress in the fulfillment of the Millennium goals, without a more just, inclusive and sustainable international economic order.
On our way from Monterrey to Cancun, poverty has increased but financing for development has not. It has been proven that trade liberalization and the investments demanded from us, but not applied within industrialized countries, do not solve these problems. The neoliberal model sank. Selfishness, manipulation and imposition of industrialized countries, who betrayed the agreements and Doha's spirit, failed in Cancun. We were imposed Monterrey's consensus in the small room 6 of this same building, during long early hours of the morning, at the cost of serious conditions, pressures and under a powerful President's threat of not attending the meeting. Further on, the meager financing promises made there have not been complied with. Nevertheless, it truly was a positive step and should be a starting point. But we should not be deceived: Washington's consensus is the one that actually prevails.
The developing world is a net capital exporter which continues to finance wealthy countries, as it previously financed colonial powers' industrialization. There will not be development or growth in our countries, as long as affluent countries do not provide new and additional financing. I heard optimistic estimates this morning. Arithmetic jugglings do not hide that for each dollar devoted to Official Development Assistance, 6 dollars are drawn from our countries for services of a debt already paid several times, but always multiplying. Should the promises I heard this morning from the European Union, come true for 2006, we will have to pay, for each dollar devoted to Official Development Assistance, no less than $10 in services of a debt that would have grown no less than 160%. The United States said in Monterrey that it does not even acknowledge the 0.7% commitment. The HIPC initiative has relatively relieved only 8 countries and only covers 8% of the total amount of developing countries' foreign debt. Without urgent measures, medium-debt countries will soon qualify as HIPIC.
Beware of promising predictions on the recovery of some superdeveloped economies. Remember the unmentioned colossal macro-economic unbalances. Statistics are deceiving in times of corporate and accounting frauds. The speculative bubble continues to grow. Bretton Woods Institutions shall be rebuilt or at least democratized, especially as regards the effect of assessments and conditionality clauses.
Resources to finance development exist. The political will of rich countries' governments is what lacks. There is an enormous economic surplus due to technological progress, but there is wealth distribution gap among countries and within societies including opulent ones. Money exists and it can be obtained from speculative flows, weapons, agricultural subsidies and taxes on multimillionaire fortunes. Who controls that money?
Developed countries have, among others, three powerful reasons to finance development: a) their historical responsibility with our disaster b) to prove the sincerity of their policy in terms of human rights and c) the usefulness of an investment, without which they would not have the stability to enjoy their own wealth or delay the collective wreck of this ship called Earth.
Yesterday we made six proposals. We have been offering for five years now, the free service of 4,000 additional doctors to fight AIDS in Africa. We hope that some of the countries that made promises this morning provide minimum resources to the eventual recipient countries to undertake the program. We have offered antiretrovirals at cost price. Will the patent owners help? UNICEF has not been able to acquire the Cuban vaccine against Hepatitis B, unique in the market, for blockade regulations against Cuba do not allow it. Can anybody in this Hall answer these questions?
Ten children continue to die every seven seconds.
Thank you very much.