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Communiqué, at the 67th WB/IMF Development Committee (Washington, D.C. / Apr. 13, 2003)

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Washington D. C., April 13, 2003


DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE COMMUNIQUE


1. We met today to review progress in the work of implementing thestrategies, partnerships and actions agreed in Monterrey and Johannesburg toachieve the Millennium Development Goals*and to consider ways to enhance the voice and participation of developing andtransition countries in our institutions.
 
2. Since our meeting last fall, the global environment has becomemore uncertain. Slower economic growth, the war in Iraq, and failure to makemore substantive progress on the Doha Development Agenda add to the challenge ofimplementing the global development agenda. We therefore strongly reaffirmed ourcommitment to the global effort needed to reduce poverty in developing andtransition countries and achieve the MDGs.
 
3. To accelerate progress toward these and related goals, weemphasized the need for policies by both developed and developing countries inpartnership to generate stronger economic growth complemented by actions toenhance the capabilities of poor people to participate in growth and access keysocial services. For developing countries, three interrelated areas inparticular require strengthened efforts: improving the environment forinvestment and private sector activity, including macroeconomic stability andsupporting infrastructure; strengthening governance, including public financialmanagement, and capacity in the private and public sector; and increasing humancapital through broader and more effective delivery of basic and social servicesto the poor. Such stronger reform efforts by developing countries would lay thefoundations for enhanced growth and private financing. As agreed at Monterrey,these efforts need to be matched with stronger support from developed countries,in particular through increased market access for developing country exports,debt relief, and increases in the volume, predictability and effectiveness ofaid. Proposals to achieve this, including facilities, are being considered andwe look forward to progress in the coming months. We are pleased that on April8, IDA's Thirteenth Replenishment became effective. We also reaffirmed ourcommitment to increased assistance to the sub-Saharan African and othercountries that face special challenges in meeting the MDGs.
 
4. On improving aid quality, including its delivery and managementaspects, we called for swift progress in implementing the results agenda and theagreements in the Rome Declaration on Harmonization. We underlined the centralimportance of anchoring strengthened efforts in country-owned strategies, as setout for low-income countries in PRSPs, linked to national budget processes andproviding the country context within which donors and international agencies canalign support.
 
5. We welcomed the progress on developing a global monitoringframework to allow the Committee to regularly assess progress and to reinforceaccountabilities among developing and developed countries, as well asinstitutional partners, for the policies and actions for achieving the MDGs andrelated outcomes. We urged the Bank and the Fund to continue to work closelywith partner agencies-UN, Regional Development Banks, OECD/DAC and WTO-usinginstitutional mandates to guide the division of responsibilities for monitoringwork. We called upon both multilateral agencies and bilateral donors to take thenecessary steps to refine and harmonize their instruments of analysis andmeasurement. In this context, we urged the Bank, working in a participatorymanner, to continue to improve the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA)methodology and the transparency of its application. The urgency of the work onstatistical capacity building, especially for those countries most at risk ofnot meeting the MDGs, was underlined. We looked forward to the next globalmonitoring report.
 
6. Continuing progress on the Fast Track Initiative on EducationFor All was welcomed although we recognized that more needs to be done to followup on the commitment to adequately fund the initial seven countries and toprovide the required support to other countries that meet the eligibilitycriteria. Furthermore, extra efforts are needed to achieve the 2005 MDG ongender parity in access to primary and secondary education. We asked, before ournext meeting, to be informed on progress. We reviewed progress on water andsanitation and underlined the important contribution that these make to theother development goals. We welcomed the Bank's recent strategy to enhancesupport to the water sector and look forward to its implementation. We noted therecent report of the Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure, and asked the Bankto consider, before our next meeting, how it can implement relevantrecommendations of the Panel report. We also considered progress in health andHIV/AIDS and encouraged the Bank to strengthen further its cooperation withother partners and to intensify its efforts at the country level. While eachservice sector will have to find its own approach to accelerating progress, weunderlined the importance of anchoring the efforts to achieve MDG goals incountry-owned strategies such as in PRSPs for low-income countries. We stressedthat sound policies and efforts by developing countries should be supported byadequate and appropriate financing and we asked the Bank to report on progressin this regard at our next meeting.
 
7. We emphasized the critical role of investment in infrastructurefor economic growth, and its linkages with the provision of social services andthe attainment of the MDGs. We welcomed the Bank's renewed commitment toincrease its support to such investment and asked the Bank to report on itsfurther efforts at our next meeting.
 
8. Trade remains of crucial importance to growth and povertyreduction. At a time of global uncertainty, it is even more important todemonstrate that multilateral cooperation can succeed in meeting the ambitioustargets set for the Doha Development Agenda. We urge countries to come to anagreement quickly in those areas where Doha deadlines have already been missed.It is essential for developed countries to do more to liberalize their marketsand eliminate trade-distorting subsidies, including in the areas of agriculture,textiles and clothing, which are of particular importance for developingcountries. At the same time, we emphasize the importance of trade facilitationand liberalization efforts in developing countries. These efforts must beintegrated into an overall development strategy, in conjunction with thenecessary policies, infrastructure and institutional capacities that strengthentheir ability to participate in international trade. We call on the Bank and theFund to continue to step up their efforts to support trade. We urge that futureCountry Assistance Strategies include trade-enhancing lending operations andcapacity building for member countries where such trade-related support is aclear country priority.
 
9. Enhancing the voice and effective participation of developingand transition countries in the work and decision-making of the Bretton WoodsInstitutions can contribute importantly to strengthening the internationaldialogue and the effectiveness of these institutions. We welcomed the recentcapacity-enhancing decisions by the Executive Boards of the Bank and the Fundand we urge them to consider additional steps that might be taken. Thesedecisions will help to ensure that a more effective capacity exists toarticulate the views and concerns of all members. We encourage potential donorsto actively pursue the idea of creating a financing mechanism that could supportindependent research and advice in key policy areas. Broader and morefar-reaching ideas have also been advanced to help achieve enhancedparticipation in the institutions. We note that a status report by the FundExecutive Board to the IMFC on the adequacy of IMF resources, the distributionof quotas and the strengthening of Fund governance is to be prepared for itsnext meeting. We requested the Boards of the Bank and Fund to consider andelaborate upon options with a potential for broad support, taking account ofshareholder and institutional implications. On this basis, we will pursue ourdiscussions of these matters and requested a progress report for our nextmeeting.
 
10. We welcomed the progress made on the HIPC initiative andreconfirmed our commitment to its implementation and full financing. We recalledthat achievement of long-term debt sustainability will require actions on thepart of HIPC countries as well as development partners to complement debt reliefunder the enhanced HIPC initiative. We also recalled that within existingguidelines, additional relief can be provided at the completion point, on acase-by-case basis. We welcomed the donor community pledges to close thefinancing gap in the HIPC Trust Fund and urged donors to translate these intoconcrete contributions in the coming months. We welcomed the recent paper by theBank and the Fund that reviewed the difficult issues of creditor participation,including HIPC-to-HIPC debt relief and creditor litigation and welcomed thedecision by the Bank to explore options to assist with HIPC-to-HIPC debt. Weonce again reiterated the request that all official bilateral and commercialcreditors that have not yet done so participate in the HIPC initiative. We lookforward to reviewing implementation, including any difficulties encountered inreaching decision and completion points, at our next meeting.
 
11. We noted that the present situation in Iraq poses significantchallenges, with an urgent need to restore security, relieve human suffering andpromote economic growth and poverty reduction. We support a further UN SecurityCouncil resolution. We further note that engagement by the internationalcommunity including the Bretton Woods institutions would be essential forsustained economic, social, and political development in Iraq, recognizing thatthe Iraqi people have the responsibility to implement the right policies andbuild their own future. The World Bank and the IMF stand ready to play theirnormal role in Iraq's re-development at the appropriate time. They will alsomonitor closely the impact of the conflict on all their members and stand readyto help and support those adversely affected. It is important to address thedebt issue, and we look forward to early engagement of the Paris Club.
 
12. The next meeting of the Development Committee will be held inDubai, United Arab Emirates, on September 22, 2003.


* From the U.N. MillenniumDeclaration, endorsed by Heads of State and Government in the U.N. GeneralAssembly on September 8, 2000.