GFDD’s Global Roundtable: Group 77 Coordinator for Economic Governance and Financing for Development States “Financing is a Seed That Can Have Long Term Multiplying Effects”

November 7, 2013

Global Foundation for Democracy and Development in the November edition of its online broadcast program “Global Roundtable”, its twentieth edition, had the pleasure of receiving the Group 77 Coordinator for Economic Governance and Financing for Development, Victor Ovalles Santos. Mr. Ovalles also serves as Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of his country, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations.

GFDD Executive Director, Natasha Despotovic, introduced the reputed diplomat to GRT audiences and announced themes under discussion at the November Global Roundtable program. Given our guest’s expertise in the field of economic and financial development, the focal point of the session was the issue
of Financing for Development (FfD), along with reform of the International Finance System, the impact of climate change on economic governance and financing, and the position of the Group 77 in the matter of Financing for Development.

The International Conference on Financing for Development took place in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, marking an important landmark in the partnership on global development. Heads of State and Government joined by the Heads of the United
Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, prominent business and civil society leaders as well as other stakeholders adopted the outcome document of the Conference, a.k.a. the “Monterrey Consensus,” which has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to review the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus was held in Doha,
Qatar in 2008. In the course of intense intergovernmental negotiations, the Conference concluded with the adoption of the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, which included the key message of a strong commitment by developed countries to maintain their Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing nations irrespective of the current financial crisis.

According to Mr. Ovalles, the Conference in Monterrey was an historic moment that raised the question of
Financing for Development to the highest political level, involving a broad discussion ranging from policy making to the practical implementation in office, for example, in Africa. The 2008 Conference in Doha, in turn, which took place amidst a full-blown global financial crisis, set conditions for the Monterrey Consensus to occur and put the Official Development Assistance forward as its systemic expression.

Mr. Ovalles went on to say that FfD, in all instances, means
solidarity and a larger collaboration amongst nations for more sustainable growth and prosperity. Inclusiveness, sharing knowledge and opportunities stand at the core to face challenges such as eradication of poverty, inequality and hunger, and for that “we have all the necessary tools, technology, science, and the good will.” In this respect, “financing is a seed,” noted Mr. Ovalles, “that can have multiple effects long term and ODA is a
very important tool, mobilizing resources domestically and nationally, to spur FfD to work and progress.”

As an example of a Financing for Development success story, the Venezuelan diplomat shared his experience working with developing countries under the auspices of the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) which he believes is a true success story and best practice of partnering with national governments, mobilizing annually $22 billion out of $130 billion allocated for the ODA per year, to succeed in projects on crops, water management and financing for education.

To answer a posited question about the United Nations’ stance on the global finance system and its collapse in 2008 as a result of not being regulated properly, Mr. Ovalles
explained that, indeed, without proper rules and regulations, economy will collapse, sooner or later. Since its Conference on Financial Crisis in 2009, the UN has been looking for a common platform for better global economic governance, which will incorporate views from developing countries in a way that is consistent with reality. “Proper regulations, cooperation amongst governments, central bankers and international stakeholder are pre-conditions to create such a common
platform,” noted our guest.

Toward the end of this engaging session, Mr. Ovalles touched upon the issue of the ecological collapse effect on Financing for Development process. He particularly stated that $100 billion is required for developing countries to face the climate change problem and ultimately suggested that financing can come from existing sources and innovative mechanisms such as taxation utilizing technology and science. To finish up, the G77
Coordinator for Economic Governance and Financing for Development concluded that “the international community, according to the Group 77 advocacy policy, needs to build up new partnership in a new dimension through technology and science, with the inclusive commitment of all stakeholders to work and collaborate together.”

About the Group 77
Established on June 15, 1964 by seventy-seven developing
countries, the Group 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.

About the Global

In close association with the United Nations, the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, GFDD organizes regular meetings with UN Ambassadors and other prominent figures in the international community in an effort to spread the news, knowledge and understanding of other countries, global issues and work of different United Nations bodies to its audience in the Dominican Republic, the US and around the world.

The regular series,
GFDD Global Roundtable is also a part of GFDD’s program to support the work of the United Nations and, as a non-governmental institution affiliated to it, contribute to the visibility and understanding of its work.

Victor Ovalles-Santos Bio >

Ovalles-Santos – Transcript >

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