A Response from Civil Society

Executive Summary
Opening Statements
Reviewing the Millennium Declaration
> NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing for Development
NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service
NGOs as Partners in Strengthening the Family
Building Cultures of Peace and Leadership
Discussion Groups
Closing Statements

NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing for Development
Dr. N'Dow gave an overview of the problem of debt and financing for development. He noted that many governments are at war with their own people, and that a large part of that war is caused by abject poverty and the lack of meeting basic human security needs. He stressed that the poor are not only poor but also vulnerable, especially women and children. He discussed the subject of debt relief, which has been led by NGOs throughout the world with some success. Raising the subject of unequal trade, and the achievement of trade with equity, he recounted that indexation - indexing what one nation produces to what that nation needs to purchase - had been extensively worked on by world leaders a quarter century ago, but the deliberations did not bear fruit. After the Cold War, he observed that we now have a war for resources and markets, which impacts on development. We must examine, he said, the relationship between the arms trade and poverty, under-development and civil strife. Finally, he reminded participants that 2001 will see a major United Nations conference on financing development, in which NGOs must actively participate.
Dr. P. Basak, speaking on behalf of Mr. Oscar de Rojas, Executive Coordinator of the Financing for Development Secretariat of the United Nations, agreed with Dr. N'Dow that a new war of grabbing natural resources is taking place. He said 80 per cent of the Declaration directly or indirectly concerns environmental degradation. Three questions need to be answered: what can be done to keep the planet healthy, lively and full of vitality; what types of sustainable development programs can be undertaken to obviate environmental problems; and, from where can the finances be mobilized for such development? He focused on the last question, and emphasized that all economic decisions have to be integrated with the environment of that country. This is because conservation and restoration that ignores human needs is not sustainable. He then proceeded to give six examples of how this integration may be accomplished, and in the process, funds obtained without asking from major world bodies.
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