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World Economic and Social Survey 2005

Financing for Development

image of World Economic and Social Survey 2005

The World Economic and Social Survey 2005 focuses on the Monterrey Consensus as the current framework for international cooperation for development. The report examines the correspondingly broad agenda for action that was set out in the Consensus, recognizing numerous accomplishments to date and draws attention to the further actions—in the financing and trade areas—that need to be undertaken in the years ahead to achieve both the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the broader United Nations Development Agenda.

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Official development financing

The architects of the post-war international economic system had recognized the need for official financing to counteract the insufficiency of private capital flows and, since the 1960s, there has been an increasing perception of the need to support developing countries, an issue that became embedded in the politics of decolonization and the cold war. The surge of private financing to developing countries beginning in the 1970s and the end of the cold war generated an increasing realization that the era of official development financing had passed. However, the vagaries of private capital flows during the 1980s and, again, since the 1997 Asian crisis, in addition to the increasing marginalization of the poorest countries from the world economy, have led to a renewed focus on the critical role of official development finance. The International Conference on Financing for Development was a landmark in this process. The present chapter explores the issues involved. It looks first at official development assistance (ODA), then at the multilateral development banks and South-South cooperation, and lastly at an array of alternatives that should be grouped under the heading of “innovative sources of financing”.

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