Executive Director Carol Bellamy introduces UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown
Friday, 10 May 2002
It's a real pleasure and honor to be here this morning with Chancellor Brown. Few leaders in the industialized world have demonstrated the commitment to children's issues that Gordon Brown has.
It is vitally important that we have this kind of leadership from donor governments. It has become crystal clear that no real progress can be made toward poverty reduction and toward peace and stability without first investing in children.
World leaders embraced this principle when they adopted the millennium Summit Goals two years ago. They embraced it again at the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development a short time ago. And at this Special Session on Children, there has been virtually no conversation in which investment in children has not been named as a specific and urgent priority.
In short, we know what we have to do - and why we have to do it.
How to do it is another question.
In his speech this morning, Gordon Brown challenged donor countries to take bold action to finance development. This includes opening up their markets to goods from developing countries, driving forward with real and substantial debt relief, and significantly increasing ODA.
Ensuring that this money is used wisely, transparently, and put toward basic social services is also essential to success.
We have examples of countries that have shown leadership - that have picked up the gauntlet.
Just yesterday, at this Special Session, the president of Peru pledged to reduce his government's military spending in order to redirect the funds to basic social services for children. This is a fantastic initiative.
Also yesterday, the Norwiegan Minister of Development, Hilda Jonsson, called for the G-7 to join what she called the "G-point-7" group. In other words, it's a call for the G-7 to join those countries that have firmly committed themselves to devoting point-7 percent of GNP to overseas development assistance.
Gordon Brown has gone a long way toward making that happen with his commitments to changing the way business is done. His leadership has proven to be crucial. We are extraordinarily proud to be a partner with him.