IFAD Asset Request Portlet

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Statement by Mr Michael Hofmann Governor for the Federal Republic of Germany at the 25th Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

19 - 20 February 2002

Honourable Chair,

In a month's time, heads of state and government will be meeting in the Mexican city of Monterrey to forge a new partnership between the countries of the world. This must, and will, primarily take the form of a coalition against poverty. The Monterrey Consensus will highlight food security and rural development as important areas for action. In parallel with this meeting, FAO, WFP and IFAD will be holding a round of discussions with senior politicians and experts with the aim of forming a new urban-rural partnership, which will underpin this coalition against poverty. Only by sharing opportunities more fairly between urban and rural areas will it be possible to combat poverty, which is primarily rural poverty, as effectively as the international community wishes and to guarantee sustainable development.

Under your presidency, Mr Båge, IFAD has, over the past year, continued along this path towards establishing itself as a highly skilled institution for rural development.

Mr President, you have entered office at difficult times for IFAD. Germany has done everything it can to support you and will continue to do so.

IFAD's efforts to date to implement the "Plan of Action" have been particularly encouraging. It has not yet entirely reached its goal. There is still more scope for incorporating the experience gained from past evaluations into the work of IFAD by means of more intensive knowledge management. We look forward to the forthcoming external evaluation and hope that it will document the lasting improvements that have been made to the lives of the rural population by IFAD's projects - and the expert advice that has been provided to governments and local authorities. This will help to better highlight IFAD's specialist skills and make it an even more important partner for other institutions, such as The World Bank and the regional development banks.

We welcome the Strategic Framework in which IFAD has redefined its goals, basing them on the Millennium Goals. Now everything hinges on the concrete steps that are taken towards their implementation, dividing labour with other development institutions, particularly those headquartered here in Rome.

Mr President, in your first year in office you succeeded in completing the fifth replenishment. I congratulate you on that success. That this was achieved after long negotiations proves that the international community values IFAD as a particularly important partner in reducing rural poverty. We all, including you and your staff, should be particularly encouraged by the great financial contribution made by several developing countries to this replenishment. In addition to its contribution to the fifth replenishment, Germany also provided an additional USD 8 million to help IFAD play its part in the HIPC initiative. We are confident that these funds will be put to good use.

The fifth replenishment did not result in the volume we would have hoped for. Together, we must therefore ensure that a strict policy of risk management is pursued when investing the funds. A sound plan for this is also important for the success of the negotiations on the sixth replenishment, which we are to embark upon these days.

In the German Programme of Action 2015, Germany outlines how it plans to help achieve the Millennium Goals, particularly that of halving poverty. In these efforts, we will seek ways of working more closely with IFAD.

In order to achieve the Millennium Goals, we must grant the developing countries in particular better market access for their agricultural produce. On the supply side, we will need IFAD's expertise to help these countries to develop their export potential - and to broaden the employment opportunities available in rural areas in upstream and downstream industries.

In view of the Monterrey Summit and the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, IFAD's support is most welcome and vital for achieving sustainable development for all.