The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development. in Monterrey, Mexico. It was adopted by Heads of State and Government on 22 March 2002. Over fifty Heads of State and two hundred Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade participated in the event. Governments were joined by the Heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), prominent business and civil society leaders and other stakeholders. New development aid commitments from the United States and the European Union and other countries were made at the conference. Countries also reached agreements on other issues, including debt relief, fighting corruption, and policy coherence.
Since its adoption the Monterrey Consensus has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The document embraces six areas of Financing for Development:
- Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development.
- Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows.
- International Trade as an engine for development.
- Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development.
- External Debt.
- Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.
Some critics suggest that the US has ignored the Monterrey Consensus because the amount of US official development assistance (0.18% of its gross domestic product in 2008), is still well below the 0.7% target, which it endorsed in the Consensus. It is much lower than some other developed countries, especially those in Scandinavia.
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“To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.”
—Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925)