New York, November 2004
I would like to begin by thanking the Secretary-General for the two Reports, on the one hand on modalities, format and organization of the high-level plenary meeting of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly and, on the other hand, on the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
We look forward to receiving the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the Millennium Declaration early next year as well as receiving, in the coming days, the findings of the High-level Panel on Threats Challenges and Change together with comments and suggestions from the Secretary-General on how discussions could proceed.
In regard to the 2005 MDG Summit, the Secretary-General has our full support on his recommendations on the format and organization, and the preparatory process. Iceland agrees that Member States should participate at the highest level.
It will be our responsibility to make balanced decisions on reform, taking into account all relevant matters, such as development, social issues, and human rights, as well as peace and security. We will have the opportunity to make changes which will equip the multilateral system to be more effective in preventing conflict, in resolving conflict where it does occur and in building peace following conflict.
The progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals has been mixed and characterized by vast regional differences. While a number of countries have prospered at an unprecedented pace, others have lost headway and even regressed. The lack of progress in Sub-Saharan Africa is especially worrisome.
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 requires determination, resolve and concerted effort by all parties ? developing and developed countries alike. We must all honor the Monterrey Consensus and the Summit next year will give us new opportunity to strengthen our efforts.
A crucial premise for achieving the MDGs is the developing countries? own commitments to reform. Efforts to achieve macroeconomic stability must be reinforced, institutions and good governance must be strengthened, capacity constraints must be addressed and the focus on human development must be enhanced.
The developed countries must also deliver. Here, increased development assistance is a critical instrument. Moreover, international trade liberalization is a key pillar and a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda is important for the achievement of the MDGs.
The Government of Iceland is fully committed to the achievement of the MDGs. To this end, the Government has decided to significantly increase Iceland?s official development assistance (ODA) in the coming years. A clear target has been established to double Iceland?s present ODA level by 2009.
The Government of Iceland will work constructively and actively to play its part in making the Summit a successful and groundbreaking event of decisive importance.