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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Wednesday 20 April, 2005
13th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to address the subject of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Australia is firmly committed to assisting developing countries reach the MDGs.
Australia's percentage contribution of Official Development Aid remains above the OECD average.
This year, Australia will spend $135 million on water related development assistance - including a new $5 million package to support water quality in the Asia-Pacific.
We have no doubt that ODA will remain essential for developing countries - in particular for those in difficult circumstances, such as many of the Small Island Developing States.
Careful targeting of aid is essential. Indeed, ODA that is not responsive to local demand can be well-meaning, but wasted.
Even well targeted ODA will only go part of the way to deliver the resources required to meet MDGs. Most resources will continue to come from Foreign Direct Investment and from local capital investment.
Australia supports the Monterrey Consensus. Progress against the MDGs requires a partnership between developed and developing countries with policies and commitments required of both.
Capital investment will only be attracted and held if national governments develop and maintain the right enabling environment. This is what is captured in the phrase, ‘good governance'.
Security and safety for citizens and foreign investors is essential. The rule of law, the protection of property rights and the capacity for citizens to harvest the fruits of their investment and energy, are all basic. Proper environmental protection at a national level is also needed to ensure that natural capital is not run down.
Representative, democratic political systems have proven the most robust in delivering these conditions.
Well-structured and stable markets for land, housing, water and sanitation services will often be the most efficient means of allocating resources in response to direct demands from consumers.
While there are occasions when market approaches will not be realistic, we should always test that judgment first, given their benefits.
The capacity of local entrepreneurs to respond to local demands is a key message that came out of the CSD 12 review session into this policy session.
Mr Chairman, global markets must also be liberalized.
The capacity of developing countries to achieve the MDGs will be hampered unless the international community works to deliver agricultural trade liberalization.
Let me make one last point in relationship to the outcomes of CSD 12 and CSD13.
We agreed at Johannesburg that we need to create more voluntary, practical partnerships - both private and public.
There have been many partnership successes - and these have been displayed at CSD 12 and 13, and also at Rome and Marrakech. But they need to be better known. We must work harder to build confidence in the capacity of partnerships to deliver practical and substantial results.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman