Plans for summit or special session on development financing

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 9-- After dragging its feet for years, the United Nations may be getting closer towards the holding of a major conference on development financing-- possibly before the year 2001.

A resolution adopted in December calls for the convening of a summit, an international conference, a special session of the General Assembly or other appropriate high-level international intergovernmental forum on the question of development financing.

A final decision is expected to be taken at the 54th session of the General Assembly beginning September 1999.

The proposal, which for long has been strongly supported by the Group of 77, has been shouldered by the United States and other Western nations on the ground that financing is an exclusive preserve of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, not the United Nations.

The resolution stresses the need for a process that would take stock of various efforts undertaken within and outside the U.N. system on financing for development in preparing for the proposed meeting.

The U.N.'s Second Committee (Economic and Financial) will resume its sessions next year for a two-day meeting to solicit views from governments on key elements that might be included in the consideration of the topic of financing for development.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been requested to ensure that the reports requested at the Committee's resumed session are compiled and forwarded to government at the 53rd session of the Assembly next year, with an index report indicating recurring themes and key elements found therein.

The Secretary-General has also been requested to prepare a report on the work of the United Nations to address financing for development.

Meanwhile, the General Assembly is expected to create an Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to undertake an indepth examination of all the inputs requested, with a view to formulating a report containing recommendations on the form, scope and agenda of a high-level international intergovernmental consideration of the topic on financing for development.