Foreign Direct Investment
The Ministers underscored the fact that just as there are obligations by host governments to protect foreign investment, there should be corresponding obligations by foreign investors to make decisions that take into account the interest of host countries and abide by their laws and regulations. The Ministers again urged developed countries to refrain from protectionist tendencies against foreign direct investment outflows to developing countries, in the interest of new growth opportunities.
The Ministers, while recalling the commitments made at the Johannesburg WSSD to promote corporate responsibility and accountability in order to strengthen the institutional framework of sustainable development, recognize the positive role that the private firms, especially the transnational corporations can play in stimulating the economic development of host countries.
The Ministers urged the intensification of measures on debt relief to promote development and investments in accordance with the priorities and needs of developing countries. They acknowledged the progress made with the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) debt initiative while recognising that significant challenges remain to ensure that those countries achieve a lasting exit from unsustainable debt. They also called for further flexibility in the eligibility and implementation of the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) debt initiative in order for it to be able to provide faster, broader and deeper debt relief. They further stressed the need to keep the computation of debt sustainability under review in order to be able to compensate for changing circumstances at the national and international levels.
The Ministers noted, with serious concern, that over the past years a number of financial crises caused the amount of debt servicing in many countries to surpass the sustainability level due, inter alia, to the increased external debt burden of developing countries. In this context, they reiterated their proposal for concrete steps towards addressing the debt problem as outlined in paragraph. 261 of the Kuala Lumpur Summit Document. The Ministers stressed the need to consider a comprehensive solution to the debt problems of developing countries as an important factor among others in their poverty eradication and sustained high economic growth so that they can join the world economy.
The Ministers emphasised the need to reinvigorate the commitment of the international community at the highest political level for the achievement of sustainable development. They called for the international community to renew its efforts towards the implementation of Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002. In this regard they emphasised the need for a strengthened North-South co-operation based on common but differentiated responsibilities for the accelerated implementation and the promotion of sustainable development resulting in a higher level of international solidarity.