Romania joins the Leading Group as an observer

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The Leading Group on innovative financing for development is of great interest to Romania for several reasons:

- the recent accumulation of serious global threats that particularly affect poor countries, including climate change, the spread of certain diseases and the global food situation as well as the economic crisis;

- the validity of the Leading Group’s principles and initiatives, especially the principle that greater attention needs to be paid at the present time to innovative financing instruments for development, which should supplement not replace traditional sources of development financing;

- the proven effectiveness of the innovative financing mechanisms and instruments promoted by the Leading Group in fighting poverty and disease worldwide.

Romania wanted to become a new partner of the Leading Group, initially as an observer, especially as at its Sixth Plenary Meeting in Paris on 28-29 May 2009, in which Romania took part for the first time, the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, expressed his wish to see the Leading Group looking to new sectors, new instruments and new partners.

Romania recognises the importance of the three major advantages of innovative financing for development, namely stability, predictability and complementarity with traditional sources of development assistance – advantages that are all the more apparent in the current crisis.

Among innovative financing instruments for development, the solidarity levy on air tickets, which funds UNITAID, is of great importance for Romania. Health is also a priority sector of Romania’s National Strategy for international development cooperation. We will start internal consultations along these lines with a view to the future adoption and implementation of the mechanism.

Ovidiu Malureanu,

Director General of Economic Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

29 July 2009

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