At the end of 1997, the member states of the United Nations decided in the General Assembly to embark on an unprecedented process of official discussions about “Financing for Development” (FfD). The aim was to pr epare for a “highlevel international intergovernmental consideration” of the subject that would take place “not later than the year 2001”.2 Just what this culminating meeting would try to accomplish was intentionally left vague. The meaning of “high level” was also left unspecified. Three years later, these issues remained unresolved, and the date for the meeting has been deferred to the first quarter of 2002.3 Yet the prospect of FfD being an important international event became greater than ever. In March 2001, Mexico offered to host the meeting, which was officially designated “an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations, at the highest political level, including at the summit level”.4