|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
‘THE REAL ESTATE AND FINANCIAL CRISIS: CAUSES, EFFECTS AND IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT’
SUBJECT OF SEMINAR AT HEADQUARTERS 16 DECEMBER
A seminar on “The Real Estate and Financial Crisis: Causes, Effects and Impacts on Development” is the subject of a seminar at United Nations Headquarters from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 16 December in Conference Room 8, organized by the Secretariat and the Real Estate Market Advisory Group of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), with support from the International Real Estate Federation.
The financial crisis is having repercussions on economies throughout the world and is likely to be the most severe global crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. As it is becoming a global challenge, the United Nations, through a number of different initiatives, is trying to understand its root causes, as well as the effects and impacts of the crisis on development.
In addition to providing advice on addressing the current crisis, there is a need to discuss institutional changes and ways to operate that will help world markets avoid similar shocks in the future and make the real estate sector more stable and sustainable.
The financial crisis was generated by turmoil in the real estate market and triggered initially by the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States, hence this sector needs special attention. Every developed country’s economy is underpinned by their real estate and property market, thus addressing this specific issue would assist the recovery towards more sustainable economic systems.
The seminar will give an opportunity to Governments, representatives of United Nations agencies and regional commissions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to discuss the existing and possible roles for the United Nations to provide a forum for addressing additional financial and real estate issues and advising countries on the matter, including existing good practices; the need for targeted responses that Governments could develop to limit the damage of the current financial crisis and re-establish a healthy real estate market, including the development of post-crisis policy guidelines for both the real estate and financial sectors that will promote stability and sustainability; and the characteristics that a new real estate market and credit system should have, including collaborative standard setting for increased informational transparency, limitations on the use of complex financial tools, better capital risk allocation models and policies and actions to sustain investors’ confidence and increase citizens’ trust.
The seminar will in addition discuss the need for more comprehensive policies and action in the housing and land-management sector to be developed at the regional and global levels. Policies and action should be directed towards a healthier real estate market, but also look at the possible complementarities between increasing the financial stability of the real estate sector with attempts to also make this market more environmentally sustainable and more socially responsive to the need to provide adequate housing for all.
The event will be opened by Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and moderated by Ken Brown, Editor, Money and Investing, The Wall Street Journal.
Invited panellists include Maged A. Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations and co-Chair of the Financing for Development process; Paolo Garonna, Officer in Charge, ECE; Steve Williams, author of Facing the Global Challenge; Daniel Gros, Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies; Luis Fernando Correa-Bahamon, World President, International Real Estate Federation; Andreas Zehnder, Managing Director, European Foundation of Building Societies; Peter Creuzer, Chair of ECE Working Party on Land Administration; David Egiashvili, Member of the ECE Real Estate Market Advisory Group; and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development (TBC).
All media are invited to attend. United Nations-accredited journalists with valid ID will be able to access the event.
For more information, please contact Paola Deda, Secretary to the Committee on Housing and Land Management, UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division, phone: +41 (0) 22 917 2553, fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0107, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.unece.org/hlm/welcome.html.
* *** *For information media • not an official record