Solutions to financial crisis must have input of developing nations – UN official

1 May 2009 – The global conversation aimed at finding solutions to alleviate the economic and financial turmoil enveloping markets around the world needs to widen participation to include poor and developing nations, a senior advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly said today.

The upcoming high-level General Assembly Economic Crisis Summit, which will be held from 1-3 June in New York, will assess the crisis that has devastated the world economy and search for solutions that take into account the interests of all nations.

“What we are trying to accomplish … is to ensure that the full impact of decisions that are made is analysed and understood,” Michael Clark, senior advisor to President Miguel D’Escoto, told a news conference.

“So that countries which are most affected but have the least ability to influence the global policies and who also have the least ability to bail themselves out have a voice and a presence in these discussions,” added Mr. Clark.

Solutions to tackle the crisis will not be found at the UN and “they won’t literally be in an outcome document or statement or communiqué,” but participants of the conference will have the “ability to have an impact on the global agenda.”

Mr. Clark noted that some ideas, such as looking at the role of the international reserve currency in easing the strain on financial markets is now part of government dialogue thanks to a commission of experts convened by the UN and headed by Nobel Laureate for economics Joseph Stiglitz.

“So we have an ability to exercise influence that isn’t limited to what is said, written or agreed here,” Mr. Clark said. “That said we’ve been working very hard to produce a statement that has some special characteristics.”

The June conference will provide a stronger voice and greater participation for the emerging and developing world in the global decision making process, in particular in fixing the “deeper structural problems in the way we manage the global economy,” including restructuring the Bretton Woods institutions.

“We had the emerging and developing world actually lending money to developed countries. We had unsustainable deficits and in some ways unsustainable surpluses accumulating and we need to get to the heart of those issues,” stressed Mr. Clark.

“We’re not going to solve all these problems in year or even two but it’s time we took seriously the need to make this effort more inclusive and diverse.”


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