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HIGH-LEVEL THEMATIC DEBATE ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD ECONOMY AND FINANCE IN 2012

New York, 17-18 May 2012

 

Background

Following the adoption of Resolution 65/313 by the General Assembly, entitled Follow-up to the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, the President of the General Assembly asked Ambassador Daniele Bodini, Permanent Representative of San Marino and Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey, to co-facilitate the consultation process leading to a High Level Thematic Debate (HLTD) on the State of the World Economy and Finance in 2012, to be held on 17-18 May 2012, under the sponsorship of the President of the General Assembly (PGA) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations (SG).

Important efforts have been undertaken nationally, regionally and internationally to respond to the challenges posed by the financial and economic crisis, in order to ensure a full return to growth with quality jobs, to reform and strengthen financial systems and to create strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.

The ongoing adverse impact of the world financial and economic crisis, particularly on development, still creates deep concerns. Although the global growth is returning, there is still a need to sustain this fragile and uneven recovery and to continue to address the systemic fragilities and imbalances.

The United Nations, on the basis of its universal membership and legitimacy, provides a key forum for discussing international economic issues and their impact on development. The UN is also well positioned to participate in various reform processes aimed at improving and strengthening the effective functioning of the international financial system and architecture.

 

Objective

The intent of this process is, through the convening power of the General Assembly, to create support among Member States by attracting Heads of Government, Ministers in charge of financial and economic affairs and/or Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as Heads of relevant multilateral organizations, regional development banks and central banks for a high level thematic debate at the UN so that they can offer their views on how to find a way forward for improving the overall global economic and financial situation and its impact on development as well as the social repercussions.

The HLTD is an informal setting to exchange views at political level with a view to contributing to the collective efforts to secure a sustained, inclusive and equitable recovery of the world economy and to achieve sustainable development, whilst taking into account specific needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

The informality of the HLTD would not only help accommodate differing views of the membership but would also enable member states to discuss and generate new ideas on this subject.

The HLTD could contribute significantly to the proper follow-up to the outcomes of the Conference on the World Economic and Financial Crisis and Its Impacts on Development.

A follow-up could be considered by the membership after the HLTD in the light of the results of this event.

 

HLTD Outcome

No negotiated outcome from the debate is foreseen. However, a comprehensive summary document will be prepared at the end of the meeting and then will be circulated to the wider membership.

The summary document will comprise co-chairs’ summaries of each roundtable and the conclusions of the PGA and the SG based on the debate. In addition, all statements and presentations made by the participants will be annexed to the document.

 

Documents

 

Programme

17 MAY
OPENING SESSION (General Assembly Hall)
10:00 – 10:10a.m.        Introductory remarks by the Co-Chairs
- H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly
- H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
10:10 – 10:50a.m.        Guest keynote speakers

10:50 – 11.20a.m.       Summit Segment

11:20 – 12:40p.m.        Ministerial Segment
12:40 – 12:55 pm        Report on UNCTAD XIII

12:50 – 12:55pm            Message from the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

12:55 – 1pm                 Statements by Groups

ROUND TABLE 1 (NLB – Conference Room 2)
3:00 – 6:00p.m.            Combating unemployment, creating jobs (specially for the Women and Youth) and addressing poverty

Co-chairs:


Keynote speakers:


  • Mr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President, Islamic Development Bank
  • Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asia Development Bank
  • Mr. Rintaro Tamaki, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
  • Dr. Poona Wignajara, Chairman, South Asian Perspectives Network Association
  • Mr. Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director, Caux Round Table

 

Statements


Open discussion


ROUND TABLE 2 (NLB – ECOSOC Chamber)
3:00 – 6:00p.m.            Reducing debt vulnerability, managing inflation/deflation

Co-chairs:

  • H.E. Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of the Republic of India
  • H.E. Mr. Nizar Barka, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Kingdom of Morocco
  • H.E. Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Guyana

 

Keynote speakers:


  • Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
  • Professor Dato’ Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin, Rector, International Islamic University of Malaysia
  • Senator Alan K. Simpson (Ret.), Co-Chairman of the United States National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (2010)
  • Dr. Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University

Open discussion


18 MAY
ROUND TABLE 3 (NLB – Conference Room 2)
9:00 – 9:10                   Remarks by H.E. Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, President of the Transition of the Republic of Madagascar

9:10 – 11:45a.m.          Limiting commodity price fluctuations, increasing production, trade and investment”

Co-chairs:

  • H.E. Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar
  • H.E. Ms. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Republic of Uganda
  • H.E. Mr. Luc Oyoubi, Minister of the Economy, Employment and Sustainable Development of the Gabonese Republic

 

Keynote speakers:


  • Mrs. Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization
  • Mr. Otaviano Canuto, Vice-President for Poverty Reduction, The World Bank
  • Dr. Yilmaz Akyüz, Chief Economist of the South Centre
  • Ms. Gillian Tett, Chief of the New York Office, Financial Times

Open discussion


ROUND TABLE 4 (NLB – ECOSOC Chamber)
9:00 – 9:10              Remarks by H.E. Ms. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime-Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

9:10 – 11:45a.m.          Increasing stability, predictability and transparency in the financial sector”

Co-chairs:

  •  H.E. Mr. Nicolas Nahas, Minister of Economy and Trade of the Lebanese Republic

 

Keynote speakers:


  • H.E. Mr. Abdallah bin Saud Al Thani, Governor, Qatar Central Bank
  • Mr. Jean-Pierre Diserens, Secretary-General, Convention of Independent Financial Advisors
  • Mr. R. Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank Group
  • Dr. Hani Findakly, Clinton Group Inc.
  • Professor William Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Open discussion

CLOSING SESSION (NLB – ECOSOC Chamber)
11:45 – 12:15p.m.        Summary of the Co-chairs

Each roundtable will have up to three co-chairs at the Head of State and Government or Minister level. Geographic and regional representation will be taken into account in the determination of co-chairs. Heads of multilateral organizations, regional development banks and central banks, as well as internationally well-known personalities with economic and financial policy making expertise will make presentations as panelists during the roundtables.

Some indicative sights for discussion under the round tables are presented in the Annex (can be found in the letter dated 11 May).

Contact Information