|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference on ‘The United Nations and Global Economic Governance’
There was an urgent need to re-balance not only the global economy, but also global governance, two participants in a Headquarters press conference said today, underlining the clear necessity to create institutions reflecting the new balance of economic power in today’s world.
Marc Uzan, Executive Director of the Paris-headquartered Bretton Woods Committee, and Murat Karimsakov, Chair of the Executive Body of Kazakhstan’s “Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists” Association, were speaking on “The United Nations and Global Economic Governance” at a press conference sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan. That country would host the “World Anti-Crisis Conference in Astana from 23 to 24 May, they announced, noting that the event would coincide with the Astana Economic Forum. More than 50 Ministers, Heads of State and Government, as well as leading international experts were expected to attend.
Mr. Uzan said it was vital that the world think seriously about structural challenges to reforming global governance, whether the Bretton Woods institutions should drive the new global financial architecture, or whether the emerging world might, in fact, wish to create its own institutions. There was also a need for greater inclusiveness. “We know that the G-20 has been the forum for international economic policy over the last five years,” he said. “But, the G-20 clearly reflects maybe the major countries, but is not very inclusive for the rest of the world.” It was, therefore, necessary to reach out to countries that were not members of the G-20 but wished to contribute to the discussions.
The World Anti-Crisis Conference would, therefore, give voice to those countries wishing to contribute to the current debate and to provide useful contributions to reform of the global financial architecture, he said. It was good that the Conference would be held in a country that was not a member of the G-20, as it would provide a balance between different States and different perspectives not only on creating a new economic order, but on re-balancing a major transformation of the global financial system.
Mr. Karimsakov, who led Kazakhstan’s delegation to the General Assembly’s thematic debate on the United Nations and Global Economic Governance, agreed with that assessment, saying it was obvious that the effects of the global economic and financial crises, as well as the impact of international actions to overcome them, had led to the conclusion that the world needed a single policy of global governance. The main outcome of the World Anti-Crisis Conference was expected to be the adoption of its final declaration and of the main directions and priorities of the draft World Anti-Crisis Plan. That would be sent to Heads of Government and presented to the General Assembly and the G-20 Summit later this year.
Presenting an overview of the World Anti-Crisis Conference, Mr. Uzan said it would aim to diagnose the main challenges to the global financial system, especially in the Western world. Secondly, in showcasing the current situation, it would highlight the difficulties of reaching a consensus solution, and hopefully try to reconcile different perspectives and solutions in the context of the discussions in today’s thematic debate.
Asked whether a potential alternative “basket currency” to the United States dollar would be on the Astana Conference’s agenda, as suggested in some quarters, Mr. Uzan confirmed that the matter would be tabled, not least because the world faced a transition in respect of the way in which the international monetary system would operate in the next few years. While the world had a de facto dollar standard, it was also well known that with China’s ascendancy, the renminbi would play a major role in the next 10 years, although that country remained “very far away” from providing a reserve currency because theirs was not convertible. “But, we have to think about the international monetary arrangements for the next decade,” he emphasized.
To a question about reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he stressed that the World Anti-Crisis Conference was not intended merely to focus on the global economy’s current economic prospects, the challenges of which were well known. Another issue on the international agenda was reform of the global financial architecture, and what role the IMF should play in a new world where Western countries were becoming debtors of the Fund and no longer its creditors.
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