Understanding today’s economic volatility

On 7 February, the Economic and Social Council with support from UN DESA’s Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination arranged an “Interactive dialogue on the current economic and financial situation”

“Clouds are particularly dark over developed economies,” remarked Mr. Rob Vos, Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of UN DESA while moderating the event featuring distinguished economists sharing their views on the current global economic and financial situation.

At the outset of the discussion, the President of the Council and Chair of the ECOSOC Special Briefing, H.E. Mr. Miloš Koterec (Slovakia) also stated, “With growing inequality within and among countries, it is my view that the current development model needs to be revisited… Studies estimate that the global crisis has caused between 47 million and 84 million persons to fall into or remain trapped in poverty. Furthermore, prolonged unemployment affects medium-term growth prospects due to its impact on workers’ income and skills. I believe that a more inclusive and balanced growth strategy should be adopted in order to address these challenges.”

The objective of the event was to allow UN Member States to better understand the systemic and other challenges facing the global economy and explore possible policy responses. The panellists addressed three main topical subjects: what major structural fragilities still exist in the global economy and their implications for recovery; what alternative development models there are for sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth and job creation; and what are the most appropriate arrangements are for effective global policy coordination to mitigate uncertainties.

The panellists included Peter Diamond, Institute Professor and Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 2010 Nobel Economics Laureate, and Carmen Reinhart, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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