Press Conference by General Assembly President on Draft Outcome Document for World Financial Crisis Conference

8 May 2009

Press Conference by General Assembly President on Draft Outcome Document for World Financial Crisis Conference

8 May 2009
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




“This is a moment that requires audacity”, President of the General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, of Nicaragua, said today, as he discussed the draft outcome document for the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, to be held in New York from 1 to 3 June 2009.

“This is a time of crisis”, he stressed.  “Tepidity will not work.”

Fresh from addressing the General Assembly, Mr. d’Escoto, in a Headquarters press conference, said that, during his extensive travels in recent months, he had had the opportunity to listen to numerous heads of State and Government and had tried to incorporate their profound concerns about the global financial crisis into the text.  It was likely the only document officials would see prior to attending the June summit -- and the basis on which they would decide to either take the conference seriously or regard it as yet another “international charade”.

He said that, in the Assembly plenary, the European Union, the United States and Canada had questioned the procedures used to achieve the text.  He had explained it to them and pointed out that discussions would be more fruitful once delegates had read the document.  “I am hopeful that the United Nations will bring tranquillity to a world that is in much anxiety, caused by converging crises”, he added.

Responding to questions, first about the document’s proposal to create a global public goods authority, among other bodies, he said the draft addressed various topics that he did not have expertise on, but would be discussed during the three-day high-level meeting.  Tackling such weighty topics was a tall order, and he called for other sessions to be held in an “emergency rhythm” -– every three months, for example -- to discuss the moving parts of a complex issue.

Addressing comments made by the Netherlands’ representative -- one of two facilitators in the drafting process -- that the text presented by Mr. d’Escoto was not the one currently under negotiation, the Assembly President said he was grateful for the facilitators’ contributions.  At the same time, there were other concerns that had not been reflected in their work, as they had emerged in meetings with Government officials during his travels.  He soon would travel to Spain, Geneva, Tripoli, Stockholm and Moscow.  Preparing for the Conference was too important a task not to have contact with heads of State.

Further, he was confident that the June meeting would not be used to bash the United States or the free-market system.  That behaviour must be avoided, even towards those that were responsible for the world’s current troubles.  Indeed, 2009 was the International Year of Reconciliation.  “We are in this world together, and together we will sink or float”, he explained.

The draft outcome document was short -– 17 pages -– and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs had provided a professional contextualization of both the crisis and the state of the world today.  He was hopeful, which meant he believed another world was possible and he would struggle to attain it without discrimination or exclusion.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.