Monday, June 29, 2009

One small step forward

An agreement by all 192 UN states on the financial crisis acknowledges our global interdependence

Joseph Stiglitz, Sunday 28 June 2009

Last week, something unusual happened: the international community, coming together at the UN to discuss the global financial crisis and its impact on the developing world, reached a consensus on an agreement. This spelled out the issues to be addressed and laid out the way forward. Many had said it would be difficult for 192 countries to reach consensus, and that was why discussions should be limited to a self-selected group of 20. In fact, the UN agreement was stronger and more forceful than the G20 communique.

Full article

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

UN's turbulent priest refuses to go quietly

The Financial Times on the UN conference:

Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly - in office for a year - have little time to make themselves at home. [...] But for the UN's big powers the end of Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann's tenure in September cannot come soon enough. Western diplomats accuse him of abusing his position to pursue his own radical agenda and of bringing the UN into disrepute.

The latest bone of contention is his plan for a summit of world leaders later this month to discuss the impact of the financial crisis on developing countries. The event was mandated by member states in Doha last year, but critics reject His ambitions to use it to try to redesign the international financial architecture. Reforming bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, they argue, is best left to the Group of Eight and Group of 20 and is outside the remit of the General Assembly, the so-called G192 of all UN member states. Full article