The United Nations will convene a global summit in June to assess the impact of the world economic crisis on development, it was announced today, after the General Assembly agreed on the arrangements for the conference.
“In the midst of the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression, we now have the opportunity and the responsibility to search for solutions that take into account the interests of all nations, the rich and the poor, the large and the small,” Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto stated after the 192-member body adopted a resolution on the 1 to 3 June summit.
Mr. D’Escoto has been tasked with organizing the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, which was called for by participants at a financing for development meeting held in Qatar in late 2008.
Last month, he travelled to a number of countries to build support for participation at the highest level in the June meeting, and he plans to visit several more in the weeks ahead.
“In agreeing to hold this United Nations conference at the highest level, Member States are recognizing the vital importance of assuring that all nations have an opportunity to participate equally and fully in the common search for solutions that meet the concerns and needs of all countries, large and small,” said Mr. D’Escoto.
He stressed that, in this effort, it is vital to draw on “technical expertise and practical wisdom” from all over the world, and from countries at every stage of development, as well as from international organizations, academia, private sector organizations, and civil society.
In addition to the impact of the crisis on development, the conference will also focus on ongoing discussions on reforming and strengthening the international financial and economic system and architecture.
A Commission of Experts appointed by Mr. D’Escoto and chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has stated that international finance structures must be drastically overhauled in the face of the current global economic crisis.
The panel, as well as the meeting later this month of the Economic and Social Council with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), are expected to contribute to the preparations for the June summit.
Mr. D’Escoto will likely circulate a draft outcome text for the summit for negotiation in early May.