Current global economic governance inadequate, says Ban

27 April 2009

The current global recession has revealed the shortcomings of global financial structures, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for institutions to become more “representative, credible, accountable and effective.”

Addressing a high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Mr. Ban said that “the current global economic and financial crisis is exposing dangerous weaknesses and flaws in the international economic system.”

The current system, the Secretary-General pointed out, emerged through the 1944 UN Conference at Bretton Woods, and the world body, with its universal membership, must be fully involved in the reform process.

“Faith in financial deregulation and market self-regulation has been diminished, to say the least,” with a rise in commitments to effective international regulation and supervision, he stressed at the gathering, also attended by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the so-called Bretton Woods institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr. Ban appealed for nations to resist new forms of protectionism, and underscored the need to complete the development-oriented Doha Round of trade liberalization negotiations.

“Peace, stability and prosperity are indivisible,” he told participants. “Achieving these goals will take visionary reform and decisive action by all members of the international community.”

The General Assembly Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development in June will provide an opportunity to make progress on this front, he said.


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Global finance structures must be revamped, says UN expert panel

International finance structures must be drastically overhauled in the face of the current global economic crisis, a panel of experts convened by the United Nations General Assembly said today, calling on wealthier nations to direct one per cent of their economic stimulus packages to help developing countries address poverty.