Tag: UN

The UN lays into finance, speculation and the IMF: UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report 2009

Another day, another UN report, this time the Trade and Development Report 2009, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released last week. It’s surprisingly forthright. Set up in 1964, in the table-thumping days of the New International Economic Order, in recent years UNCTAD had become markedly more cautious, not least under its current […]

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Did you notice last week’s UN Conference on the crisis? Thought not…..

In the end the UN Conference that considered Joe Stiglitz’s Commission’s report on the crisis was even more underwhelming than I predicted (given the chaotic preparations, which included a last minute postponement). Only 14 heads of state attended, 10 of them from Latin America; most of Stiglitz’ recommendations bit the dust (e.g. his proposal for […]

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latest on global crisis from UN: poverty to rise by 73-103 million by end 2009

The UN issued an update of its ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009’ last week, with some pretty gloomy downward revisions. Headlines: At least 60 developing countries (out of 107 for which they have data) will suffer a fall in per capita incomes this year, while only 7 will grow fast enough to reduce poverty […]

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Big UN conference on the global crisis is postponed – why?

At the last minute, the UN has postponed its ‘Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development’ from 1-3 June to 24-26th June, still in New York. This will allow it time to sort out the draft conclusions and try and convince a respectable number of world leaders to attend. […]

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Fire brigades or arsonists? A UN debate on the economic crisis

I spoke at an UNCTAD symposium on the global crisis in Geneva this week (Oxfam’s pre-conference submission is here). A laudable attempt to get a conversation going with civil society organizations, but a classically frustrating UN event – dozens of developing country delegates mingling with NGOs and others, but any real exchange was deadened by […]

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The G20: What happens next?

Now the dust has settled, we’ve caught up on lost sleep, and recovered from that slight hint of Stockholm Syndrome created by the collective hysteria of a summit, it’s time to stand back and think about what happens next. As part of that exercise, here are the forward-looking processes that the G20 put in place […]

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The UN/Stiglitz Commission recipe for reforming globalization

I finally got round to reading the report of the UN Commission of Experts on reforms of the international monetary and financial system, chaired by Joseph Stiglitz. It’s very sensible, comprehensive and solution-oriented. Trouble is, is anyone listening? Regrettably, the UN process seems largely delinked from the G20/IMF/World Bank leadership on the crisis (see previous […]

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Is the UN missing in action on the global crisis?

Last week I attended two events that focussed on the crisis and its impact on development: a big DFID conference in preparation for its forthcoming white paper, and an NGO presentation to the UN ‘Commission of Experts’ on reforming the international financial system, which is chaired by Joe Stiglitz. Discussions at both events brought home […]

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A Billion Hungry People – remember the food price crisis?

Read this paragraph: ‘Despite the recent creation of a United Nations High Level Task Force, there is still little coordination or collaboration among UN organisations, the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors. There is no functioning global mechanism to ensure coordination and policy coherence of the various actors, thus adding complexity to the […]

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New UN update on the Least Developed Countries

UNCTAD’s 2008 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report, was published last week. Given 7% average annual growth rates in the 50 LDCs over the last 3 years, the report is surprisingly downbeat, arguing that even these levels of growth are failing to make a dent on poverty (as of 2005, 36% of the LDC population lived […]

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Reasons to be Cheerful: progress on international justice, arms control, economic and social rights and democracy in Africa

After Monday’s fairly depressing post, I thought I’d add some good news, from an unlikely source. Perhaps because it can break free from its heavy ideological baggage of laissez faire, the further the Economist strays from economics, the better it gets. This week’s issue has some really nuanced reporting on the impact of the International […]

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What Happened at the G20 Summit on Saturday?

Some initial thoughts on the emergency summit in Washington DC, held to respond to the financial crisis. First, some positives: it was the first time the G20 have met at heads of state level. Could this mark the start of the eclipse of the G8, as major developing countries take a seat at a larger […]

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