The United Nations Conference on the
World Financial Crisis opens Wednesday in New York. The three-day meeting will focus on the
effects of the economic downturn on development.
UN Secretary General's report says, "Though the crisis did not originate there,
developing countries are being severely hit through…weaker trade, tighter
global financing conditions and lower remittances. Poverty and hunger are
report further says, "The global economic crisis presents an
opportunity for strengthened multilateralism.A global crisis requires concerted, global solutions."
number of aid agencies are calling on rich nations to do more to ensure
developing nations can weather the downturn without falling deeply in debt.
Ambrose, development finance coordinator for ActionAid International, spoke to
VOA from New York about the UN meeting.
conference…is really quite an impressive idea. They have empanelled…experts from
all…around the world – former government officials, academics and so on," he
panel is chaired by Nobel prizing winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
have come up with a series of recommendations for restructuring the global
economy, in response to the crisis that we're in the middle of, which are
really quite innovative," he says.
Rich vs. poor?
rich countries like the United states, the European Union, Japan and so on are
really taking a stance that the global economy is pretty much ok…. We just need
to tweak it a little bit and have some mild reforms," he says.
says it's the wrong policy.
they bring the developing world along, there's always going to be a drag on the
global economy. And there's going to be
a fundamental instability. This is one of the problems in having a single
currency as the global reserve currency…with having poor coordination of
regulations,' he says.
says unless there are major economic reforms, developing countries will remain
they take care of the problem now, we could go forward with a more balanced
economic system that would work for everyone…. If enough money is devoted to
trying to create a stimulus package for the southern (developing) countries…it
would benefit both north and south," he says.
G20 promises to help
April, G20 countries pledged over $1 trillion in financing at their London
summit. Much of the money is going to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans to poor countries to help them
deal with the crisis.
was a start. The G20 did do one thing that we were very pleased with, which was
they talked about a new allocation of what's called Special Drawing Rights
through the IMF. This is the cheapest and the least cumbersome way for
countries to get money that they can use for whatever purpose they want. We think that there should be more Special
Drawing Rights," he says. SDR's is
basically a currency issued by the IMF with few conditions and low interest
However, Ambrose says, "Most of that
money is going to middle income countries. Five percent of it is going to the
most vulnerable, poorest economies."
ActionAid and other groups have been
critical of the IMF in the past, saying it has mismanaged financial crises in