Civil society wants substance, not procedural delays at UN conf on crisis

A statement calling upon governments not to take procedural arguments as an excuse to further delaying the substantive negotiations on the urgently needed global policy responses to the current crisis is being circulated to negotiators at the UN. 

Statement on the negotiations about the outcome of the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development May 15, 2009 

Download: Draft outcome document for the June UN Conference on the crisis

1. We are facing a global systemic crisis, which originated in the rich countries of the North, their unsustainable consumption and production patterns and the irresponsible economic behavior of their dominant social actors. The crisis affects billions of people all over the world, pushing many millions of them into unemployment and poverty, and violating their economic, social and cultural rights. 

2. The response of the G20 was not sufficient to address the root causes of these multiple crises of food, climate, financial markets and sustainable development. 

3. The global crisis needs a global response involving all societies that are affected by crisis. Therefore, the United Nations is the only legitimate forum through which the crisis can be resolved. This is the reason why we highly welcomed the decision of governments in Doha to hold a UN Conference on the world economic and financial crisis and its impact on development. 

4. Since the Doha Conference it has taken diplomats in New York more than 16 weeks to agree on the modalities of the “Crisis Conference“. They are responsible for the delay, they are responsible for the lack of time for the substantive negotiations on the outcome of the conference. 

5. Civil Society Organizations and Networks produced comprehensive statements listing their recommendations and demands on how to address the current crisis, starting with the “Civil Society Benchmark Paper” in the run-up to the Doha Conference 2008. 

6. Many of our demands are reflected in the recommendations presented by the “Stiglitz Commission” in March 2009. For this reason we regard these recommendations as a good basis on which to build a new global economic and financial system . 

7. Many of our positions are also reflected in the first draft outcome document presented by the President of the General Assembly (PGA) on 8 May 2009. We understand that the recommendations in this document contain short-term measures that have to be implemented immediately as a response to the current crisis, such as the sufficient funding for a global stimulus package, and long-term measures, such as the establishment of a new Global Reserve System or the proposal for a Global Tax Authority. We agree that the UN conference in June has to come up with immediate responses to the crisis and simultaneously decide on an intergovernmental time-bound process towards the long-term reforms. 

8. In contrast, the draft document by the Co-Facilitators, dated 6 May 2009 neither specifies the necessary short-term actions nor does it contain concrete commitments for longer-term structural reform measures. It mainly reconfirms – by recycling already agreed language – decisions taken at the Doha Conference and the G20 Summits. The policy recommendations in this document lack any sense of urgency. The recommendations on institutional reforms (para. 47) are interesting but, according to the Co-Facilitators, they only “might be considered”. Such a diplomatic phrase makes any recommendation completely useless. If governments agreed on such an outcome document, they would further weaken the UN as the global forum for economic policy coordination and decision making and would completely fail to find meaningful answers to the current crisis. 

9. We understand that under the current time pressure it will be difficult for governments to agree on a comprehensive set of radical reform measures as outlined in the draft of the PGA. But, a consensus on many concrete reform proposals that are on the table can still be reached. Among the decisions that are of high priority and could be taken at the UN Conference without any further delay are the following: 

– The initiative to establish a Global Panel on Systemic Risks in the World Economy, following the model of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, bringing together academics, civil society and policy makers. 

– The decision to upgrade the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation on Tax Matters to an intergovernmental Commission on Tax Matters as a functional commission of ECOSOC by the end of 2009. 

– The political commitment to introduce an internationally coordinated Financial Transaction Tax in order to mobilize additional resources for a short-term Global Stimulus Fund and the longer-term implementation of the Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including the MDGs. 

– The establishment of a Global Economic Coordination Council within the UN system. 

– The decision to review the Agreement between the UN and the Bretton-Woods-Institutions (BWIs) in order to enhance coordination and policy coherence by integrating the BWIs as specialized agencies completely into the UN system. 

10. We call upon governments not to take procedural arguments as an excuse to further delaying the substantive negotiations on the urgently needed global policy responses to the current crisis. 

Jens Martens and James Paul, Global Policy Forum 
Roberto Bissio, Social Watch 
Beverly Keene, Jubilee South 
Andrea Baranes and Antonio Tricarico, Campagna per la Reforma della Banca Mondiale 
Mirjana Dokmanovic, Women and Development Europe (WIDE) 
Gigi Francisco, Development Alternatives wirh Women for a New Era (DAWN) 
Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) and ABANTU for Development (ROWA) 
Josep Xercavins i Valls 
Philo Morris, Medical Mission Sisters 
Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern 
Rudy De Meyer, 11.11.11 
Verena Winkler and Simon Stocker, Eurostep 
Eva Friedlander, IWAC, the International Women’s Anthropology Conference 
Luke Fletcher, Jubilee Australia 
Anne Jellema, Action Aid 
Mark Herkenrath, Alliance Sud, Switzerland 
Klaus Schilder, terre des hommes Germany 
Magaly Pineda, CIPAF, Rep.Dominicana 
Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action against Poverty 
Arjun Karki, LDC Watch 
Sarba Khadka, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication-SAAPE 
Mana Dahal Rural Reconstruction Nepal-RRN 
Edward Oyugi, Social Development Network, Nairobi, Kenya 
Oksana Kisselyova, Liberal Society Institute, Ukraine 
Cartas A. Kapele, Children Education Society (CHESO), DAR ES SALAAM – TANZANIA 
Fernanda Carvalho, IBASE – Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis 
European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD) 
ATTAC Hungary 
Milan Smrz, Czech section of Eurosolar 
Joseph M. Sammut, Social Watch, Malta 
Christine Andela – COSADER (Collectif des ONG pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et le Développement Rural) – Cameroun 
Marta Benavides – Instituto Internacional de Cooperación entre Pueblos (IICP) – El Salvador 
GCAP – Sudan 
Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK) 
Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción (Spain) 
Transnational Institute 
Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project 
Dr. Hassan Abdel Ati – National Civic Forum – Sudan 
Malgorzata Tarasiewicz – Network of East-West Women, NEWW-Polska 
AWID (Association for Women¹s Rights in Development) 
Rede Brasil sobre Instituições Financeiras Multilaterais 
Marek Hrubec, Centre of Global Studies, Czech Republic 
Zelená Pro Planetu, Czech Republic 
Henri Valot, Policy Advisor CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation 
Professor Aijaz Qureshi: Social Watch Pakistan- IDF 
Zulfiqar Halepoto- Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) and Social Watch Pakistan 
Nazeer Memon- Sindh Agriculture Forum 
Abrar Kazi – SDF- water expert and technocrat 
Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) 
Public Finance Monitoring Center 
Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development 
Egyptian Association For Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE) 
CARDET, Cyprus 
National Social Watch Coalition – India 
Action for Economic Reforms 
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) 
Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) 
Ziad Abdel Samad 
Mariama Williams, Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI) 
Yves Conze, Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI) 
Carla Bakboord, MSc Cultural Anthropologist, Executive Director Equality & Equity for Gender&Social Development, Suriname 
El Amel Association For Social Development in Algeria 
Women for Change 
Genoveva Tisheva- Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation 
Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA), J.B. Kwesiga 
Network of Ugandan Researchers and Research Users (NURRU), David Obot 
Tomas Tozicka – Jubilee Czech 
Hanaa Edwar, Iraqi AlAmal Association 
David Obot (NURRU), Kampala-Uganda 
J.B.Kwesiga (DENIVA), Uganda 
Hamarneh, Vanda, Syria 
Consumers Association of Penang 
Friends of the Earth, Malaysia 
KOPIN (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali) Malta 
Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios legales Alternativos (ILSA) – Colombia 
Klaus Heidel, Werkstatt Ökonomie e.V., spokesperson Social Watch Deutschland/Forum Weltsozialgipfel (Social Watch Germany) 
International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN). 
Rene Suša, Humanitas, Society for human rights and supportive action, Slovenia 
Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) 
Sanayee Development Organization (SDO). Kabul, Afghanistan 
UK Coalition Against Poverty. Eileen Devaney 
Baudouin Schombe, Coordonnateur National Reprontic 
Bretton Woods Project (UK) 
FOCO – Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos 
DECIDAMOS, Campaña por la Expresión Ciudadana, Paraguay 
Social watch Mocambique 
Jiri Silny, Ecumencial Academy Prague, Czech Republic 
Vagn Berthelsen, Secretary General of IBIS 
Sisters of Mercy (of the Americas) 
Marta Scarpato, Consultora sindical, Italia 
Mayalu Matos Silva, Brazil 
Carlos Martinez Garcia, Presidente de ATTAC España 
Martín Pascual, Fundación Cenda, Chile 
CIDEP, Asociación Intersectorial para el Desarrollo Económico y el Progreso Social (El Salvador)I 
Reseau Marocain pour le Droit a la Sante, Dr Aziz RHALI. Maroc 
Antonio J. González Plessmann, Activista venezolano de Derechos Humanos 
WEDO (Women’s Environment and Development Organization) 
Red de Control Ciudadano, Costa Rica 
Secours-Catholique/Caritas France 
Instituto de Estudos Sócioeconômicos – INESC, Brasil 
Lunaria, Italy 
War on Want 
Carlos Martinez Garcia, Presidente de ATTAC España 
Socio Economic Rights Initiaitive/Social Watch Nigeria 
Global Economy Program 
Coordinación de ONG y cooperativas – CONGCOOP 
Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development 
SLUG – The Norwegian Coalition for Debt Cancellation 
African Women’s Development and Communication Network/FEMNET Africa 
K.U.L.U.-Women and Development, Denmark 
Plataforma 2015 y más, España 
Third World Network 
Red Latinoamericana sobre Deuda, Desarrollo y Derechos – LATINDADD 
Women Headed Households Empowerment (PEKKA)

Further Resources: 

UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development

Official Website of the Conference

Breaking News: UN postpones summit over crisis

UN General Assembly postponed the celebration of the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, to happen in late June, sources reported Friday. According to UN spokesperson Spanish Enrique Yeves, recently many delegations asked the President of the Assembly Miguel D Escoto to postpone the already scheduled date of the encounter, since it coincided with other several international events. He also stressed the delegations to participate are still involved in the negotiations on the project of the event, convened by D Escoto, so that the crisis can be intensively debated by the 192 UN member countries. The Summit, previously scheduled for Jun.1-3, will take place on June 24-26, as it stated a missive sent to UN countries member, from the Head of Cabinet of the President of General Assembly Norman Miranda


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