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

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MEDIA ADVISORY

People Impacted by the Economic Crisis from Around the World Gather to Give Voice to the Forgotten, Marginalized

20 June 2009 – Responses to the current economic crisis have been inadequate and fail to fully address the myriad of related global crises, such as food security and climate change. An international coalition of ‘working’ people directly impacted by these crises, and civil society organizations, will meet in a public forum to deliver this message to world leaders in advance of a UN Conference on the economic crisis on 20 June from 1pm to 6pm at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity in New York.  Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, the current President of the UN General Assembly and the convener of the Conference, will deliver a keynote address.

“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,” Mr. Brockmann has said.

The immediate impacts of the economic crisis on stock prices, private pension funds and access to lines of credit have been apparent and well-reported.  But the precise consequences of the financial meltdown for working men and women – across the globe – have been less obvious and have received far less attention.  Indeed, only recently has data been reported that describes the deep impact of the economic crisis on developing countries, who moreover played little role in the creation of the crisis, organizers say.

People’s Voices on the Crisis will give voice to those that have felt the impact of the crisis and whose stories have thus far received little attention.  The event will showcase the testimonies of grassroots activists from diverse regions of the world working with many of the world’s forgotten victims, who will give evidence on how the financial, as well as food, energy and climate change crises, are affecting their lives and their work.

“We believe that the current economic crisis is the result not merely of misinformation, lax regulation or simple hubris. Rather, it is the result of a deeply flawed system that perpetuates crises in food security, in the environment as well as in finance and economics,” says Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch and one of the organizers.

The forum will also address a more hopeful future, as advocates will offer their proposals on overcoming the current crisis and in the process develop a new economic system that is built on the rights – and in the service – of all people.  The outcome of the Hearing will be a set of recommendations to be delivered to world leaders gathered at the UN Conference on the Economic Crisis that will begin the following Monday.

People’s Voices on the Crisis

Saturday, 20 June

Church of the Holy Trinity

316 E. 88th Street, New York, NY

For more information contact:

Jana Silverman∙Social Watch∙jsilverman@item.org.uy

Nicolas Luisani∙International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net)∙nlusiani@escr-net.org

Zak Bleicher∙UN-NGLS∙212.963.3117∙bleicher@un.org

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