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UN Task Force Begins Financial System Review

General Assembly President Calls For International Response To Financial Crisis

New York, Oct 30 2008 12:10PM

The international community must fundamentally reform the global financial system and help restore the trust lost as a result of the greed and corruption that caused the current economic crisis and untold suffering around the world, the President of the General Assembly stressed today.

General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto was speaking at the inauguration of a high-level task force – chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 – to review the global financial system.

“The international community has the responsibility and the opportunity to identify longer-term measures that go beyond protection of banks, stabilization of credit markets and reassurances for big investors,” said Mr. D’Escoto.

“The stakes are too high for half-measures and quick fixes put together behind closed doors,” he added.

The President noted that the global financial system does not reflect the global and interdependent nature of the world’s economies and told United Nations Member States that a solution to the crisis must involve all countries in a democratic process.

“We must take advantage of the unique forum provided by the United Nations to build agreement on the new financial architecture required by the international community,” said Mr. D’Escoto.

The response to the current turmoil affecting world markets must also take into account the poor, said Mr. D’Escoto while reminding Member States to meet their commitments to finance development despite the crisis.

“Sacrifices should be shared and cannot be placed on the backs of the poor as is usually the case,” he said.

“All nations must be subject to financial discipline, including the rich and powerful, or there will be no effective international regulations.”

Mr. D’Escoto called for Member States to “get down to business” and identify actions that can lead to genuine change so that the world economy can recover from the current crisis.

The General Assembly President has put together a panel of experts to review the global financial system, including major bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and to guide the world body in its deliberations concerning its response to the financial meltdown.

The group is headed by Dr. Stiglitz of Columbia University, and includes Prabhat Patnaik from the Center for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Sakiko Fukuda-Parr of the New School University, who will all addressing the General Assembly in the morning session.

Pedro Páez, Minister of Economic Policy and Coordination of Ecuador, Calestous Juma of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Francois Houtart, Chief Editor of Social Campus, are this afternoon’s panellists.

ENDS

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