UN starts debate on financial crisis
[Bangla Daily Star] The UN General Assembly kicks off a three-day high-level conference yesterday to weigh measures to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries weather the global financial and economic crisis.

Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, the organizer, said the event aimed to "identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations.

The conference will also "initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all member states."

Developing countries, which make up the vast majority of the 192-member assembly, argue that they are paying the price for a crisis that was created by the developed world.

"Although we were not responsible, we are suffering the collateral damage," Martin Khor, executive director for the South Center, a Geneva-based policy think tank for developing countries, said here this week.

Organizers noted that the World Bank is projecting a finance gap of up to 700 billion dollars in developing countries, resulting in additional deaths of 1.5 to 2.8 million infants by 2015 and more than 100 million people tipping over into extreme poverty each year for the duration of the crisis.

Khor stressed that the international response to the global crisis has been undertaken by exclusive clubs such as the Group of Eight (G8) or Group of 20 (G20) while most developing countries have had no say.

"This meeting leaves no doubt that the proper and most fitting venue to discuss this type of problem is the United Nations," D'Escoto said. "After all, we're talking about global problems and they should be discussed globally."

Nearly 120 UN member states are to attend the parley, including presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the vice presidents of Iran and Zimbabwe, and the prime ministers of Bosnia, Serbia, Togo and several Caribbean nations.

But in an apparent sign of lack of interest, key developed countries are sending low-level delegations.

D'Escoto, a former Nicaraguan foreign minister, said he was "relieved" that a revised outcome document due to be adopted at the end of the three-day meeting has been finalized.
If the outcome document adopted at the end of the three day meeting is finalized, why have the meeting? Apparently the meeting's already been had

Posted by: Fred 2009-06-25