Economic crisis conference to be postponed?

Linked with, and with Civil society wants substance, not procedural delays at UN conference on crisis.

Published on, by TWN, May 25, 2009.

The United Nations conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development, which is scheduled to be held on 1-3 June, is now likely to be postponed to 24-26 June.

A meeting was convened by the General Assembly President, Ambassador Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, in New York last Friday to discuss the postponement, which had been proposed by Brockmann.

At the meeting, almost all countries and regional groupings, including the United States, had agreed to the postponement to 24-26 June. However, in a surprise move, the European Union said that its member states required more time for consultation and for checking with their capitals. 

Another meeting will be convened on Tuesday morning, at which a final decision is to be taken.

According to diplomatic sources, Ambassador Brockmann had announced that in the new schedule, the draft outcome document would be ready by 15 June, while the new dates for the conference would be 24-26 June.

The General Assembly President had been in consultations with many Ambassadors individually and in regional groupings. Just before the Assembly meeting convened, it was thought that there was consensus on the postponement and the new dates.

However, the EU move has rendered the situation uncertain as no formal decision could be taken, and the final decision will now have to wait until Tuesday …

… According to diplomats, the developing countries are keen that the Conference take bold decisions on helping them cope with the crisis, on reform of the international financial system, and on setting up new mechanisms to coordinate global policies.

They do not believe that the current institutions (such as the IMF and the G20) can play this role, as they are controlled by the developed countries. The United Nations, which has universal membership, is best placed to coordinate global policies which are in the developing countries’ interests.

However, many of the developed countries are reluctant to have the UN play a stronger role, as they are comfortable with the status quo in which the institutions they dominate (G7, G20, IMF, etc.) control the show.

The problem, of course, is that the developed countries and the dominant institutions have done a very bad job, as they promoted the lax financial policies that have led on to this extreme crisis.

Thus, there is an impetus for the developing countries, which are the victims of a crisis they did not create, to have new and more representative institutions set up in which they can have their rightful say. (full text).

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