Skip to content

UN president to hold global economic crisis conference

The President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockman will be convening a critical United Nations conference on ‘the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development’ next month at the UN headquarters in New York.

This conference had been scheduled to take place next week, but will now likely occur on Wednesday June 24 to Friday June 26.

As noted on the president’s website, “The aim (of the conference) is to identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations, and initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all Member States.”

The situation is grave.

The United Nations International Labour Organization has reported that global unemployment in 2009 could increase by 18 million to 50 million people over 2007 figures, depending on how much further the economic situation deteriorates. They also note that the number of working poor (those not earning more than US$2 per day) could rise up to 1.4 billion people, or 45 per cent of all the world’s employed. And they have also stated that some 200 million workers, mostly in developing countries, could be pushed into extreme poverty.

The National Post reported in March that, “Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the crisis poses the greatest danger to Africa in recent history and threatens to reverse, even wipe out, hard won social-economic gains.”

The CBC reported on March 9 that, “The global crisis wiped a staggering $50 trillion US off the value of financial assets last year, including $9.6 trillion of losses in developing Asia alone, the Asian Development Bank said Monday…A sprawling region, developing Asia includes 44 economies from the central Asian republics to China to the Pacific islands.”

Father Miguel has said this summit “must speak to the hundreds of millions across the globe who have no other forum in which they can express their unique and often divergent perspectives.”

The draft outcome for this G-192 summit calls for “prompt and decisive action” in four areas: making the stimulus work for all; containing the effects of the crisis and improving resilience for the future; improved regulation and monitoring; and reforming the international financial and economic governance. It also calls for the creation of a new Global Economic Council under the United Nations to provide coordination and oversight of responses to address the global challenges.

It is our hope that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend this conference and rather than mistakenly continuing to promote free trade as the answer to this global economic recession, instead support actions that will address both global unemployment and the situation here in Canada, where every hour 100 Canadians lose their jobs.

To add your name to the International Action Center web-petition calling on G20 leaders to attend the G-192 conference, please go to http://www.iacenter.org/uneconconf/.

You can read more about this summit on the website of the President of the United Nations 63rd General Assembly at http://www.un.org/ga/president/63/.

The International Labour Organization report is at http://www.ilo.org/global/About_the_ILO/Media_and_public_information/Press_releases/lang–en/WCMS_101462/index.htm.

The National Post article is at http://www.nationalpost.com/m/story.html?id=1373364&s=Home.

The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/03/09/asia-losses.html.

The ‘100 jobs every hour’ figure comes from http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/04/27/don-martin-has-the-time-come-for-an-all-canadian-car.aspx.