Sunday, 28 June 2009

Civil Society Background Document on the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development

We are facing a global systemic financial and economic crisis, which originated in the increasing financialization of the global economy, coupled with deregulation, over-reliance on trade liberalization and the use of financial instruments that created systemic risks and asymmetries. These factors have resulted in a financial industry disconnected from the real productive economy and in a severe slow-down in the real economy, with tremendous human and social costs. Before the financial crisis, the world was already suffering from a food crisis, and facing environmental challenges of historic dimensions. With this Conference, the UN as the most comprehensive intergovernmental forum, has a historic opportunity to start a longer-term inclusive process for a fundamental transformation of the economic and financial system and to make social and gender justice and the fulfillment of human and environmental rights the key objectives of all crisis-related measures. As a first step, global fiscal stimulus measures are crucial, both for industrialized countries, economies in transition, and developing countries, to stimulate their economies in a sustainable manner, and implement counter-cyclical policies, without, however, reverting to the same export-led growth model based on unsustainable over-production and over-consumption patterns. However, equally important are concrete commitments for an intergovernmental time-bound process towards long-term structural reforms to prevent future financial bubbles and economic busts. This UN Conference must be the beginning of a process for systemic change, crisis resolution and economic justice between developed and developing countries and economies in transition.

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