“Global economic policy should be like the World Cup, with every nation playing – not a tournament for rich countries and their invited guests. With this agreement, the UN took the ball,” said René Grotenhuis, President of CIDSE and Director of Dutch organization Cordaid. “The US ought to be particularly commended for supporting economic justice – anyone at the Bush or Bill Clinton State Department would have been fired for approving this. Agreement for countries to impose capital controls is a total reversal of Clinton and Bush-era policies. And US support for World Bank and IMF hiring according to geographic and gender diversity moves them part of the way from G8-dominated clubs towards accountability to the world,” said Aldo Caliari, Director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods project at Center of Concern, the US member of CIDSE.
* Trade: Developing countries earn half their GDP from exports, and trade is the main way the financial crisis is hitting them. The document recognizes many countries will need to change trade and investment rules or impose capital account restrictions, to implement crisis recovery measures.
* Debt: Developing countries face more than $3 trillion in debt maturing this year. The agreement includes temporary standstills on debt payments for countries in crisis, and agreement to go beyond existing ad hoc responses to a structured mechanism for sovereign debt settlements.
* Stimulus: The agreement calls on countries with stimulus spending not to impose rules that hurt third countries.
* Continuing mandate: While some countries opposed follow-up to the conference, the UN will have a continuing working group to implement these measures and an expert group to provide “independent technical expertise and analysis” on the subject of the conference.
“This is slow progress for more than 50 million people are expected to lose their jobs, and 100 million newly hungry in the world. But the UN is asserting influence on the global economy, and that’s good news for the majority of people who aren’t represented at the G8 or the World Bank and IMF they control,” said René Grotenhuis.