UNCTAD summit to focus on development-centred globalisation
Geneva - "A true break" with the prevailing thinking behind the
global economic system over the past 30-years and a shift to a reformed
system of "development-centred globalisation" that allows more stable
and inclusive economic progress is needed as the world recovers from
recession, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD says in a report to the
Organization's upcoming quadrennial conference.
The report which was officially released and entitled Development-led
globalisation: Towards sustainable and inclusive development paths,
contends that "neither muddling through nor a return to business as
usual will get things back on track".
It urges decisive international and national steps to establish a
"global new deal."
The report is a substantive contribution to the UNCTAD XIII
quadrennial conference to be held in Doha, Qatar, from April 21 to 26.
The theme of the conference is "Development-centred globalisation". The
session will be attended by Heads of State, other high-level government
officials, and representatives of civil society, the business community
At the Conference, the organisation's 194 member States will discuss
the current state of the world economy and the challenges it poses for
development, as well as policy solutions. They will also set UNCTAD's
work program for the next four years. Official negotiations on the
outcome text of UNCTAD XIII began recently.
"Finance needs to get back to the business of providing security to
people's savings and mobilising resources for productive investment,"
Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi writes. "Reforms are also needed
to replace unruly and procyclical capital flows with predictable and
long-term development finance, to regain stability in currency markets
and to support expansionary macroeconomic adjustments. Surveillance and
regulation will need to be strengthened at all levels."
The Secretary-General and UNCTAD economists have contended for
several years that the current global economic and financial system,
even during boom periods, has not yielded benefits for all, and that
income inequality has been rising and financial imbalances have been
accumulating. These have led to a global economy that is prone to booms
"The term finance-driven globalisation characterises the dominant
pattern of international economic relations during the past three
decades," the report says. "This is intended to convey the idea that
financial deregulation, concerted moves to open up the capital account
and rapidly rising international capital flows have been the main forces
shaping global economic integration.... Financial markets and
institutions have become the masters rather than the servants of the
real economy, distorting trade and investment, heightening levels of
inequality, and posing a systemic threat to economic stability."
The Secretary-General contends that instead, "Financial and other
resources should be channelled towards the right kinds of productive
activities. Industrial development remains a priority for many
developing countries...but a wider sectoral approach, including a focus
on the primary sector in many least developed countries, is needed to
ensure that measures to diversify economic activity are consistent with
job creation, the security of food and energy supplies, and effective
responses to climate challenge".
An era of more active involvement is needed, he adds, that will
"allow governments - particularly, but not only in developing countries
- to correct market failures, promote collaboration among enterprises in
areas of long-term investment, manage integration with the global
economy and ensure that the rewards from doing so are evenly shared".