UN Conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development

Source: NGO Committee for Social Development
This study examines the current situation of CSOs as indicated by responses from 640 civil society organizations worldwide. It also asks what strategies they are undertaking to cope with a drop of revenues and how to strengthen social-service delivery capacities of CSOs during crisis periods. February 2010 (pdf). [see more]
The mandate for the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development was decided at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha in December 2008 (paragraph 79 of the Doha Declaration A/CONF.212/L.1/Rev.1). Negotiations on the ‘modalities’ of the UN Conference began in February and were completed in early April.

After a slight change of date, the conference finally took place on 24-26 June 2009 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Governments agreed to hold the Conference at the 'highest level' (i.e. Heads of States and Heads of Governments), comprising four consecutive thematic roundtables involving participation of other stakeholders, including civil society, and resulting in an intergovernmentally agreed outcome document.

In view of the New York Conference, several civil society organizations produced statements and organized campaigns pushing for leaders to give the due importance to this conference and ensure that its outcome works for the people and planet. “At this critical moment, we must all join our efforts to prevent the global crisis, with its myriad faces, from turning into a social, environmental and humanitarian tragedy,” General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said at the start of the Conference.

Civil society organizations (CSO) were seriously disappointed with the result of the Conference and the official outcome document. According to Social Watch, an international network of citizens’ organizations monitoring national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty, "In no way do the results of the Conference measure up to the actions needed to address the scale and depth of the economic meltdown, most evident in the jobs crisis, particularly in developing countries." The outcome document did not go beyond an appeal for strong global fiscal stimulus measures, the delivery of aid promises, debt sustainability and additional grants. The necessity for counter-cyclical policies - also in developing countries - is mentioned, but agreements on concrete actions have not been reached.

However, in the opinion of Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, the outcome was positive since the agreement by all the 192 UN states members acknowledged their global interdependence. "It also demonstrated why it was important to have an inclusive process: the G192 were willing to raise key issues that the internal politics of the G20 may have made too sensitive. For instance, while the G20 focused attention on the role of bank secrecy in tax evasion, the UN agreement highlights corruption."

The Conference established one working group to deal with follow-up on the agreements of the Outcome Document.
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Sunday, February 21 2010
Impact of the crisis on civil society organizations
(Source: NGO Committee for Social Development)
Thursday, July 09 2009
UN conference agreement seeks to tackle global economic crisis
(Source: Ten Days of Action)

Official information

Working group on conference follow up is established (UN)

Human rights must figure prominently in tackling financial crisis, UN summit told (UN News Centre)

e-Discussion on Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development (United Nations)

Official website of the Conference (United Nations)

Civil society information resources

Impact of the crisis on civil society organizations (NGO Committee for Social Development)

Reflections and foresights on the U.N. Conference on the Financial Crisis (South Centre)

Civil society voice unhappiness with proposed solutions for economic crisis (Social Watch)

Economic crisis: rich countries block reform at UN summit (Bretton Woods Project)

Civil society scorecard: governments fail the test (Financing for Development - Civil Society Engagement)

High hopes for development financing forum (MediaGlobal)

Developing countries fight for say at UN crisis meet (IPS/Terraviva)

UN postpones summit over crisis (Prensa Latina)

The location of the full stop (Agenda Global/La diaria)

President of United Nations General Assembly rejects European criticism to G-192 declaration on capitalist crisis (International Debt Observatory)

UN Conference on the crisis at risk of being dismissed (Choike)

Civil Society registration for UN Conference on World Financial Crisis (UN-NGLS)

Briefing paper by the United Nations Non Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) (Choike Blog)

Analysis and opinions

Women’s rights advocates and their allies fight to reform gobal financial architecture (AWID)

UN conference agreement seeks to tackle global economic crisis (Ten Days of Action)

Vilified but unscathed: UN Conference on world economic crisis withstands pressure to confer global legitimacy to G20 (CIVICUS)

One small step forward (The Guardian)

Stiglitz calls for a reshaping of the global financial system in dialogue with international civil society (Social Watch)

Will UN Conference break G8's dominance?: It's time for developing countries to voice their concerns (Islam online)

Mission unaccomplished? (Transnational Institute)

Contradictions at the UN Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis (Transnational Institute)

It's time to hear from the G-172 (The Ottawa Citizen)

The silence of the powerful media about the UN (Other News)

U.N.'s enormous potential being marginalised (IPS)

Double standards are a trademark of the global economic order (South African Civil Society Information Service)

G-192: the South speaks out (IPS)

Policy response to the global financial crisis: key issues for developing countries (South Centre paper, pdf) (South Centre)

No stimulus for the poor (Guardian)

Organizers reject criticism of U.N. financial summit (Reuters)

Official documents

Civil society initiatives

Civil society scorecard - governments fail the test (Social Watch)

Confronting global trade as a root cause of the financial crisis! (Transnational Institute)

CIDSE and partners host panel discussion during global conference on the impact of the financial and economic crisis on (CIDSE)

Roberto Bissio speaks on behalf of civil society at the U.N. Conference on the world financial crisis (Choike)

Major surgery, not cosmetic facelift, must be at center of UN Conference on economic crisis (Ten Days of Action)

Civil society mobilizes prior to UN crisis conference (Choike)

Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FfD)

Peoples' voices on the crisis - 20 June in New York (Choike Blog)

World's people need bailout (Workers World)

Campaign: towards a human rights response to the crisis (ESCR-net)

Statement on Trade-Finance Linkages (Center of Concern)

Canada's Prime Minister is urged to participate in forthcoming United Nations Conference on the World Crisis (International Debt Observatory)

Civil society wants substance, not procedural delays at UN conference on crisis (Choike)

Ensuring Development in the face of the financial crisis - Position paper (Social Watch)

Letter to social movements, non-governmental networks and intellectuals - By François Houtart (Choike Blog)

Urge leaders to attend UN crisis summit (Choike)

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