On 19th May, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation hosted a panel discussion in order to present the proposals of the UN Commission on reforming the international monetary and financial system. The experts of the so-called “Stiglitz Commission”, who had gathered in Brussels, however, did not only restrict themselves to presenting their proposals, they also voiced harsh criticism of the results of the G20 Summit and the Larosière Report.
Andrä Gärber, Director of the FES EU-Office Brussels, started the discussion by pointing out that the current discussions around the financial crises are lacking in new ideas and innovations. The panel also agreed that the current global financial and economic crisis can only be tackled with a global response. Hence, not only the G20 were required to provide answers, but also the G192. The fact that the developing and threshold countries had contributed nothing to the financial crisis, but were nevertheless affected by it had to be taken into account in all reform steps. Yaga Venugopal Reddy, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) therefore regards the composition of the UN Commission as more representative and target-aimed than those of the Larosière Group.

The objective of the UN Commission, which was set up by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, is to formulate recommendations on reforming of the international monetary and financial systems under the leadership of Nobel Prize winner Professor Joseph Stiglitz. The UN Commission, however, is less concerned with pragmatic measures, which can be directly implemented and more with installing a long-term more stable and sustainable world order, which would benefit all countries. The panel members again and again emphasized that the reform of the global monetary and financial systems is concerned with asking fundamental questions. Appropriately far-reaching are therefore also the proposals of the UN Commission: starting with the industrial nations paying the developing countries 1 % of the stimulus packages via fundamental “Governance” reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions, up to a global reserve monetary system, which John Maynard Keynes has already demanded 75 years ago.

Further information

Draft of the proposals of the UN Commission