Plenary II

Theme:   Rethinking Global Economic Governance: Towards Trade and Financial Reforms to Support Development


Building on the discussions of the opening round table, this plenary will examine how key lessons from the crises should guide global governance reforms in the areas of trade and finance. The session will include analysis of some of the main proposals for financial architecture reform, both in the short term (including supporting counter-cyclical policies in cash-strapped countries, avoiding a new debt crisis) and longer term (such as a fair international debt resolution system, a better aid architecture, international taxation and new global and regional reserve systems, exchange rate management, or commodity price stabilization). Key questions on trade would include how the international trading system is facing up to the potential risk of rising protectionist pressures and what changes are needed to make the international trading system genuinely supportive of development. Issues of representativeness and accountability of ongoing reform initiatives will be a key question for discussion.


Key questions:

  • What short-term international measures are needed to support counter-cyclical policies in cash-strapped countries? Is it possible to avert a new debt crisis?
  • What are the key proposals coming from the United Nations (secretariats and member States) for a reformed international financial and monetary system to avert future crises and support development? How do these proposals differ from or complement the initiatives of the G-20 and the IMF/World Bank?
  • What would it take to regain control over global finance to serve the real economy? Are currency markets the key?
  • Is there a need for a fair international system for foreign debt management?
  • Can financing climate change mitigation and adaptation be resolved without resolving long-standing financing for development issues?
  • Can innovative sources of finance (Special Drawing Rights, new regional and global reserve systems, international financial transaction taxes) help increase the fiscal space for developing countries to meet their development, full employment, social protection and environmental objectives?
  • Are the trade interests of developing countries threatened by the new trade and industrial policies being adopted in some countries, or even to rising protectionist pressures? How well is the international trading system withstanding to these pressures? Is the key obstacle today in the area of import barriers, or rather exchange rate instability and falling/stagnating demand for imports?
  • How much development is left in the Doha Development Round? Should governments heed civil society calls for a "development audit" of the international trade architecture?
  • How can we envisage the transition to new international coordination and oversight mechanisms to strengthen global economic governance?
  • How to enhance the participation of developing countries in setting the global economic governance reform agenda?
  • Beyond changing voting rights, what other measures are needed to democratize global economic governance?


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