Intervention by Pakistan at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group to follow up on the Conference last June of the World financial and economic crisis and its impact on development: Strengthening the role of the UN in Global Economic Governance (New York, 4 June 2010)

Co-Chairs,

My delegation would like to associate with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Yemen on behalf of Group of 77 and China.

  1. We have following additional points to make on strengthening the role of the United Nations in global economic governance.

Co-Chairs,

  1. Strengthening global economic governance in the chambers of this august body has historically meant moving away from an entitlement and weight-based approach in global economic decision making to a need and equity based approach, which ensured greater voice and participation for those who lacked it. This was sought to be achieved by reforming the BWIs, the WTO and other multilateral institutions engaged in economic decision making and to making them democratic and representative. This also meant increasing cooperation, coherence and coordination between the UN and those institutions.
  2. Today, we are somehow surprised to see this discussion on global economic governance suddenly shift to a debate on strengthening UN collaboration with the G-20 and how this is the only way of strengthening global economic governance.
  3. While we respect the right and prerogative of countries to meet in informal ad-hoc groups and settings to deliberate on issues of mutual interest and concern and to reach common understandings, any suggestion to formally undertake global economic governance and decision making in ad-hoc groups or settings is something my delegation cannot support. Global economic governance in a limited setting is an oxymoron in our view.

Co-Chairs,

  1. Pakistan is, in principle, opposed to decision making in exclusive formats particularly when those decisions have global implications. For us, global economic governance must be inclusive and transparent. And in order to develop a truly effective and representative framework for addressing global economic challenges, all countries must have the opportunity to represent their concerns. Any global economic governance architecture must, therefore, ensure inclusiveness, transparency and full representation of all developing countries and promote full complimentarity and coherence.
  2. We are, therefore, intrigued to hear suggestions in our discussions here today on how the UN should go to G-20 in order to be heard in global economic decision making. This is a non-starter and contrary to the status of the UN as the primus inter pares and also contrary to the principles of multilateralism that UN represents and stands for.
  3. We have heard suggestions of establishing links and encouraging dialogue between the UN and G-20. We have also listened very carefully to the suggestions by the Good Governance Group (3G) to have the UN Secretary General and his Sherpas participate in the G-20 Summits and related processes. There are a number of questions that come to our mind in this regard.
  4. First, on creating UN-G20 links, we are not sure if 3G is asking for an observer status for the UN at the G-20 Forum. If this is the case, we will not be able to support such a move because as per the existing practice all international institutions, organizations and other bodies seeking to be heard globally seek observer status with the United Nations and not vice versa. For the United Nations to be one of the invitees with World Bank, the IMF and FSB representatives is not in sync with what we understand of the central role of the United Nations as the most inclusive, legitimate global entity.
  5. Secondly, we are also not sure, if we understand well, the suggestion for the UN Secretary General to participate in the G-20 Summits. The Secretary General, we understand, has been invited to the G-20 Summits in the past. We have also heard that he will be invited to the forthcoming G-20 Summit, as he is to all other major international meetings and events, including the Summit level gatherings of major regional and country groupings including G-77. We donít think that any one can or will disagree with the Secretary Generalís participation. What we donít understand is the suggestion to formalize Secretary Generalís participation in G-20 Summits and its preparatory meetings. While the World Bank and the IMF can be represented by their Executive Heads, given how their Secretariats are organized and how their management functions. However, business at the UN is done in a fundamentally different manner. Our secretariat model is very different from the Bank and the Fund. Are we seeking to completely alter the way we work at the UN by asking the Secretariat to represent the wider membership rather than doing it through inter-governmental processes.
  6. The United Nations speaks through its resolutions that are inter-governmentally negotiated by the member states. If any one wishes to find out where UN stands on any issue, it is easy to get a good sense by looking at the outcomes of the various UN Conferences and Summits and the resolutions that we adopt. Creating another level or tier of representation is something we would like to understand better before endorsing it.
  7. We are also not clear if UNís participation actually means involvement in the G-20 decision making also. While briefings before or after decisions are taken in ad-hoc limited groups or settings may help in informing countries on what is happening, it still falls far short of the levels of inclusivity and transparency required in regard to decisions that have immediate and direct global implications particularly on the poor and the vulnerable countries.
  8. These are questions that in our view would merit full answers before we can engage on this important issue any further.

    Co-Chairs,

    1. Let me also add that the global economic governance architecture in our view should be underpinned by the following principles:

    One,The new architecture should be UN inclusive. We believe that close UN engagement in the reform process would signify global participation and legitimacy.

    Two, The right to have a voice and representation should be built around and driven by the imperatives of need and equity.

    Three, The new compact for development, growth and prosperity should be premised on a people-centric approach, based on a mix of policies designed to ensure the welfare and well being of people.

    Four, It should be based on a carefully crafted balance between the role of governments, markets and civil society.

    1. Before I conclude my delegation would also like to support the suggestion made by the Stiglitz Commission on Reform of the International Monetary and Financial System to create a Global Economic Coordination Council. The Council in our view can be housed in the Economic and Social Council. In this regard, we would also like to draw your attention to Pakistanís G-27 proposal made in 2005 in our capacity as the President of the Economic and Social Council.

    I thank you