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UN Group Calls for Secure Financial Base to World Economy

10/09/2015

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[00:00.00]
  • A United Nations organization is working to help developing countries become active partners in the world economy.
  • [00:10.64]
  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development says recent financial unrest shows the need for new thinking about international trade and development.
  • [00:25.24]
  • The conference, also known as UNCTAD, notes financial problems like the debt crisis in Greece,
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  • growing debt levels in other nations and stock market troubles in Asia.
  • [00:41.98]
  • In a new report, UNCTAD is calling for reform of the International Monetary Fund to better meet the needs of developing countries.
  • [00:54.76]
  • It also calls on nations to provide greater support for the IMF and development banks.
  • [01:03.54]
  • The report says countries should be able to pay for goods and services in their own currencies without having to use money from a third country.
  • [01:16.30]
  • And pointing to the issue of debt, UNCTAD has called on international lenders to find better ways to restructure debt payments.
  • [01:27.22]
  • The report adds that many signs show the world has recovered in many ways from the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.
  • [01:39.50]
  • Employment is recovering, although not as quickly as needed. And leading measures of stock prices have recovered to their levels before 2008.
  • [01:53.12]
  • However, economic growth is slowing in both developed and developing countries.
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  • UNCTAD also points to debt as a continuing problem. It estimates that $57 trillion have been added to the world's debt since 2007.
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  • A major idea in the UNCTAD report is its call for the development of a better world financial system with a more secure base.
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  • Steve MacFeely oversees development statistics and information for the organization. He spoke to reporters in Bangkok Monday.
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  • "The image on the front of the report this year is a house of cards and that's really the key message that we want to convey --
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  • is how to ensure that we're not building a house of cards for an international monetary and financial system for the future
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  • but to look at ways of maybe putting in more secure foundations."
  • [03:06.46]
  • In its report, UNCTAD criticizes major credit rating agencies, such as Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's, for failing to predict financial crises.
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  • Mr. MacFeely says the agencies should either improve their models or "be removed from the system."
  • [03:30.14]
  • He suggests they might be replaced by public, international groups.
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  • UNCTAD itself has been criticized for tending to support government measures to support economies in crisis.
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  • This has been in opposition to the position put forward by many of the world's financial institutions.
  • [03:56.41]
  • They often support giving more power to private businesses and expanding trade and markets.
  • [04:05.08]
  • I'm Mario Ritter.
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