[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,
[00:35.12]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.
[02:00.70]UNCTAD also points to debt as a continuing problem. It estimates that $57 trillion have been added to the world's debt since 2007.
[02:15.52]A major idea in the UNCTAD report is its call for the development of a better world financial system with a more secure base.
[02:27.28]Steve MacFeely oversees development statistics and information for the organization. He spoke to reporters in Bangkok Monday.
[02:40.34]"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 --
[02:49.51]is how to ensure that we're not building a house of cards for an international monetary and financial system for the future
[02:58.60]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.
[03:20.71]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.
[03:36.49]UNCTAD itself has been criticized for tending to support government measures to support economies in crisis.
[03:47.47]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.