But there were ominous trouble spots. The large U. A still very strong dollar penalized American industry and agriculture, and the U. The United States became a net debtor to the rest of the world for the first time since World War I; by the end of , U. The international trade picture grew more dangerous, as nations imposed import restrictions and increased subsidies, U. Much of Africa suffered from tragic food and nutritional problems and experienced continued economic deterioration.
Underlying many of the successes and problems of the year was the continuing decline in inflation that began early in this decade and represented a sharp reversal of the corrosive price increases of the s.
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Foreign Policy. Every effort should be made towards a coordinated approach that would sustain consumption and investment. It must involve emerging economies as they would be especially affected and rightfully wished to have their voices heard. The Commission will meet again at 10 a. The Commission for Social Development met this morning to conclude its general discussion on the impact of the global crises on social development, and to take up programme questions and other matters, including the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development UNRISD.
However, the crisis had not come out of the blue, but had developed over many decades as the unipolar economic system had left whole regions on the periphery of the economic process. The crisis had been growing for a long time and had ultimately led to a serious breakdown. That provided clear evidence of the fallibility of the market model of economic development, which entailed the most serious consequences on a planetary scale. The social consequences had been the most serious, affecting the overwhelming majority of countries.
Those effects were the result of over-reliance on market mechanisms and globalization, the distortions of which had stimulated growth and provided advantages for some to the detriment of others. Equally dangerous was excessive Government intervention and indulgence in regulatory protection, which risked concentrating surplus assets in the hands of the State and dampening entrepreneurship, he warned.
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It was not repairs that were needed but a radical overhaul of the overall system of global management. There was a need for a more just and more appropriate world financial architecture, accompanied by a wholesale reorganization of existing economic regulations. The present crisis had forced the Russian Federation to take urgent measures to stabilize its economy, but it had in no way reduced the need to preserve the economic and social rights of its people.
Any adverse fallout in those areas resulting from the current financial crisis would likely be a big blow. Bangladesh had so far cushioned the shocks, but, like other developing countries, it was not immune to activity on the international markets and in the economies of leading countries because more than half of its gross domestic product was connected to the external sector. The effects of the financial crisis were already evident.
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The Bangladesh stock market was suffering following the Wall Street crash and the impact on tourism had started. Bangladeshi workers were reportedly losing their jobs abroad, leading to reduced remittances. The Government would form a high-powered panel to combat possible domestic economic fallout from the global meltdown. In addition to economic bailout policy planning and national initiatives, the international community should make concerted efforts to address the adverse effects of the global crises on social development, particularly in the most vulnerable least developed countries.
Every effort should be made to push for a coordinated approach that could sustain the consumption and investment needed to promote growth and newly stimulate trade and investments, thus fostering social development. At the same time, there was a need to promote a multilateral perspective in order to avoid closure based on self-sufficiency, he said, adding that his country had already taken action, through its Group of Eight G-8 presidency, to put social issues and employment at the centre of the international debate on the crisis.
Italy would dedicate the March G-8 ministerial meeting on labour to related issues, and had extended invitations to a group of important non-G-8 States. In the long-term, the global crisis might in fact lead to a few promising developments. For example, the current difficulties could encourage the creation of a new, more modern and effective social pact aimed at reducing disparities, thereby better providing for social needs and environmental sustainability, while ensuring wealth creation, which was the prerequisite of any redistribution policy.
Meanwhile, excesses and imbalances should be questioned, he stressed, calling also for a greater sensitivity to healthy, non-invasive control of a few sectors. Governments must be proactive and ingenious, while striving to enhance enterprise and allow more efficient and integrated participation by workers, including as protagonists of consumption.
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Emerging economies active in the world economy should be fully involved, as they would be especially affected, and thus rightfully wished their voices to be heard. The global ability to react, the wisdom of decisions made and success in balancing the various needs of expansion and development would ultimately be the key to global recovery and the solution to the current crisis. IRINA VELICHKO Belarus , pointing out that the financial crisis was having a devastating impact worldwide, noted that many developing countries were in no position to provide their citizens with such basic necessities as food, medicine and decent living conditions.
While States were responsible for their own development, most developing countries could not follow the example of their developed counterparts because they lacked the resources to allocate social and financial support.
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New and innovative ideas were needed to address emergency situations, she said, stressing the need to do everything possible to help people in vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, to gain access to food, energy and medicine. New technologies could be used to save many lives, and developing them should override profit motives. The global community should focus on providing vital needs for a fair price.
It was also important to balance the development of, and adequate access to, vital products through the protection of intellectual property rights. The time had come to give serious thought to the creation, under United Nations auspices, of effective machinery to ensure global access to vital technologies, which should be viewed as common property.
The United Arab Emirates had begun a new era by launching the Federal Government Strategy for aimed at achieving comprehensive sustainable development and moving from a concept of social care to one of social development by expanding cooperation and including all social categories and sectors in the process. The Social Affairs Ministry had been established as one of the specialized institutions to translate that strategy into action.
United Arab Emirates society still held dear the values of the extended family, which reinforced respect and appreciation for the elderly, he said.
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To underpin that, the Government had laid the legal foundation to ensure a dignified life for the elderly within their families. The social security law provided them with social and financial aid, health care and training, while the law on personal status obligated their children also to ensure financial support. The Global Conference on Old Age, organized and hosted by the Government of the United Arab Emirates in April , had resulted in important recommendations, including the call for an international covenant ensuring the rights of the elderly.
On another front, a federal law had laid the foundations for empowering and integrating persons with disabilities into the fabric of society, including through education, rehabilitation, health and work, he said. The Social Affairs Ministry had undertaken to implement those rights with very satisfying results. It was, therefore, keen to provide young people with free education at all levels, as well as vocational and technical training. To meet the requirements of a changing market, the State had updated school curricula. It was also paying special attention to juvenile delinquents and had established special centres under professional supervision to train and rehabilitate them.
Development was a central goal in itself and sustainable development, in its economic, social and environmental aspects, was the overarching framework of United Nations activities. In an increasingly globalized environment of disorder and confusion, there was very little room for concepts of development that placed prime emphasis on the promotion of narrow national interests above the common good of humanity, he said.
There must be an end to the unjust world economic order. A development strategy for the eradication of poverty must be global and positive -- not South against North nor North against South, but the North and South in interdependence, cooperation and partnership. In the wake of the financial crisis, many had benefited from huge financial bailouts, but there was none for the poorest and most socially vulnerable who had suffered most.