In a multi-polar world, for global governance to work and spur inclusive development, all voices need to be heard, said UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, addressing participants of the Civil Society Forum at UNCTAD XIII today.
This is not to say that we should ignore the major international institutions, he continued, but that we should take other opinions on economic policy into account. In this regard, UNCTAD has long served as a forum for debate and policy dialogue, and has time after time warned of the dangers that the mainstream approach to development entails.
We have witnessed excessive confidence in the market mechanism and its efficiency, which unfortunately led to a severe economic crisis, from which we are still recovering, Dr. Supachai said. We cannot allow these crises to keep happening every 10 years, he warned. We need a way to re-establish the link between the financial markets and the underlying fundamentals, limiting opportunity for speculation and tempering price shifts.
Developing countries cannot be expected to grow their economies in isolation, nor should they extensively depend on foreign aid. Instead, active, development-oriented state policies should benefit from productive investment from the global North, as well as from close cooperation amongst developing countries themselves (South-South).
The opening speech at the session was made by H.E. Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Qatar, who expressed his wish to see a lively debate at the Forum, and repeated Qatar’s commitment to a “strong UNCTAD” and a successful conference.