We are now officially beginning some sort of post-credit crunch global governance feeding frenzy. We now have the following to look forward to:
– The report of a new High Level Commission on modernisation of the World Bank, chaired by former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo;
– A UN General Assembly task force on the global financial system, chaired by Joseph Stiglitz (composition and terms of reference to be announced on 30 October);
– An EU summit on the financial crisis and reform of global financial institutions on 7 November, to prepare for…
– A UN Financing for Development summit from 29 November to 2 December – it’s been in preparation since last year, but Ban Ki-moon has now suggested turning it into a UN summit on the financial crisis, in NYC rather than Doha as planned (Ban says:
“I strongly believe that holding the summit at the United Nations, the symbol of multilateralism, will lend universal legitimacy to this endeavour and demonstrate a collective will to face this serious global challenge…”)
I make no claim to this being a comprehensive list (and will add to it as I find more baubles to hang on the tree). But it all invites the question: how much is really going to be achieved through all this pannelling and summitry? As Eurodad, the civil society network on debt relief, notes on its website:
Several meetings that Eurodad staff have had in recent days reveal that senior European policy makers have few precise reform proposals for this summit meeting and have not started negotiating a common EU position. Indeed smaller European countries are unhappy that they will be excluded from the 15 November meeting. The summit – with its extravagant “Bretton Woods II” billing – may reveal a very dangerous gap between expectations and delivery,
Too right. Over the summer, there were no fewer than three summits (FAO; G8: WTO) that claimed in advance that they were riding to the rescue on food prices, and which then failed to deliver anything interesting. Now it looks like we’re about to do the same on the credit crunch…
Update: Eurodad have produced a helpful FAQ on the ‘Bretton Woods II’ summit – download it here. Thanks to Alex Wilks.
Update 2: David and I have published a briefing paper on the Summit.