More power to UNCTAD

Why is UNCTAD ignored/suppressed/undervalued, asks Jayati Ghosh

…Unctad was among the first to note the potentially damaging implications of financial deregulation and capital account liberalisation, which are now widely recognised to be associated with financial crises in both developing and developed countries. It identified problems such as the impact of financial activity on commodity prices, and the effect on export prices faced by developing countries when too many players attempt to enter the same markets with similar exports. It examined ways in which commodity-exporting developing countries can benefit sustainably from periods of rising prices, rather than suffering from a “resource curse”. More recently, it provided a sane and plausible strategy for growing out of debt rather than killing the patient with more destructive austerity measures, a lesson now being recognised (if reluctantly) even in Europe…

…the content and results of the research produced by Unctad are very much in the interests not just of developing countries per se, but of ordinary citizens all over the world, the 99% of popular imagination. The rearguard action fought by some negotiators to control and limit Unctad’s work was more about trying to create a single homogenous approach to economic analysis and policy to be accepted globally, even if that approach is increasingly being exposed as misleading and downright wrong…

Meanwhile, here is Alanna, who covered the recent UNCTAD conference and has been asking similar questions

Is the opposition to UNCTAD aimed at killing the only consistent dissenter in the room – a global body on trade and development with a non-American/European boss?

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