unctad.org | UNCTAD Side-event at the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus
UNCTAD Side-event at the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus
30 November 2008
15:00-17:00 hrs., Sheraton Hotel

Key Issues

"Financial Crises, Global Imbalances and National Policy Space"

The causes of the global financial crisis, as well as responses to the crisis, including the pursuit of more growth-oriented macroeconomic policies, emphasize the importance of "policy space".

Taking into account both de jure and de facto restrictions of national policy space, this side event aims at enhancing the understanding of the relationship between national policy space and multilateral rules and regulations in then context of strengthened global economic governance.

It will do so by discussing the experiences of a number of developing countries becoming net exporters of capital, the unresolved problem of global imbalances, as well as the current global financial crisis. Thereby, the side event can make an important contribution to a better understanding not only of the "systemic issues" highlighted in the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development, but also on the relative importance of domestic and international mobilization of financial resources for development.


Brief presentations by panellists, followed by an interactive debate.


Chair: Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Development Cooperation of the Netherlands


  • Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD

  • Mr. Juergen Zattler, Head of the Division on "World Bank, IMF and Debt Issues", German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, Director, African Department, IMF

  • Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistance Secretary-General for Economic Development, UNDESA

  • Ms. Ariane Arpa, Intermon Oxfam

Questions for discussion:

  • Is there an inevitable trade-off between national policy space and international rules and disciplines?

  • What is the importance of policy space in the areas of macroeconomics and finance relative to trade?

  • Do developing countries that are highly dependent on net capital inflows face tighter macroeconomic policy constraints than countries that have been able to generate considerable current account surpluses and to export capital as a result of competitive exchange rates?

  • In response to the financial crisis governments in many developed countries have expanded their policy space and departed from orthodox economic policy prescriptions. Should developing countries also be allowed to change the principles underlying economic policy making and allow for a more active role of public policy in support of growth and macroeconomic stability?

  • Would more appropriate international rules and regulations, and better macroeconomic policy surveillance have prevented global imbalances and the current financial crisis?


25/11/2008 - 72 KB


UNCTAD and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


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