The World Anti-Crisis Conference was held jointly with the sixth Astana Economic Forum, on 23 and 24 May 2013 in Astana, Kazakhstan, and brought together high-level government officials, representatives of the United Nations, and academics including six Nobel laureates, to discuss the reforms needed in global economic policies and governance.
The conference was opened by His Excellency Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Other speakers at the opening ceremony included Mr. Vuk Jeremi, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Mr. Néstor Osorio, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, and Professor Robert Mundell, Nobel laureate in economics.
Dr. Supachai stressed that almost five years after the global financial crisis, the world economy was still reeling from its fallout. He added that the main reason for the slow recovery was stagnating growth in the advanced economies. The loose monetary policies pursued in a number of developed countries had failed to expand credit to the private sector. At the same time, austerity policies had reduced fiscal expenditures just when such expenditures were most needed to expand demand. He urged a reassessment of the policies currently being pursued in these countries.
He also noted that too little had been done to date to prevent future financial crises. While there had been efforts to strengthen the regulation of financial markets in the United States, reforms at the international level had been limited to a revision of the Basel capital adequacy accord, as well as some efforts to address tax havens.
Truly addressing the roots of the crisis would require much bolder reforms, Dr. Supachai argued. These could include the introduction of rules to govern global monetary and financial relations - similar to the WTO rules governing trade policy - as well as measures to rein in speculative capital flows. Dr. Supachai's full statement is available here.
In addition to the opening ceremony, Dr. Supachai took part in the Roundtable on the New Global Economic Landscape, which discussed possible reforms of the global financial architecture. He participated in a CNN panel debate on possible future economic governance structures for the world economy, and gave a keynote address at a high-level lunch event titled 50 Years of Development: What Have We Learned?, which was co-organized by UNCTAD and the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists. More information is available here.