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29 June 2009 - General Assembly : Conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development - Statement by Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Mr. President,



I share the Statement made by the Czech Republic on behalf of the European Union.

Given its violence, suddenness and expansion, the scope of the current crisis is unprecedented. No country has been spared. Everyone is affected, to varying degrees, by the different ways in which the financial crisis has spread to the real economy: credit contraction, trade flows, investment, and migrant remittances.

Adding to the effects of the previous crises, in particular the food crisis, it threatens to destroy the significant progress that had been achieved, through considerable effort, in the area of development. Its human cost is tragic.

This crisis is not like any other crisis. It stems from imbalances and failures in the global economic and financial system. It is the symptom of excesses in an insufficiently regulated and controlled globalization. It also highlights the challenges that we still face: poverty, achieving the MDGs and reducing inequality, notably through effective redistribution policies and universal access to education, health and employment; the promotion of fairer and more equitable growth and lastly the conservation of global public goods.

Our response to the crisis must meet these challenges. It must be global and inclusive since we are all concerned. It must also, in order to be effective, take into account the diversity of situations so that we can target our actions more effectively.

As such, this Conference represents a particularly important step. The United Nations must contribute to the establishment of a coherent response to the crisis, by fulfilling and reinforcing the efforts initiated at the international level in various arenas. Given its universal composition, its capacity to cover all globalization issues, to combine economic, social and environmental issues, it has a key role to play.

Faced with an urgent situation, unparalleled economic and financial measures were adopted, in particular at the London Summit on April 2. In addition to these ambitious recovery plans, significant resources will be mobilized to finance countries in difficulty. Significant measures have been established in order to more effectively monitor and regulate the financial system, so it can be put to use once again in the real economy and development. The rejection of protectionism was reaffirmed and concrete methods of monitoring this commitment have been implemented. Determined efforts have been made to combat uncooperative jurisdictions, tax evasion and illicit flows. This is an issue that does not merely apply to the industrialized countries. It is an issue of global concern; an issue linked to development. In addition, the decision has been made to accelerate the workshop on the reform of international economic governance, notably by striving for improved representation of the international financial institutions, taking the new economic realities into consideration.

In addition, the European Union reaffirmed its commitments. In particular, I would like to highlight its determination to honor its ODA commitments and its awareness of the threat of a new credit crisis, a concern shared by many of you. In this respect, France will help to support the current debt relief initiatives. It is also attached to the "Evian approach" - a flexible instrument aimed at ensuring debt sustainability in times of crisis. It advocates discussions, if needed, on the improved sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms based on existing frameworks and principles, including the Paris Club, open to broad participation by creditors and debtors and guaranteeing an equal distribution of efforts by the creditors, with the Bretton Woods institutions playing a central role in the debate.

France participated fully in these efforts. It reaffirms its commitment to support its development partners and will continue to implement those made in terms of ODA and within the framework of the G20. It is and will remain one of the main supporters of a new financial regulatory system and one of the main contributors to the health sector. It was one of the first countries to call for a strong and rapid response to the food crisis, by calling for the development of a global Partnership for food and food security, by increasing its commitments to agriculture (1 billion over 5 years) and by introducing investment funds for African agriculture, with several partners. It will continue to look for new more stable and predictable sources of funding, by examining a range of options: market mechanisms (using the carbon market to finance the fight against climate change in developing countries), taxes on globalized activities, voluntary solidarity contributions, commitment mechanisms guaranteed by the State (IFFIm). Scaling up our efforts as we agreed in Doha is more relevant than ever. More generally, democratic governance, the promotion of the rule of law and human rights will be key priorities.

These considerable efforts will, alone, not be enough to ensure the cooperative, equitable and inclusive globalization that we all hope for. We must make a commitment towards a more coherent and effective multilateral system and international standards that are better structured and applied. The United Nations has a critical role to play in this respect, in partnership with the Bretton Woods institutes, by contributing to the formulation of a balanced approach between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development.

We believe that, in this regard, there are several areas of action that represent a priority for the United Nations. These can benefit from the specialist agencies, funds and programs within the UN system and include:

- the promotion of decent work for all. We pay tribute to the results of the International Labor Conference and the adoption of the Employment Pact which we must now implement.

- the early warning system for vulnerabilities. This system should, by using the respective skills and mandates of the various specialized agencies, funds and programs, make it possible to strengthen evaluation capacities (in particular for the populations most affected) and to adapt aid and operational activities to the needs expressed by the countries.

- continued efforts by the United Nations system to carry out reform and make its actions to support the Member States more effective.

We must continue with our efforts, since there is still a long way to go. Our efforts towards dialogue and cooperation are essential. The work of the conference was based on an approach that focused on listening and finding consensus and is a symbol of hope and unity that will help us achieve our major milestones over the next few months.

Thank you./.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU