PRESS RELEASE: Rich countries block UN treatment of causes of the global economic crisis, say civil society representatives

Original Publication Date: 
26 June, 2009

Responding to the final UN document, approved today in the UN High Level conference of the global economic crisis, members of the Our World is not for Sale Network (OWINFS) said the following:

Kinda Mohamadieh of Arab NGO Network for Development: “While world leaders are supposed to be discussing re-regulation to address the crisis, the EU and US continue to push for extreme forms of deregulation of the financial sector through regional and bilateral free trade agreements. Our governments must retain the flexibility to manage the economy and restructure trade rules in order to defend our populations from the effects of the crisis and develop alternative models of regional trade based on justice.”

Tony Clarke of the Polaris Institute: "The UN declaration has a fundamental contradiction at its very core. On the one hand it calls for more regulation and oversight regarding financial markets while, on the other hand, it promotes the conclusion of the Doha Round of the WTO whose financial deregulation measures will only worsen and deepen the financial crisis in the long run.”

Diana Aguiar of the International Gender and Trade Network: “The pressure put on the G77 group of developing countries by the rich industrialised nations undermined the group's ability to stand up against an extremely poor document. The declaration does not recognize that this is a systemic crisis based on overproduction and overconsumption that has severe social and environmental costs especially for women.”

Beverley Keene, coordinator for Jubilee South, an international network fighting against illegitimate, unpayable third world debt said: “Talk of ‘temporary debt standstills’ or ‘debt restructuring’ in the final document is unacceptable and illegitimate. Given that the crisis created in the North has most severely impacted peoples and countries of the South, it is time for the rich countries to cancel the debt and compensate the South for the damages wrought.”

Media coordinator: Nick Buxton (email: or cel. 530 902 3772)