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World Economic and Social Survey 2010

Retooling Global Development

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The Survey points out promising directions for reform, including strengthening government capacities for formulating and implementing national development strategies; doing more to ensure that official development assistance is aligned with national priorities; strengthening the international trade and financial systems so that countries with limited capabilities can successfully integrate into the global economy; creating new mechanisms for dealing with deficiencies, such as specialized multilateral frameworks through which to govern international migration and labour mobility, international financial regulation, multinational corporations and global value chains regulation, as well as sovereign debt workouts. Most importantly, the Survey highlights the need for a strong mechanism for global economic coordination which establishes coherence across all areas of global economic governance.

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Overview

The global economic crisis of 2008-2009 exposed systemic failures in the workings of financial markets and major deficiencies at the core of economic policy making. The rapid spread of the financial fallout in the United States of America throughout nearly the entire world, affecting jobs and livelihoods, underscored the interconnectedness of the global economy. Moreover, the economic and financial crisis came on top of several other crises. Skyrocketing but highly volatile world food and energy prices reflected a decades-long neglect of food agriculture and failure to reign in increasingly speculative energy markets. Climate change is already a clear and present danger whose consequences are being felt in many parts of the world in the form of more frequent and severe droughts and excessive rainfall; its effects are compounding the other crises.

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