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There was another meeting in Doha this past weekend through yesterday. This time it was the United Nations not the WTO that failed to close any deal.
I attended because CGD organized a "side event" on our COD Aid initiative -- more on that in another comment later this week.
This week, from November 29th through December 2nd, heads of government and multi-lateral institutions as well as representatives from business, and civil society will convene to evaluate the progress that has been made since world leaders met in Monterrey in 2002 to develop a plan to confront the challenges of international financing for development. Almost seven years later, some progress has been made towards fulfilling the commitments made there, but much is left to be done. In Monterrey, leaders made commitments to mobilize domestic and international resources, increase financial and technical cooperation, improve international trade, and address issues surrounding external debt and systemic challenges to financing international development.
We at CGD warmly welcome president-elect Barack Obama's appointments of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury and Lawrence Summers to head the National Economic Council. Both are members of the CGD Board of Directors. This is no coincidence.
Here's my wish list (as a development economist especially concerned with the effects of the financial crisis and a subsequent global downturn on poor people in emerging markets and low-income countries) for the G-20 Summit. I’ll return to ask how they did next week.
A highly distinguished panel on the future of IMF organized by the Per Jacobsson Foundation during the Annual Meetings didn't so much debate the role of the IMF as wring its collective hands over the IMF's limitations in preventing the global financial meltdown and its lack of a role in organizing a response -- even as the G7 finance ministers held emergency meetings the same weekend elsewhere in Washington. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Per Jacobsson Foundation Board.)
IMF and Participants at the upcoming meetings of the IMF and World Bank in early October are bound to promise with considerable conviction an increase and an improvement in international coordination of domestic financial regulators -- just as U.S. Treasury and Fed officials are now promising, with considerable conviction, to revisit and reform the rules and the coordination of a currently fragmented regulatory set-up within the U.S.
Among the likely but unanticipated consequences of the U.S. financial crisis: AIDS treatment jobs could become a "safe haven" for people whose current employment depends on foreign assistance funds that are currently expended for other purposes.