The SI Commission on Global Financial Issues met in New York on 31 March in advance of the G-20 summit to be held in London to address the global financial crisis.
The Chair of the Commission Professor Joseph Stiglitz introduced the discussion, which covered the global social democratic response to the crisis. Considering the new phase of the crisis affecting emerging and developing countries and the urgency of the situation of many people around the world today, the Commission issued a message to the leaders of the G-20 calling for decisive international action.
Criticising the inadequacies and fallacies in the economic system which have led to unbridled financial practices, damage to the environment and inequality around the globe, the Commission called for a new set of rules for the world economy, a set in which citizens are not subservient to the market. It stated that it was necessary to guarantee that markets serve people’s needs, instead of letting them bear the worst of the crisis.
Demanding that global leaders act now to restructure, re-regulate, and reform the global financial system, the Commission called for new standards governing financial activities by function, the establishment of mandatory new standards for transparency and timeliness, as well as the chartering of a new World Finance Organisation to set global standards and globalise enforcement. The Commission also called for the closure of tax havens.
The Commission added that while the G-20 framework to deal with the current financial crisis is a step forward in the search for coordinated global responses by the international community, the aim now should be to engage other nations as well in a broader context, in a spirit of inclusiveness, in the pursuit of the common solutions to the crisis that are sought by all today.
The Commission, established by the Socialist International Presidium at its meeting at the United Nations, New York, at the end of September 2008, brings together political leaders, ministers and experts from around the world. Attending in New York were: Professor Joseph Stiglitz from the United States, Nobel laureate and Chair of the Commission; Anatoly Aksakov, Member of the Board of the Russian Federation Central Bank and Member of Russian State Duma, For a Just Russia Party; Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Founder of the Party for Democratic Revolution, PRD, Mexico and Honorary President of the Socialist International; Elio Di Rupo, Leader of the Socialist Party, PS, Belgium, and SI Vice-President; Eero Heinäluoma, Finnish Social Democratic Party and SI Vice-President; Fathallah Oualalou, Former Minister of Finance, Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP, Morocco; Antolin Sánchez Presedo, Member of the European Parliament, Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE, Spain, and Markus Klimmer, Senior Economic advisor to the Social Democratic Party, Germany; George Papandreou, President of the Socialist International and Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International, worked alongside the members who took part in this second meeting of the Commission. The members of the Commission were also joined by a number of academics from the US and Europe, who assisted in an advisory capacity.