Making Peace Keeping Peace
XX Congress of the Socialist International, New York 9-11 September 1996
'We believe quite simply that markets must serve people and not the other way around.' (John Smith)
1. A new age is emerging based on globalisation of the world economy. This has positive aspects such as increased economic efficiency, a new impetus to world trade and output, more and better products and services to consumers at lower prices as well as new market opportunities.
The Socialist International welcomes this development. But we also need a new system of collective responsibility offsetting the negative effects of globalisation such as financial turbulence, uneven development, increasing inequality, high levels of unemployment, social exclusion and social unrest. Globalisation has increased the power of multinational corporations, manipulators of foreign exchange markets and international organisations at the expense of governments, electors and the democratic process.
We have a positive view of the development of society and the potential for sustainable growth and development with high levels of employment. But crucial choices have to be made. Political democracy must prevail over economic and financial oligarchy. We need a new system of collective responsibility to restore effective decision-making powers to elected governments and thereby reinforce their accountability to their electorates.
2. In the last decades we witnessed a manifold multiplication of world wealth. But progress has been at high social cost. From the early 1980s the ultra-liberal model, based on the gospel of economic deregulation and disregard of social concerns, was disseminated worldwide. The lack of modernisation of state institutions and their unfitness to deal with the economic and fiscal disturbances in many nations helped to create the conditions for conservative ideals to gain prestige. The neo-liberal ideas acquired such a universal character that some considered them the main result of the global information age. Underlying the ultra-liberal model of development there is the idea that money and the budget are all that matter.
Fifteen years later, these conceptions have failed to deliver their promise and have led to unprecedented imbalances, frustrated expectations and widespread injustice:
• inequality and poverty are ravaging the developed and developing economies - over a billion people are now living in absolute poverty and the gap between rich and poor has widened to unprecedented dimensions;
• technical progress has generated new jobs but also technological unemployment, and many skilled and well trained people are nowadays working in less qualified jobs, often part-time, without security and at minimal pay. In many countries unemployment has reached levels unprecedented since the period between the two World Wars;
• despite a higher per capita income in many parts of the world and the advances in medicine during this century, millions of people die each year from avoidable and curable diseases;
• in Central and Eastern Europe transition has been accompanied in the short term by drastic falls in income, employment and life expectancy;
• local armed conflicts, reflecting ethnic disputes or control over local resources, are causing massive casualties, mainly among unarmed civilian populations;
• the widening gap between rich and poor, both within and among nations, has hit women and children especially hard.
• environmental degradation and ecological disasters have become commonplace, while decrepit and unsafe nuclear plants could easily replay the Chernobyl catastrophe.
3. Facing these new realities, we stand at a crossroads:
• either we mobilise our traditions of solidarity, justice and cooperation to tackle the problems we face today and in the foreseeable future;
• or we disregard our values and traditions and leave global resource allocation only to the invisible - and often insensitive - hand of the market.
Democratic states should direct their policies to benefit their people without sacrificing efficiency gains from the markets. The SI rejects the inevitability of unemployment and under-employment, and supports national and multilateral efforts in the search for full employment, including joint international action for a high level of effective demand, the social negotiation of working time and employment creation in the social sphere and preservation and enhancement of the environment.
We should recall that promoting the values of democracy, justice and redistribution in every country and among countries has always been the top priority of the SI since its inception.
Towards a new system of collective responsibility
4. Globalisation in an age of networked intelligence is the main trend in today's world economy. This is unavoidable and in some respects positive:
• information technology allows an economy based on knowledge, the key assets being intellectual assets. What matters is a company's ability to attract, retain and continually increase workers' knowledge, innovation and creativity;
• information is more and more handled in digital form, compressed and transmitted at the speed of light, creating information highways. Through these highways a vast web of relationships is taking shape, innovating every aspect of economic and social life;
• relations between producers and consumers are becoming interactive. In some areas the old corporation is being disaggregated, replaced by dynamic clusters of individuals and entities. The new enterprise, in order to succeed, must adjust to changing business conditions in real time.
Globalisation has disintegrated the former bipolar world, giving way to a more volatile geopolitical environment. It has brought gains to the advanced countries and several of the developing economies of Asia. But not all countries have been included in such gains. Most of Africa, much of Latin America and a significant part of Asia have been excluded. Also, the gainers have not won through globalisation alone. Most of the newly industrialising economies of the Pacific rim have succeeded through policies for governing markets and variants on a mixed economy which have rejected the neo-liberal path.
There are two ways to conceive the political approach to globalisation:
• the responsible way, taking into consideration diverse regional realities, and the social cohesion of different societies, thereby contributing to the global improvement of economic and social well- being and preserving the environment. This is the SI approach: globalisation, in order to be an element of progress, must be politically regulated.
• the ultra-liberal way, without social and environmental concerns, which will globalise poverty, not only in the developing countries but also and increasingly in the developed countries, tending to standardise social rights at their lowest level;
5. The responsible way, allowing for a fairer functioning of the trade systems, requires stronger international cooperation and a comprehensive review of the Bretton Woods institutions and the rules and disciplines of the WTO.
With reason, at the Naples G7, President Clinton called for a multilateral review of the functioning of the IMF and the World Bank, on the grounds that they had failed to help Africa, Latin America and Russia to achieve the success of the Pacific rim economies. This failure has been due in part to a dogmatic insistence on deflation.
In this context, such a multilateral review should address the related issues of trade, investment and the re-cycling of surpluses. International trade is increasingly determined by foreign direct investment. At the same time, the combination of high technology with the least cost labour has qualified the assumptions of conventional comparative advantages theory, to the exclusion of sub-Saharan Africa and much of Latin America. Re-cycling of surpluses should be not only between the developed and newly industrialising countries but also towards a wider group of developing countries.
Due to its nature, its world range and its long-standing commitment to the cooperative principles of the post-war Bretton Woods system, the SI is well placed to address these issues and make a decisive contribution to their solution.
The SI recognises the inspiring work by the Commission on Global Governance, chaired by Ingvar Carlsson and Shridath Ramphal. Its report, Our Global Neighbourhood, is based on values which we fully share and offers concrete proposals on how the world can run common affairs. Without improved global economic governance, human security will be endangered.
Ten main tasks
6. For the SI, ten main tasks lie ahead in the second half of the 90s:
- • consolidation of democracy;
• promotion of employment and better living standards;
• coordination of national policies;
• promotion of free and fair trade - the case for a WTO social clause;
• strengthening of financial assistance;
• reviewing the functioning of Bretton Woods institutions;
• regional and global cooperation;
• reinforcement of social rights;
• achieving equality and enhancing women's rights;
• sustainable development and protection of the environment.
The consolidation of democracy
7. The universality of representative democracy is a key value both to the SI and to all democratic parties. But the end of the Cold War and the spread of representative democracy created expectations which cannot be fulfilled without a new framework for regional and global cooperation.
The SI cannot adopt the approach of the neo-liberals, who preach democracy for the developing and reforming economies yet deny them the basic economic conditions for development and social welfare, thus making their democratic experience extremely fragile. That is why democracy needs to be reinforced by a new system of collective responsibility, and new policies to reinforce democracy itself.
Democracy means the right to alternation of power. But effective democracy means that political parties must be able to implement alternative programmes in government. The main reason for voting is the real possibility of changing policies. Indefinite austerity, permanent poverty and mass unemployment devalue and discredit democracy itself. Changing this depends substantially on the international economic framework and the behaviour of international institutions. Both should provide the macro-economic environment in which new economic and social programmes become possible. But democracy also means that the political system must ensure that political reform, sound policies and economic development benefit all social groups and is not put into jeopardy by social inequalities or corruption.
Globalisation has promoted the dominance of economic over social interests, devaluing the political process. As the process of globalisation has limited the role of the nation state, cooperation has to be strengthened and legitimised by more efficient international institutions. We need an effective international system of collective responsibility to safeguard the market economy and the environment. At the same time we need to promote the active participation of people with their own structures of representation and organisation, contributing to a global civil society at local, regional and national levels.
Promotion of employment and living standards
8. The SI approach envisages the promotion of a new model of sustained and sustainable development, as well as adapting the welfare state, the most important achievement of democratic socialism in this century. The new model must take account of the evolution of society, scientific and technological progress, demographic trends, environmental constraints and migration. This implies:
• a permanent decrease of the unemployment rate, enabling the young and the long-term unemployed entering the labour market to undertake proper training and to attain to a better life;
• national and multilateral efforts in the search for full employment, including joint international action for a high level of effective demand, the social negotiation of working time, employment creation in the social sphere and preservation and enhancement of the environment;
• a sustained rise of living standards, which involves the improvement of living conditions to acceptable levels.
• national and multilateral initiatives on migration, to regulate flows, to guarantee the social rights of migrant workers and their families, and to support the economic and social development of low income countries.
Improving living standards, together with a more just distribution of income and wealth, are of crucial importance for political, economic and social reasons. In particular, they strengthen confidence in democratic institutions, give a new impetus to external relations and improve the efficiency of policies. Moreover, the highest growth economies have the least unequal income distribution and unemployment.
High unemployment, underemployment and social exclusion constitute the most serious problem of our time, and a significant threat to democracy. The policy of "laisser-faire, laissez-passer" has failed in this area, as it failed 60 years ago during the great depression. This issue has to be addressed by international co-ordination of national economic policies, through a global recovery programme promoting trade, income, welfare and employment.
Reducing unemployment without facing the danger of inflation requires more and better investment, both in material and in human capital.
Small and medium enterprises account for more than two out of three jobs. They are vital for new job creation in both industry and services. Also in some cases globalisation can be successfully realised at micro-level, with the transfer of technology, more likely through networks of regional, local and associative enterprises.
New technology creates new job opportunities but at the same time it eliminates low-skilled and/or routine jobs. Of all the new technologies, information and communication technology (ICT) is the most pervasive and transformative. Therefore, we must concentrate on industries, infrastructures and technologies of the 21st century in order to remain competitive and to meet economic and social aspirations. The quality and the quantity of the new technologies will be decisive for the productivity of the global economy.
Too often a mismatch between demand and supply of labour has prevented placing "the right people in the right place" and significant investments in education and training, especially in the less and least developed countries. Technical assistance programmes also have to be stepped up and upgraded. But if it is crucial for developing countries to invest in human capital, this by no means implies that the effort undertaken by developed countries can be slackened. Improvement in qualifications and skills is crucial to improving job security and remuneration without endangering competitiveness. It is also effective in helping to prevent long-term unemployment, to the degree that it promotes job mobility.
Co-ordination of national policies
9. The globalisation of the world economy has strongly reduced the effectiveness of national economic policies. A cooperative approach is required to launch a global economic recovery which implies the need for:
• a framework to stabilise and control international financial flows, render the functioning of international markets more transparent, and avoid the destabilisation of the economic policies of elected governments. Serious consideration should be given to a turnover tax on purely speculative foreign exchange transactions. Such a tax, proposed by Nobel prize winner James Tobin, should include all major financial markets;
• co-ordinated action in the reduction of the level of interest rates worldwide to reduce the cost of capital and borrowing and stimulate investment;
• joint action to control operators in off-shore markets, in particular to fight against tax evasion, corruption and money laundering;
• fiscal policies which encourage employment and penalise pollution of the environment and depletion of non-renewable natural resources;
• sustained levels of public investment in infrastructure, technology and skills, aiming at more economic efficiency and the creation of more and better jobs;
• creation of international financial instruments to correct temporary payment and fiscal imbalances and to offset speculative capital flows.
This requires a close co-ordination of the international effects of national economic policies. The G7 group has not been able to adequately fulfil this coordinating role. In addition, G7 economies represent a diminishing share of the world economy and trade.
We support the creation of an Economic Security Council (an enlarged G7) within the UN framework, as a way to effectively co-ordinate international economic policy and to address global issues such as the stability of exchange rates and international capital flows, the avoidance of fiscal competition and the creation of global programmes to reduce unemployment and stimulate economic recovery. This forum is also required to increase the cooperation of international financial institutions within the UN framework.
The form of such an Economic Security Council could combine a given number of additional permanent members with a variable membership of smaller countries. A new structure on these lines would both be more representative of global realities and constitute a manageable forum for the exercise of collective responsibility.
Promotion of free and fair trade - the case for a WTO social clause
10. Trade through full utilisation of the concept of competitive advantage represents the way to significantly improve welfare without jeopardising progress in the reduction of inflation and budget deficits. Moreover, trade is clearly the first level at which cooperation becomes critical. Thus we have to ensure a system of collective responsibility that avoids protectionism.
But it is also clear that if trade is to contribute to world welfare, it must be consistent with a rise of living standards. In particular, import barriers (quotas and duties) as well as subsidies regarding the production and export of agricultural products by the developed countries, which impose significant costs on developing nations, should be reduced. On the other hand, the generalised system of preferences (GSP) providing for lower tariff rates for some exports of poorer countries should be made more flexible and efficient.
Trade should generate cooperation for jobs, not competition for jobs. Wild competition decreases remuneration levels, qualifications, social protection, safety and environment quality. It ultimately reduces product quality and aggregate demand through low pay and uncertainty, thus preventing efficiency gains from trade.
Cooperation for jobs also implies strengthening the vestigial provisions within WTO by a proper social clause. This should under no circumstances prevent the developing and reforming economies from competing on a comparative cost basis. But it should mean a ban on forced and child labour and the enforcement of social rights, trades union freedom, collective bargaining and the right to strike and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
Free trade must translate into fair trade, without hidden administrative barriers, with adequate social legislation and free trade-union activity. The question is not to challenge the ability of less developed countries to compete through lower wage costs. What we cannot forever disregard is any process of wage formation from which free bargaining activity is excluded.
Further, the link between trade and environment calls for an environmental clause in the WTO with binding international commitments.
Strengthening financial assistance
11. Most of the less and all of the least developed countries rely on financial assistance to overcome development problems. Aid has to be strengthened and reoriented if some degree of convergence is to be achieved. There must be an absolute obligation for the rich countries to help the poor through programmes aimed at the relief of poverty so as to create the conditions for real and sustainable development.
Aid should be diverted from projects of the "white-elephant" kind, frequently linked to corruption and diversion of funds. More attention should be given to the need, particularly in the poorer countries, to finance:
• the "software" of democratic institutions - the requirements of the basic functioning of the state;
• rural development and other programmes aimed, in an integrated way, at the basic needs of the population ensuring "minimum standards (...) in nutrition, housing, health, the environment, education, social services and basic income". (Stuart Holland)
In addition, a close monitoring of aid programmes is needed to ensure effectiveness and the inclusion of a social conditionality, together with traditional financial conditionality.
Funding of such programmes (and the increase in overall funds available to developing countries) would not endanger economic stability and growth in the developed (donor) countries. Rather:
• these programmes would significantly increase world trade and consequently exports from donor countries;
• some funding could be raised through regional financial institutions, without consequences for individual countries' budgets;
• as a temporary measure, part of this could be financed by new taxation on the main sources of pollution and on scarce resources, bearing in mind that the more successful the fight against pollution is, the less revenue this kind of tax would bring in;
• a larger number of developed countries should share the burden of funding, including newly industrialised countries. The UN target of 0.7 percent of GNP as development assistance should be reached by all donor countries.
No literate and healthy population is poor. No illiterate population in ill health is other than poor. Priority should be made for the funding of health and education, with a special focus on programmes for women and girls. In terms of health there is an urgent need for a vaccination and remedial diseases fund for the poorest countries.
At its present level, debt service is an unbearable burden to heavily indebted low-income economies, negatively affecting the level of public and private investment, and requiring very restrictive fiscal policies. To address this issue the following measures should be adopted:
• rescheduling of all debt service due to Paris Club and other bilateral creditors, including a substantial debt write-off for heavily indebted low-income countries;
• increase in the maturities and interest subsidies of the debt due to international financial institutions financed by gold sales by the IMF, part of the profits of the World Bank and other regional financial institutions and by grants from bilateral donors;
• increase in the amounts lent by international financial institutions, financed if necessary by an increase in their capital subscription;
• new allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), in favour of developing countries and countries in transition.
Reviewing the functioning of the Bretton Woods institutions
12. International financial institutions were created more than 50 years ago, in a macro-economic context that has drastically changed. They are not equipped to deal with the challenges that the developing countries face today, and accordingly, they have not served their needs adequately. This should be remedied by a substantial review of the functioning of the Bretton Woods institutions. This should include:
• a different framework for structural adjustment programmes with a different type of conditionality, taking into account social needs;
• a change in the capital quotas in the IMF and World Bank, with the more equitable share in voting procedures for developing countries;
• new or reinforced regional financial institutions, more clearly serving the needs of local economies;
• improved cooperation among international financial institutions and other international donors, thus consolidating the policy-making efforts of the international community within the UN;
• creation of new financial instruments with international macro-economic potential (such as regional and world bonds) to facilitate the recycling of financial surplus in favour of politically-defined international objectives;
• a mechanism for the orderly adjustment of balance-of-payments disequilibria to facilitate the maintenance of stable but flexible exchange rates.
One of the key issues in any fundamental review of the functioning of the IMF and the World Bank is their relation to the new WTO, and whether this in practice is to prove able to fulfil the opening paragraph of its Preamble that "the signatories to this agreement recognise that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing real income and effective demand".
A multilateral commission reviewing the functioning of the IMF and the World Bank in relation to the WTO needs to recognise that the paradigm of comparative advantage in international trade has been overtaken by cumulative advantage for multinational investment and trade, to the exclusion of many of the lesser and least developed countries.
Regional and global cooperation
13. The SI urges increased monetary co-ordination, and in particular the enhancement of monetary regional cooperation. The SI also favours an approach that introduces measures ensuring more transparency and accountability of operators, and that avoids competitive devaluations.
A less monolithic global system also needs more plural multilateral institutions and financial instruments.
The regional organisation of the United Nations broadly coincides with a potential framework for such pluralism, with a variable geometry of regional trade and economic groups within this framework. The European Union has a key role to play not only within a wider Europe for example in the Baltic Sea region, but also with the Lomé Convention countries; likewise with the Mercosur, the Rio Group in Latin America, SADCC, the Maghreb and other regional groupings within Africa, and with the follow-up of the Barcelona Conference. But progress to a more plural framework also means that the regional agencies of the UN such as the Economic Commissions for Africa and Latin America and some specialised agencies and subsidiary organs, should be reinforced, better resourced and given greater relative autonomy.
There is a strong case for reinforcing the power of the regional development banks and matching them by regional monetary funds. This macro-economic conception lies behind the establishment of the European Investment Fund, paralleling the micro-project finance of the European Investment Bank.
Reinforcement of social rights
14. Intolerance, inequality, racial or religious segregation, sexism and social exclusion undermine the solidarity and cohesion that are the cement of today's societies. Many of the social problems we face today have their roots in one of these forms of discrimination, whether on grounds of race, gender or religion as do the symptons of unemployment, urban violence and drug abuse.
The functioning of a deregulated market economy under such constraints creates an explosive situation, aggravating exclusion and leading to social unrest and political extremism that may, in turn, disrupt the democratic process.
The SI therefore strongly advocates the need for the adoption of policies and measures that contribute proactively to eliminating any form of ethnic, gender or social discrimination or the constitution of ghettos, hence promoting the participation of citizens in decisions which particularly concern their fate.
Social rights are inevitably linked to the existence of democratic institutions. They can only be guaranteed where fundamental human rights are fully respected, including free trade union activity, collective bargaining and the right to strike.
Trade unions activities have played a key role in developed societies, not only in the defence of workers' rights, but also for the modernisation and efficiency of the economies.
Achieving equality and women's rights
15. Equality between women and men is a basic condition for the equitable development of modern society. Deep discriminations against women still prevail in large parts of the world, assuming absolutely inhuman forms. Even in developed countries, judicial equality does not prevent open or hidden discriminatory practices at both social and cultural levels.
The labour market, in particular, does not allow real equality of opportunities, since women are usually offered low-paid part-time jobs and are greatly affected by the new forms of structural unemployment. The eradication of poverty cannot be accomplished through anti-poverty programmes alone but will require democratic participation and changes in order to ensure access for all women to resources, opportunities and services.
The effective delivery of basic social services, efficient implementation of support mechanisms like housing, healthcare, childcare and education, coupled with positive changes in anti-poverty programmes, will significantly lessen the burden of poverty on women.
Political action to promote equality in education and job opportunities, must become a reality. Men and women must have the same possibilities to combine professional and other responsibilities, both in society and in the family environment. In the poorest countries, demographic explosion has been a major impediment to real development. Family planning and parental responsibility will not be possible without a strong investment in women's role in society, and increased education and participation in the decision-making process. We also should focus on the ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families.
Action programmes are needed in order to enact legislative and administrative reforms to give women full and equal access to economic resources including the right to inheritance, to ownership of land, and equal access to credit. Action is also needed in order to pursue and implement sound and stable sectoral policies, designed with the full and equal participation of women, that encourage broad-based sustainable growth geared towards eradicating poverty and reducing gender-based inequality.
Further action is needed to restructure and target the allocation of public expenditures to promote women's economic opportunities and equal access to productive resources and to address the basic social, educational and health needs of women, particularly those currently living in poverty. Macro-economic policies have to be generated that have a positive impact on the employment and income of women workers in both the formal and informal sectors.
Sustainable development and protection of the environment
16. The solution to the environmental problems threatening the future of the planet is a critical challenge for humanity as a whole.
A healthy and sustainable local environment is a basic right, both for today's and future generations. Public authorities and public initiatives have an essential role to play filling in the gaps left by free competition, looking to fulfil environmental needs that have a social impact and are ignored by private enterprise, or to guarantee democratic access for all to environmental goods and services within an integrated and balanced development perspective.
The Rio Summit rightly established a link between environment and development: "wealth creates over-consumption, but poverty destroys nature as well due to the fact that too many have too little to share". (Svend Auken)
The answer to environmental problems cannot be divorced from the totality of global concerns. It must be viewed not as an isolated issue or trend, but rather within a framework that encompasses all the problems that beset the economy and society.
Concern for the environment must not be seen as a barrier to economic growth. It must be increasingly considered, on the contrary, as an opportunity to generate jobs based on new technologies with meaningful employment for high-skilled professionals and low-skilled workers alike. Energy-saving and the restoration and preservation of nature, being labour-intensive, also offer major job opportunities.
The required change towards sustainable economic growth in our societies, given the supranational nature of the environment, itself demands international treaties, but also supranational institutions and associated policies able to contribute decisively to a sustainable development guided by principles of mutual interest and cooperation.
The necessary aid to and cooperation with developing countries has to be translated into specific financial assistance, training and transfer of technology in such a way that the development of the nations who receive those benefits is not subject to medium-term constraints because of the short-term destruction of its resources.
On the other hand, the enormous environmental deficits bequeathed by the totalitarian regimes of Central and Eastern Europe call for an increase in aid such as the European Union is already giving.
The environment reflects what a society is as a whole. This entails the joint responsibility of the whole of society for resolving its problems. We need a better match between problems and answers. The principles of prevention and restitution - "the polluter pays" - are central to this.
Environment costs must be internalised. For this to be achieved it is necessary to seek the application of new standards, the signing of voluntary agreements with specific industries and the undertaking of educational programmes. We also should fulfil the potential offered by a new fiscal system that would include environmental taxes on pollution.
The new era of globalisation of the world economy is a challenge for us all. The socialist movement is prepared to accept the challenge.
Globalisation undermines the old links of solidarity in local enterprises and deregulates sectors which previously guaranteed a large number of jobs. Globalisation can lead to irreparable damages to the environment. Not least, globalisation, while putting in question the regulatory role of the nation state, calls for integrated economic institutions at both regional and global levels.
We reaffirm that the democratic decisions taken at national and international level have an irreplaceable role in correcting distortions generated by the functioning global markets and in the search for social justice and full employment.
Recent cooperation in the field of economic policies among developed countries has mainly aimed at reducing inflation and budget deficits, especially in Europe. Employment, social issues and the environment have clearly become secondary. The SI approach is not only more fair, but also more efficient, as it takes into account long-term perspectives, offsets negative externalities and promotes social inclusion.
Confronted with international economic and monetary disorder, we socialists and social democrats express our determination to promote a new system of collective responsibility within the following strategic framework:
• a global recovery programme co-ordinated by an enlarged G7 or an eventual Economic Security Council of the UN to promote world development and to fight poverty. This programme should be financed through new instruments and increased official development assistance, including substantial debt write-offs for heavily indebted low-income countries;
• the creation of employment and the rise in standards of living (involving both the economic and social dimensions) at both the domestic and world levels, thus strengthening cohesion between North and South, East and West, with action of global and local significance implemented at the appropriate level;
• a review of the functioning of the IMF and the World Bank recognising that diverse problems for different economic systems need to be addressed and resolved through greater diversity in ideas, policies and institutions, rather than constrained by a single paradigm of structural adjustment and gains from trade, or a single model of governance;
• a reform of the international monetary system that will contribute to reducing exchange rate volatility and foster cooperation aimed at a sustainable growth of the world economy;
• a better transparency and accountability of international financial markets with measures addressing the need to reduce speculative transactions and thus contributing to the stability of international currencies and capital markets;
• a strengthening of the multilateral trade system whereby each country has to comply with the obligations arising from the agreements now covered by the WTO and contribute to the success of further market opening, reinforced by negotiation of a social clause, and with strengthened preferential treatment for the poorer countries;
• a reinforcement of women's rights, political participation and equality of opportunities, remedying the lack of autonomy and access to economic resources, including credit, land ownership and inheritance, offsetting the inadequate access of women to education and their minimal participation in the decision-making process. The release of women's productive potential is pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty so that women can both fully share in and contribute to the benefits of development;
• strengthening within the framework of the United Nations those agencies concerned with environment, such as the Sustainable Development Commission and the Environment Programme, and the financial institutions associated with such development;
• international agreements to improve the quality of continental waters and the air, neutralising the negative consequences of climate change and desertification, and enhancing the overall quality of the global environment.