28 June 2011

Statement by Mr. Mohammad HassaniNejad Pirkouhi

Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran

at the Thematic Debate on the United Nations in Global Governance

(New York, 28 June 2011)

in the name of God the compassionate the merciful 


Mr. President,


At the beginning I would like to appreciate you, Mr. President, for organizing this timely debate and to thank all keynote speakers and panelists for their practical and informative contributions.


Functioning on the bases of non-democratic, non-transparent and non-accountable rules have been the main characteristics of the global security governance manifested in the Security Council performance; as well as the global economic governance structure represented by Bretton Woods Institutions. Perhaps such rules were somehow justifiable and acceptable at the time of their establishment. However, they are now obsolete and not responsive to today’s requirements.


Global economic governance, in particular, lags behind the current global trends pertaining to transparency, accountability and democratic representation. Subsequently, the outcomes and outputs of such a structure do not enjoy global ownership and acceptance. It should not be also surprising that the fading hegemons of the past who for so many decades have ruled over the major international economic areas of trade, exchange rate systems and capital flows resist ceding control.


The current institutions have shown their inability in protecting and promoting an inclusive and sustained economic growth. In fact, the global economic governance problems of today are rooted in the manner in which these institutions were set up and continue to operate.


Leaving the current global economic governance unreformed would bring about serious harms to the world economic stability and to the well being and daily lives of billions of disadvantaged people around the world.

The global trade and financial governance has to work for development. However, greedy players whose only concern is securing profit could not lead us there. They have only exacerbated the existing inequalities at the local and international levels.


Now that the immediate urgency of the economic and financial crisis has receded the time is right to rethink the global economic governance.


In our understanding, however, the solution does not lie in shifting from one exclusive mechanism to another. Trading off of voting powers to reflect the current shares of players in the global economy is not the answer either. It reminds the pattern exploited in 1945. These changes will not fix the global economic governance shortcomings. They will not address the persistent inequalities at different levels.


Comparing to all other arrangements and taking into accounts its legitimacy and universal membership, the United Nations is the best available means to bring the needed changes to the global economic governance. Indeed, it has proven to be effective whenever its members really wanted it to be so.


It is the right time to negotiate a modern global economic governance structure, within the framework of the UN, which ensures inclusiveness, transparency and effectiveness and brings about equality and integration. The proposals for strengthening ECOSOC are looking very much interesting. Upgrading ECOSOC, however, needs to avoid the premises upon which bodies such as Security Council are being run and controlled.


Revisiting the mandate of the current institutions to put stability and development on top of their agenda; creating greater coherence between trading system and monetary and financial sectors to reduce the predominance of financial markets over real economy and deeply reforming the international exchange rate system to deal with the imbalances at international level can be part of the agenda of the process.


In conclusion, it needs to be mentioned that strengthening the central role of the United Nations in the global economic governance does not imply at all weakening its inclusive and participatory pillars. Also refocusing the discussions to the reform of the UN while non-democratic, non-transparent and non-accountable international economic and financial institutions outside the UN still continue doing business as usual remains a point of concern.


Thank you very much.  

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