UN / TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT

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15-Sep-2021 00:03:46
A Senior official at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said despite expecting the “fastest annual growth rate for the world economy in 50 years,” this should not be a “cause for complacency,” adding that “underneath those headline figures are very uneven recovery processes.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
TRT: 3:46
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

15 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“This is not the last of the major shocks that are going to hit the world over the course of the next few years. This was a trail run for shocks of an almost certainly more extreme nature, and we need to get prepared for this kind of problem; and we are not prepared at the moment.”
4. Wide shot, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“We need to think hard about making multilateralism work to address the problems of the 21st century. We cannot solve the climate crisis, the health crisis, the inequality crisis without a very effective multilateral system; and there are very serious gaps that we see in that system that need to be addressed, not least the representation of developing countries and the voice of developing countries particularly on the economic issues that needs to be strengthened.”
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“These are big numbers. 5.3 per cent is actually the fastest annual growth rate for the world economy in 50 years. This should not be a cause for complacency. Underneath those headline figures are very uneven recovery processes. That’s true between the advanced and the developing countries, but its true within these blocks. There is a big difference between the recovery in the United States and Japan, just as there is a big difference between the recovery in Brazil and China and sub-Saharan Africa. Unevenness is a feature of this recovery process.”
8. Wide shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“In terms of looking ahead, we are worried – just as we were after 2009 - that despite all the talk about building back better, we will see a return to business as usual, particularly in the advanced economies, if they are comfortable with the kind of recoveries that are taking place. This will be a disaster for the developing world. A return to the kind of austerity policies that we saw, premature austerity in 2010-2011, an excessive focus on liberalization, continued wage repression will not work well for the global economy; and it won’t work well for the developing countries. We note that in the report. We again show that this kind of policy response will have adverse consequences for much of the developing world.”
10. Wide shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“We think that his is oversold. The rising prices that we have seen have much more to do with mismatches between supply and demand than to macroeconomic imbalances. And we worry that inflation will be used as a cover to go back to the kind of tight macroeconomic policies that we saw after 2009 and again that’s something we worry about.”
12. Wide shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“When we look at the three underlying challenges that we have focused on recently in some of our reports – the inequality challenge, the challenge of excessive corporate power and the distortion of markets that that brings, and the climate challenge – I think we need – and the Secretary-General has emphasized this himself – we need to see much more ambition from the advanced economies if we are going to tackle these underlying conditions that will , if they are not tackled – we think, derail the possibilities of a building back better world.”
14. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

A Senior official at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said despite expecting the “fastest annual growth rate for the world economy in 50 years,” this should not be a “cause for complacency,” adding that “underneath those headline figures are very uneven recovery processes.”

Presenting reporters in New York today (15 Sep) with UNCTAD’s 2021 Trade and Development Report via teleconference, UNCTAD’s Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Richard Kozul-Wright, said the report looks into lessons learn, where the global economy stands, and what is coming up in the next few years 18 months into the pandemic.

Kozul-Wright said the report noted just how unprepared the world is for this kind of shock in both the advanced and developing world. He said this was not only reflected in the pandemic itself, but also in relation to extreme weather events witnessed recently.

He said, “This is not the last of the major shocks that are going to hit the world over the course of the next few years. This was a trail run for shocks of an almost certainly more extreme nature, and we need to get prepared for this kind of problem; and we are not prepared at the moment.”

Kozul-Wright said the role of the state, particularly in the economy, has been either vilified or dismissed for decades. He said one of the lessons learned was that resilience is a public good and as such the role of the state but be reconsidered if sustainable and inclusive solutions are to be achieved.

The UNCTAD official said the report also showed how unequal the world has become, adding that the asymmetries within and across countries’ recoveries were very high. He added that the greatest problems are faced by developing countries in general, and not only the least developed countries.

He said, “We need to think hard about making multilateralism work to address the problems of the 21st century. We cannot solve the climate crisis, the health crisis, the inequality crisis without a very effective multilateral system; and there are very serious gaps that we see in that system that need to be addressed, not least the representation of developing countries and the voice of developing countries particularly on the economic issues that needs to be strengthened.”

Kozul-Wright said the COVID-19 crisis has been more damaging to many parts of the developing world than the global financial crisis. He said UNCTAD estimates that, by 2025, the losses to the developing world as a consequence of the crisis will be between eight and 12 trillion USD.

The UNCTAD official said, “In terms of looking ahead, we are worried – just as we were after 2009 - that despite all the talk about building back better, we will see a return to business as usual, particularly in the advanced economies, if they are comfortable with the kind of recoveries that are taking place. This will be a disaster for the developing world. A return to the kind of austerity policies that we saw, premature austerity in 2010-2011, an excessive focus on liberalization, continued wage repression will not work well for the global economy; and it won’t work well for the developing countries. We note that in the report. We again show that this kind of policy response will have adverse consequences for much of the developing world.”


Kozul-Wright said the idea of an inflationary threat is being “oversold.” He said the rising prices have much more to do with “mismatches between supply and demand than to macroeconomic imbalances.” He added, “We worry that inflation will be used as a cover to go back to the kind of tight macroeconomic policies that we saw after 2009 and again that’s something we worry about.”

The UNCTAD official said many countries were extremely worried about debt default, which thankfully didn’t materialize in many developing countries. He stressed, however, that, in many respects, the can has been kicked down the road, adding that debt problem in the developing world has not been solved.

Kozul-Wright did note that there have been some real positives in the past six to 12 months in terms of building back better, adding that many of these positives come as a result of the change in the policy stances of the United States.

However, he warned that, “When we look at the three underlying challenges that we have focused on recently in some of our reports – the inequality challenge, the challenge of excessive corporate power and the distortion of markets that that brings, and the climate challenge – I think we need – and the Secretary-General has emphasized this himself – we need to see much more ambition from the advanced economies if we are going to tackle these underlying conditions that will , if they are not tackled – we think, derail the possibilities of a building back better world.”
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