Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The G8 and the UN, including the Bretton Woods institutions, must become more effective - per UK

Today's Guardian reports on the visit to India by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr Brown's comments bring the agendas of the G8 and the G20 even closer together - do we really need both public organisations?

fast-growing developing countries [are] to be given a far bigger role as he outlined what is likely to be a central theme of his premiership if, as expected, he replaces Tony Blair as prime minister later this year. In his first major foray into foreign policy this year Mr Brown said the world had moved on since the UN, IMF and World Bank were created at the end of the second world war. "The post-1945 system of international institutions, built for a world of sheltered economies and just 50 states, is not yet broken but - for a world of 200 states and an open globalisation - urgently in need of modernisation and reform."

Mr Brown said the G7 - the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan - should be expanded. "Beginning with the UK presidency (in 2005), India has been in attendance at meetings of G7 finance ministers and as part of the G8 plus 5 group has attended the G8. It is time to formally recognise on a more consistent and regular basis the reality of this emerging new world order."

Together and in the same spirit we should focus on modernisation of the United Nations, so that it has the right role for the modern world, not least as an effective peacemaker and peacekeeper." Mr Brown commended India for being the third biggest provider of UN peacekeepers and called on other countries to share the burden.

NB: The first three provide over a third of UN peacekeepers. Pakistan volunteered 9867, Bangladesh 9681 and India 9483 (December 2006). UN Peacekeeping

America has exerted particularly strong influence over the fund and bank, but the chancellor said they could not be effective unless modernised - "the IMF to ensure the stability of the whole world economy, with its primary role no longer to manage balance of payments crises but on crisis prevention through the surveillance of our economies.

And as a bank for development, the World Bank should have a focus for the first time on energy security and environmental care.


G8 contributions to UN peacekeeping in December were:

Italy volunteered 2,462 (8th biggest contributor); France 1,988 (10); Germany 1,143 (18); United Kingdom 358 (40); United States of America 324 (43); Russia 291 (45); Canada 132 (61); Japan 31 (81)

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