Here is a selection of comments made during the plenary panel discussions. Please note the speeches available for download in PDF from some of these participants:
Katherine Marshall : USA, senior advisor, World Bank
Economic justice is fundamental to human security, and the financial tsunami has hit hard in the poor countries of the world. Even as the crisis seems to have spent its fury, the effects for poorer countries are just being felt. Far too little attention is going to understanding and acting on this dimension. However, history suggests that most real transformations can be linked to crisis. If we are wise and bold, we can take this opportunity to build the kind of world that we are looking for.
Sir Richard Jolly : UK, former UN Assistant Secretary-General
The current crisis has a lot to do with the way international institutions have operated. They have often allowed power, economic interests and dictatorial rule to trump democracy, human rights and human concerns. At present narrow economic values are forced on to many poorer countries as conditions of obtaining loans. We need an approach that combines efficiency, sustainability, stability, human rights and equity. And we need global democracy – not just meetings of the G8 or G20 but of the G192. The challenge of the 21st century is to see care of people and care of the planet extended on a global scale. <Download his speech>
Angelina Teny : Sudan, Minister of Energy and Mining
Africans have no hope of a pension; our only security is having more children. This population explosion has a great impact on resources and the environment. Europe is spending a lot of money to support their farmers. How do you expect the African farmer to compete? Fairer competition will help us gain the economic means to bring an end to conflict, and restore the fabric of a society that has been destroyed by war. <Download her speech>
Hameed Haroon : Pakistan, CEO and publisher, Pakistan Herald Publications
We are told the solution to the financial recession in the West is cheap credit; but the solution for less fortunate nations is to pull back expenditure They can’t both be right. I believe less and less in economics as a humanizing factor. In the crises we face, basic health, gender equality, and literacy are more important than redistributive comparisons. <Download his speech>
Mani Shankar Aiyar : India, former Cabinet Minister
The fundamental causes of the economic crisis are moral. We have corporate globalization but not political or regulatory globalization. So the benefits go to a few, be it in the developed countries or developing. Then when a crisis comes, we suddenly find enough money to hand mind-boggling sums of money to those who caused the problem. If it is possible to rescue Goldman Sachs, why is it not possible to rescue those who are in perennial crisis, the poor of the world? Why are we Indians praised for our remarkable rate of growth instead of being condemned for the 900 million Indians who live on less than $2 a day? <Download his speech>
Me Moïse Nyarugabo : Congo, Lawyer and Senator
The economic crisis has hit the Congo hard. Many of the mines – largely run by foreign companies – have packed up and their staff have left. Locally we do not have good leadership because our leaders are not held accountable. All too often, when our Government receives money it goes into their pockets. The greatest support you can give us is to strengthen the power of the grass roots of our society.