By Truthout at 10:12 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
Today marks the second day of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where the member nations are tackling the issue of rebuilding postwar economies. This conference was carried out remotely due to COVID-19, the pandemic that is wrecking economies across the globe. The practice of social distancing is vital for containing COVID-19, but that means closing all non-essential businesses, leaving people in the hospitality and service industry out of work. Unemployment rates have soared and nations are being left economically devastated. This crisis is severe, and the UNCTAD is classifying it as the war all countries are fighting.
The Conference is working on developing an adaptable plan that can be reused for future crises. They want to create a system that countries can opt out of to let NGOs aid post war countries. If a country doesn’t want NGOs in their borders, they can choose to participate in specialized trade relationships between developed and developing countries.
China wants to develop a migrant worker aid program that makes it easier for workers to immigrate to developed countries and send money back to their developing home nations. According to China, when migrant workers send money back to their home country, they boost their home country’s economy and GDP.
Pakistan wants to develop a relief fund where member nations donate 1% of their GDP to help support post war economies. There is some contention about whether this system is fair to countries with smaller GDPs. The UNCTAD is considering a system where member states can vote on exempting a country from participating in the fund while gaining other benefits.
The UNCTAD hasn’t decided how the money in their 1% GDP fund would be. The most likely solution is that it will go into assisting developing countries in developing their own government departments to provide financial and humanitarian aid to the country’s people, similar to the function of an NGO. There is also the possibility of the fund being used for microfinance loans to aid small businesses.
The UNCTAD’s plan is still developing, and they say details are going to change. Their resolution is coming together, and I am excited to see what they’ll do.
It should also be noted that the chair of UNCTAD is “extremely charismatic and handsome” according to himself.
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