Public conference


Keynote speakers of the 6th edition of the Geneva Lecture Series jointly organized by UNOG and UNITAR, Heads of the IMF and WTO Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Pascal Lamy discussed the implications and lessons of the financial crisis for global economic growth and economic and financial governance models. The conference that took place at Palais des Nations in Geneva, on 8 December 2010, followed the usual format of the initiative - an interactive debate with journalists and the general public following the keynote addresses - and attracted up to 2000 people in attendance. The Lecture entitled “The impact of the financial crisis on global economic governance” was broadcast live via Internet as well as via a videoconference link to UNHQ in New York where Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu led the group of 100 participants.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn's speech (PDF, 30 kb)

Mr. Lamy's speech (PDF, 114 kb)

Video archive of the Lecture in English

Speaking of a “triple return” of global economic governance and the Organization he is currently leading, the IMF, Mr. Strauss-Kahn noted on the occasion of the lecture, “the world has changed... Growth in emerging and developing economies redefined the balance of power. The crisis has swept away the old economic order. Today, the effects of the crisis are far from over. The situation in Europe remains troubling, and the future is more uncertain than ever today. We must nonetheless begin, without waiting for calm to be restored, to rebuild, to start again with the structures established after the Second World War”. 

Outlining the choice facing the international community, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said we could choose “a new growth model different from the one before the crisis that has shown its limits, or the international community can choose inertia, fall back on national positions, national solutions, and risk years of instability, the breeding ground for another crisis. If the choice is made for a new growth model then it requires a new model of governance and it requires the recognition that enterprises have become global planet wide, and therefore, public expression, the force of democracy, the will of people, must also be translated into on a global scale and that’s where the global economic and financial governance comes in”.

The WTO Director General, Mr. Lamy, in his turn, pointed out, “this crisis stems from the growing disruptions to the order established in the aftermath of the Second World War. But I also think that it provides us with an opportunity to restore some kind of coherence in global economic governance”.

The debate moderated by Darius Rochebin, TSR evening news anchor, consisted of questions of the audiences of the media partners of the initiative, Télévision Suisse RomandeRadio Suisse Romande, and Tribune de Genève, as well as questions from the public present in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations. It has covered, among other, the issues linked to the need for effective financial regulation, supervision and crisis resolution mechanisms, the debt crisis in Europe and the future of the Eurozone, shortage in trade finance in developing countries, and trade negotiations.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

UN Photo Rick Bajornas

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is currently Managing Director of the IMF. His distinguished carerr includes service as Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry of France during the launch of the Euro, as well as Minister of Industry and International Trade, during the Uruguay Round. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was several times elected to the National Assembly, taught economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and Stanford University, and worked as personal advisor to the Secretary General of the OECD. In 2006, Mr. Strauss-Kahn ran for the Socialist Party's nomination for the French presidential election.

Read Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s biography on the IMF website.

Pascal Lamy

UN Photo Rick Bajornas

Pascal Lamy was appointed WTO Director-General in 2005. Previously, Mr. Lamy served as Commissioner for Trade at the European Commission under Romano Prodi. In addition, he had been CEO of the Credit Lyonnais before its privatization, and served as associate Professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and as advisor to Mr. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the European Socialist Party. Earlier in his career, he also worked  as advisor to the Finance Minister, and subsequently to Prime Minister of France. Mr. Lamy was Chief of staff for the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors.

Read Mr. Pascal Lamy's biogrpahy on the WTO website.

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