China, as the rotating president of the UN Security Council for this month, held a three-hour special UNSC session debate Nov. 20, titled, “Promote Sustaining Peace through Common Development.” The Nov. 19 UN announcement said, “China has chosen to organize tomorrow’s meeting as the signature event of its November presidency, in keeping with its desire to focus on the root causes of conflict.”
In addition to diplomats from the 15 UNSC members, representatives from another 35 nations gave short speeches. The session opened with three guest “briefers” scheduled by China, speaking for 15 minutes each: UN Secretary-General António Guterres; Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank; and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and Columbia University Professor.
Many of the diplomats, and the briefers as well, made reference to the self-evident, sociological association between poverty, instability and potential conflict. But several additional points were brought out during the special session.
Dilma Rousseff, whose full text is not available, did very clearly call for reforming the Bretton Woods system. A press report of her remarks in India reported her saying, “The so-called Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF, World Bank, the WTO, have not demonstrated their ability to reverse the trend of geo-economic fragmentation and increased social fragility.” She went after, “the weak regulation of international finance [which] has failed to prevent recurring rises linked to financialization,” pointing to the occurrence of new, speculative bubbles or excessive liquidity problems. “We have a mission to empower the UN and reform the Bretton Woods institutions,” to stop the double standards applied during crises.