In the face of the world financial crisis, Argentina called from the podium of the United Nations Wednesday for true economic reform to regulate run-away speculation and other factors undermining market stability, global development and well-being.
“Speculation apparently has no brakes and can move from one place to another and from one country or region to another, affecting currencies, economies and also the daily life of citizens, destroying jobs, depriving them of a worthy education and of health care,” said Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at the General Assembly on the opening day of its annual general debate.
“It is crucial that this be understood, because today it might be speculation on food, yesterday it was on oil, and tomorrow it could be on mints if that proves profitable and provides a better market position to those capital flows that are transferred from one end of the world to the other without any type of control or regulation,” she said.
“Regrettably we continue in the same position because beyond what I would call totally cosmetic changes no serious steps have been taken towards the regulation that is required.”
At the same time Ms. Kirchner called for fundamental Security Council reform, expanding its current 15-state membership, but not by increasing the number of permanent members. That category should be eliminated, she said, along with the right to veto now held by the five permanent members, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the United States.
The veto was necessary at the UN’s foundation during the Cold War when there was a bipolar world aligned either with the U.S. or the former Soviet Union, but now it no longer defends security and stability and is used for those members’ national interests, she said.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo Mendez echoed Ms. Kirchner’s calls for financial reforms and urged the U.N. to establish measures that allow states to implement policies enabling them to reduce inequalities in their own countries, as well between rich and poor countries.
He stressed that inequality is growth-stifling and called on the assembly to design and construct a new financial model that can adequately respond to cyclical economic crises.