Center of Concern’s Director of Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, Addresses United Nations Expert Committee on Financing for Sustainable Development

International economist Aldo Caliari urges United Nations committee to recognize the benefits of monetary system reform and financial regulation to help safeguard public resources needed to finance sustainable development.

January 01, 2014 -

Speaking by invitation of the United Nations Expert Committee on Financing for Sustainable Development and on behalf of civil society organizations, Center of Concern's Director of Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, Aldo Caliari, advised members to recognize the ongoing risks to sustainable development if governments and institutions failed to take a leadership role in regulating financial markets and reforming the monetary system.

The meeting provided opportunity for an open exchange with non-State stakeholders to address the challenge of financing sustainable development to establish balance among economic, social, and environmental goals. Caliari says, "By any measure, finance has increased its sway over the real economy. As long as finance is driving the economy, the world will not be able to finance sustainable development."

Caliari, who also addressed the United Nations Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, called for financial regulation as a central pillar of monetary system reform and challenged the committee to develop a "real" rather than a "finance-driven" economy, which meant putting human rights at its core. Caliari cited failures of the past. "More than 144 million people, mostly women and children, were forced into extreme poverty during the recent global financial crisis, and we are still counting, because the crisis is not over," says Caliari. "Financial regulation could help safeguard public resources needed to finance sustainable development and avoid that they be spent rescuing financial firms, as we saw in the recent global crisis."

Center of Concern's Rethinking Bretton Woods (RBW) project was founded in 1995 to promote reforms of international financial institutionssuch as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Over time, its focus has evolved to promote reform of the international financial system, its rules and institutions, with the purpose of democratizing economic policy-making, achieving human rights and sustainable development.

The project carries out advocacy-oriented research, popular education and coalition-building engaging government and intergovernmental officials, policy-makers, civil society organizations, academics, grassroots activists, social movements and the public. It works closely with partner organizations in the U.S., Europe, and all the regions of the Global South.

Since 1971, Center of Concern team members have contributed research, education, and advocacy from Catholic social tradition in order to create a world where economic, political, and cultural systems promote sustainable flourishing of the global community.

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