A group of 36 students and two lecturers from German Virtual Institute core member university, HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, participated in lectures led by UNCTAD experts November 26, as part of the fifth Vi study visit for HTW.
Edgardo Torija-Zane, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, introduced the students to the work of UNCTAD, and presented the findings of the latest edition of the Trade and Development Report (TDR).
This year’s TDR focuses on the international financial architecture and provides suggestions on how to reform the current financial architecture.
“There is insufficient demand in developed economies, which creates a constraint,” Torija-Zane began. “In order to improve global growth and financial stability, we need to address the problems on a global scale.”
The international financial system should fulfill its three basic functions of providing sufficient liquidity, mitigating shocks, and providing long-term stable development finance.
“There have been regulatory initiatives such as increasing capital requirements, but they are still too narrow, and the reforms have failed to take into account the needs of developing countries,” Torija-Zane said.
According to the report, developing countries should actively build on regional and interregional initiatives that aim to foster regional macroeconomic stability.
“The present system is fragmented and unfair, as it deepens depression in indebted countries and helps the private creditors to bail out. Furthermore, developing countries are having difficulties in obtaining long-term investments.
“We suggest a multilateral treaty that defines a set of rules for restricting debt and specialized public institutions, such as development banks, in order to ensure long-term development finance,” he explained.
The discussion that followed covered students’ questions about capital control, credit rating institutions, commodity markets, free trade agreements and UNCTAD’s work with the least developed countries.
After the presentation, Vi’s Susana Olivares introduced the students to the new Vi website and the online resources available for them to use in their studies. She also answered questions on current internship opportunities with the Vi and the United Nations.
The visit ended with a guided tour of the Palais des Nations.