International Forum for Development Examines UNCTAD 2004 LDC Report
Prominent Economists Prepare for October Forum on Socially-oriented Development
For Immediate Release: July 14, 2004
Contact: Debi Kar, 202-387-5080
(New York, June 14) The findings of UNCTAD's Least Developed Countries Report 2004 (released 5/27/04) come as little surprise to Ha-Joon Chang and Deepak Nayyar, co-chairs of the International Forum for Development (IFD). The report, a comprehensive, empirical analysis of the relationship between trade and poverty in the Least Developed Countries, finds that there is not a direct inverse relationship between the two factors, and that trade expansion and export growth alone rarely lead to sustained and substantial poverty reduction as historically believed in developed country policy circles and international finance institutions.
Chang and Nayyar, both prominent development economists, have long studied and criticized the effects of neoliberal development policies, which - as the LDC Report 2004 shows - do not lead to equitable development in the world's poorest regions. Together with other intellectuals from advocacy and scholarly institutions, Chang and Nayyar have established the IFD to examine the types of issues found in the UNCTAD study, as well as to institutionalize a space for the articulation and promotion of analytically informed and socially-oriented alternatives to the prevailing development paradigm.
This October, the IFD will convene its first annual forum in New York City to discuss development failures of the current orthodoxy, specifically as they relate to growth and employment and U.S. trade policy. The Forum will bring together intellectuals, political leaders, journalists, business leaders, NGOs and organized labor movements in an effort to identify the ways in which the forces of globalization can be harnessed to promote greater social equity and to work to find viable alternatives to current trade liberalization strategies.
Confirmed participants include IFD Special Advisory Council members Thandika Mkandawire of the United Nations Development Program, Mary Robinson of the Ethical Globalization Initiative, and Joseph Stiglitz of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue.
For more information, or to request interviews with Dr. Chang or Dr. Nayyar, please contact:
Telephone: 212-377-2700 ext. 617