French PM calls for New World Environment Organisation at World Bank Conference

The World Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) opened in Paris on 26 June 26 with a speech from Lionel Jospin calling for the creation of a new World Environment Organisation to ensure international commitments to sustainable development.

“Problems are now global and require global solutions. States acting in isolation are not in a position to protect their citizens’ interests and guarantee them the benefits of globalisation”, said Jospin.

In his speech, Jospin called for the strengthening of the United Nations and other institutions “which endeavour to guarantee international public assets, especially in areas where there are still gaps. To this end, France will propose a new ‘World Environment Organisation’ to enforce international commitments,” he said. “France will be taking an initiative along these lines, based on the UN system, when it assumes the Presidency of the European Union in July,” he said.

Jospin declared that the ABCDE Europe marked the start of Development Week in Paris. The conference is co-sponsored by the Conseil d’Analyse Economique, which advises the French government on economic policy, and the World Bank. Other events this week include a meeting of the European ministers of cooperation and development, and the release of the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report.

Speakers at the conference, which ran from 26 to 28 June included World Bank President James Wolfensohn, French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius, Nobel Prize winning economists Amartya Sen and Robert Mundell, who takes over as the World Bank’s Chief Economist this month.

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