An international summit in Paris to rethink North-South relations

    The challenge is probably out of reach in the space of forty-eight hours, in the middle of the war in Ukraine, when the gap between the north and the south of the planet has never seemed so wide. At the invitation of the French authorities, between forty and fifty Heads of State and Government are meeting in Paris on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 June to try to meet the immense needs of developing countries in the fight against poverty and adaptation to global warming, while initiating a distant overhaul of the international financial architecture put in place by the West in the aftermath of the Second World War. The ambition of this Summit for a new global financial pact is commensurate with the expectations of the most vulnerable countries, plunged into an economic, social, climatic and health “polycrisis”.

    In the heart of the French capital, the enclosure of the Palais Brongniart – the former Paris Stock Exchange – should be full to bursting, with nearly 1,500 participants announced, from civil society and government authorities. Over the course of his recent travels, Emmanuel Macron, himself anxious to create a “investment shock” for countries lacking resources, has never ceased to beat the bell, at a time when traditional international forums, such as the UN and the G20, are paralyzed by the conflict in Ukraine, even paralyzed by the magnitude of the issues.

    The Chinese Prime Minister, Li Qiang, a very close friend of President Xi Jinping, is expected to turn on the restructuring of the debts of the poorest countries. The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is announced, although the United States refuses to talk about a large-scale reform of international financial institutions, World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the lead, which emerging countries dispute Western-dominated governance. The Brazilian President, Lula, will also be there to plead the cause of the so-called “global South” countries, as will the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, closely associated with the preparation of this conference. No less than fifteen African heads of state, including the South African Cyril Ramaphosa, will also be there.

    “Globalization of crises”

    If the summit should be stingy in tangible results, for lack of consensus, the Elysée sees it at least as a good way to respond to the many misunderstandings that are fragmenting the planet. For the hour is serious, and the needs considerable. For the first time in thirty years, the human development index, which measures several indicators such as life expectancy and standard of living, has fallen, first in 2020 and then in 2021. “major setback”according to the UN, which affects all developing countries.

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