House of Commons Issue No. 16 Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Standing Committee on Foreign and International Trade
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From Bretton Woods to Halifax and Beyond:
Towards a 21st Summit for the 21st Century Challenge

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The world has long lived with indecision, inefficiency and inequity. Few advocates of a new Bretton Woods would be moved to urge changes on that account, but they make common cause in feeling that, as a matter of pragmatism, the present arrangements are u

The necessary policy and institutional changes will be made in a controlled and orderly way or they will be made by force majeure, that is, in an uncontrolled and precipitous manner . . . The possibility of the last outcome gives the problem and the appr

In sharing that sense of urgency expressed by a former Canadian executive director at the World Bank, as by many of our witnesses, the Committee believes that the Halifax Summit is both a crucial test of the G-7's will to lead on these issues of global im

In putting forth some ideas, the Committee makes no claims to having definitive answers. And we do not expect that they will suddenly be found and pronounced by the 21st Summit at Halifax this June. Not only are we aware of the numerous obstacles to be n

The Committee agrees with the witnesses, including several Americans, who told us that Canada is ideally placed, through its multilateral traditions and multiple middle-power contacts with countries in all regions, to move this agenda ahead as the host o

Halifax therefore should be seen as an opportunity not to complete the review and make decisions, but rather to launch a process that is fully participatory, a process in which a sense of ownership can be felt on the part of other governments and that ma

Others who appeared before the Committee have urged that an effective Bretton Woods reform process be seen as a comprehensive multi-year effort, including involvement by, but independent of, the institutions themselves; a process that is publicly accessib

Going forward from Halifax, a good place for Canada to work with others to start on the broader global process will be the 50th General Assembly session this fall. The momentum must be sustained at all levels. Work by the G-7 must also carry forward to m

Finally, the Committee wishes to emphasize again the role that parliaments and public deliberation should have throughout this process. The "ownership" of global governance reforms must include not just the executives of other governments, but also the i

That is a fitting note on which to conclude the beginning of a dialogue which the Committee recommends that Canada promote in Halifax, aiming thereby at an open and continuing process for G-7 and global reform. We are convinced that only through such eff

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