Reforms to the global financial architecture

Proposals, conflicts and prospects on the way to the Summit of the Future 2024 and the Financing for Development Conference 2025

Calls for reforms of the international financial architecture are becoming ever louder. Governments, UN institutions, expert groups and civil society organizations are criticizing the fact that the network of institutions and rules that currently determine global monetary and financial policy and control global financial flows are not up to the current crises. The international financial architecture is “outdated, dysfunctional and unfair”, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

In view of these challenges, the UN Member States made the reform of the international financial architecture a priority topic of the UN Summit of the Future (SotF). It is due to take place at the level of Heads of State and Government in New York on 22 and 23 September 2024. The outcome will be a Pact for the Future. Its content will be negotiated in New York in the months leading up to the Summit. The following six topics are expected to be discussed in the negotiations on the global financial architecture:

  i. Reforms of the international financial institutions 

 ii. Short-term liquidity and financial safety nets

iii. Long-term financing of sustainable development

iv. Prevention and management of debt crises

 v. Reforms of the global tax architecture

vi. Regulation of the global financial markets.

In view of the intensified geopolitical confrontations, the outcome of the Summit is more than uncertain. Despite the difficult context, however, it does offer some chance of reviving multilateral cooperation and initiating some long overdue reforms in the international system. In addition, the Summit of the Future can be a milestone on the way to the fourth Financing for Development Conference in Spain in 2025.

This Briefing Paper provides information on some of the key issues being discussed in the preparatory process for the Summit in the area of global financial architecture reforms, outlines political lines of conflict and describes civil society expectations.

By Jens Martens

Published by Global Policy Forum Europe

Bonn, December 2023