Sunday Reader: G20 Avoids Currency War, UN’s Weakness Exposed By Syrian War

G20 Issues No Deliberate Currency Manipulation Statement
Two days of meetings concluded in Russia with finance ministers issuing a pledge not to “target our exchange rates for competitive purposes,” a move designed to increase pressure on Japan to stop publicly giving guidance on their currency’s value.

The G20 finance ministers also held off setting new targets for debt-cutting, which is a sign of the fragile state of many of the world’s economies.

While Japan was not singled out, analysts say the underlying message in the statement was clear.

“The new commitment is probably aimed at telling the Japanese that while they can stimulate their economy, they shouldn’t point to specific yen levels as desirable,” ING Group NV head of foreign-exchange strategy Chris Turner said, according to the Herald Sun.

Additional Information: For further background on the role of the G20, please read Barry Carin and David Shorr’s paper The G20 As A Lever For Progress.

Is Syria A Sign Of A Dysfunctional United Nations?
The failed two-year record in Syria is clear: Two successive U.N. mediators for Syria have been ignored by both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Security Council. More than 65,000 civilians, including children, have been killed. And al-Assad remains at the helm of a regime determined to retain power at all costs.

Even, the United Nations refugee agency says it has not received billions of dollars in aid pledged to deal with refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria. Despite worsening conditions on the ground, the UN largely remains at the mercy of its member nations.

As with the U.S. Congress, what happens or doesn’t at the U.N. is a function not of the institution itself, but of its members,” writes Foreign Policy reporter Suzanne Nossel, noting that “the U.N. membership has for 12 years been unable to even agree on a definition of terrorism.”

Making Headlines

According to new research, more Americans are heading toward retirement in worse financial conditions than their parents.

A Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent walk into a bar . . . and agree that government spending is reaching a dangerous limit.

What impact will President Barack Obama’s trip to Israel mean for a two-state solution.

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