2008 Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy

Sectors : Economic governance and public finance management, Employment and Training
Organisation : FAO
Date made: 
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Commitments in: Governance - Economic governance and public finance management

“28. The European Council looked forward to the steps needed to secure a strong, and sustainable economic recovery. It agreed on the need for coordinated action, within Europe and internationally, to generate new sources of growth and higher employment in the future. It stressed the importance of reforms to strengthen the internal market, deliver investment in the industries and jobs of the future, promote increased trade and strengthen the financial sector. The European Council looks forward to discussing a new European strategy for jobs and growth as part of the upcoming review of the Lisbon Strategy.”


“11. Since the onset of the global crisis, we have developed and begun implementing sweeping reforms to tackle the root causes of the crisis and transform the system for global financial regulation. Substantial progress has been made in strengthening prudential oversight, improving risk management, strengthening transparency, promoting market integrity, establishing supervisory colleges, and reinforcing international cooperation. We have enhanced and expanded the scope of regulation and oversight, with tougher regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, securitization markets, credit rating agencies, and hedge funds. We endorse the institutional strengthening of the FSB through its Charter, following its establishment in London, and welcome its reports to Leaders and Ministers. The FSB’s ongoing efforts to monitor progress will be essential to the full and consistent implementation of needed reforms. We call on the FSB to report on progress to the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in advance of the next Leaders summit.

12. Yet our work is not done. Far more needs to be done to protect consumers, depositors, and investors against abusive market practices, promote high quality standards, and help ensure the world does not face a crisis of the scope we have seen. We are committed to take action at the national and international level to raise standards together so that our national authorities implement global standards consistently in a way that ensures a level playing field and avoids fragmentation of markets, protectionism, and regulatory arbitrage. Our efforts to deal with impaired assets and to encourage the raising of additional capital must continue, where needed. We commit to conduct robust, transparent stress tests as needed. We call on banks to retain a greater proportion of current profits to build capital, where needed, to support lending. Securitization sponsors or originators should retain a part of the risk of the underlying assets, thus encouraging them to act prudently. It is important to ensure an adequate balance between macroprudential and microprudential regulation to control risks, and to develop the tools necessary to monitor and assess the buildup of macroprudential risks in the financial system. In addition, we have agreed to improve

13....Building on their Declaration on Further Steps to Strengthen the International Financial System, we call on our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to reach agreement on an international framework of reform in the following critical areas:
Building high quality capital and mitigating pro-cyclicality: We commit to developing by end-2010 internationally agreed rules to improve both the quantity and quality of bank capital and to discourage excessive leverage. These rules will be phased in as financial conditions improve and economic recovery is assured, with the aim of implementation by end-2012. The national implementation of higher level and better quality capital requirements, counter-cyclical capital buffers, higher capital requirements for risky products and off-balance sheet activities, as elements of the Basel II Capital Framework, together with strengthened liquidity risk requirements and forward-looking provisioning, will reduce incentives for banks to take excessive risks and create a financial system better prepared to withstand adverse shocks. We welcome the key measures recently agreed by the oversight body of the Basel Committee to strengthen the supervision and regulation of the banking sector. We support the introduction of a leverage ratio as a supplementary measure to the Basel II risk-based framework with a view to migrating to a Pillar 1 treatment based on appropriate review and calibration. To ensure comparability, the details of the leverage ratio will be harmonized internationally, fully adjusting for differences in accounting. All major G-20 financial centers commit to have adopted the Basel II Capital Framework by 2011.
Reforming compensation practices to support financial stability: Excessive compensation in the financial sector has both reflected and encouraged excessive risk taking. Reforming compensation policies and practices is an essential part of our effort to increase financial stability. We fully endorse the implementation standards of the FSB aimed at aligning compensation with long-term value creation, not excessive risk-taking, including by

(i) avoiding multi-year guaranteed bonuses;

(ii) requiring a significant portion of variable compensation to be deferred, tied to performance and subject to appropriate clawback and to be vested in the form of stock or stock-like instruments, as long as these create incentives aligned with long-term value creation and the time horizon of risk;

(iii) ensuring that compensation for senior executives and other employees having a material impact on the firm’s risk exposure align with performance and risk;

(iv) making firms’ compensation policies and structures transparent through disclosure requirements;

(v) limiting variable compensation as a percentage of total net revenues when it is inconsistent with the maintenance of a sound capital base; and

(vi) ensuring that compensation committees overseeing compensation policies are able to act independently. Supervisors should have the responsibility to review firms’ compensation policies and structures with institutional and systemic risk in mind and, if necessary to offset additional risks, apply corrective measures, such as higher capital requirements, to those firms that fail to implement sound compensation policies and practices. Supervisors should have the ability to modify compensation structures in the case of firms that fail or require extraordinary public intervention. We call on firms to implement these sound compensation practices immediately. We task the FSB to monitor the implementation of FSB standards and propose additional measures as required by March 2010.”