Ex-PM at centre of 2008 banks rescue suggests taskforce of leaders and health experts
Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response.
A virtual meeting of the G20 group of developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, will be held on Thursday, but Brown said it would have been preferable to have also included the UN security council.
“This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” he said. “There has to be a coordinated global response.”
Brown said the current crisis was different to the one he was involved in. “That was an economic problem that had economic causes and had an economic solution.
“This is first and foremost a medical emergency and there has to be joint action to deal with that. But the more you intervene to deal with the medical emergency, the more you put economies at risk.”
During the financial crisis, Brown persuaded other global leaders of the need to bail out the banks and then hosted a meeting of the G20 in London, which came up with a $1.1tn rescue package.
Despite Donald Trump’s “America first” policy, he said it was still possible to get support for an emergency body with executive powers.