A coherent response by the multilateral system to the crisis is an ambitious task. CEB is well placed to mobilize such a response and make it "a source of strength for the system and each of its members, using it as an instrument for the highest level expression of system-wide coherence" as agreed in the CEB review.

CEB encompasses the collective capacity of the system and can play a catalytic role in coherently addressing concerted cross-sectoral responses to the crisis as a high and urgent priority of multilateral cooperation.

The world economy is in a state of great uncertainty and many did not see this crisis coming. It is clear that existing early warning systems have been insufficient. The global economy will need better surveillance and monitoring mechanisms to identify economic and financial threats on the horizon. In addition we will need to be able to better monitor the human impact of the crisis, so as to alert the world of increasing and deepening vulnerabilities.

The collective knowledge and statistical capacity of the system needs to be pulled together for the monitoring and analysis of the evolution of the crisis and of measures being adopted in the key policy areas.

The crisis, multifaceted and severe as it is, presents a painful but excellent opportunity to put the capacity and commitment of the system to the test. It compels multilateral institutions and multilateralism as a whole, to tackle development challenges more creatively and effectively. More recourse to South-South cooperation can support and complement international aid. Knowledge sharing and capacity building become crucial. Emphasis on innovation and better spread and use of science and technology as well as ICTs may open up new avenues to address the hardship of the crisis. A global engagement in this regard is essential for effective and coherent policy formulation and operational action at country level.

The contributions of all CEB organizations to the preparation of this overview paper on the crisis and the identification and prioritization of concrete initiatives for joint action as agreed by CEB show unanimous agreement and conviction that policy coordination across the system is possible and an absolute necessity.

Each of the initiatives will be further conceptualized and developed under the commitment of one or two lead agencies with recognized expertise in the area, who have volunteered to take up the responsibility of guiding the work of a group of participating agencies most directly concerned. As approved by CEB the respective lead agencies and cooperating agencies will establish a framework for action in each area.

The policy implications should be useful for adaptations to regional and country level. On this basis, HLCP and UNDG will work together and establish a task team as proposed by UNDP, to translate UN system -wide "crisis response" measures into an action plan to ensure coherence, coordination and joint implementation at country level. This should lead to cooperative action as well as more precise policy guidance for Resident Coordinators and agency representatives in countries.

As demonstrated by the contributions made to this paper, practically all member organizations of CEB are analyzing the issues and deploying intense activity in a wide range of dimensions of the crisis. The effort required is therefore to connect the dots in the various areas, scale up responses, review the implications and impact of actions on one another and maximize policy synergies. Broadening and sharing the knowledge and reconsidering the various policy approaches in the light of an integrated and coordinated response to the crisis will allow for the development of more relevant and effective policy tools and better impact and results from multilateral action.

Time will be of the essence. The crisis is unfolding and aggravating daily. Any significant and useful response will have to be extremely rapid.

The commitment of the Executive Heads of all UN agencies, funds and programmes, the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, to work intensively and urgently on this matter is eloquently expressed in the Communiqué issued by the CEB.