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G-8 summit good start but further action needed to tackle global crises, says Ban

G-8 summit good start but further action needed to tackle global crises, says Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the Group of Eight’s (G-8) statement on climate change, food security and development as a good start for addressing the three interrelated global crises, while stressing the need for speedier action in the days ahead.

“The discussion here provides initial direction for global efforts that must be accelerated in the coming weeks and months,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued today at the conclusion of the G-8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan.

Mr. Ban welcomed the Group’s statement on climate change and the environment, including the long-term goal of reducing emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050, as “a clear step forward.”

At the same time, he stressed the need to go further. “By next year in Copenhagen we need to collectively agree to ambitious mid-term emission reduction targets for developed countries, coupled with meaningful efforts by developing countries to reduce the growth of their emissions, consistent with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities,” he stated.

He was also pleased with the “strong commitment” of the G-8 to address the global food crisis in a Global Partnership for Food, facilitated and coordinated by the UN.

“The sense of urgency displayed by the G-8 in tackling the most immediate food, nutrition, and agricultural inputs needs of tens of millions of hungry people worldwide is encouraging,” the Secretary-General said.

“However, the G-8 call on all Member States to contribute to this shared human responsibility must be accompanied by a strong willingness to tackle the underlying structural causes of this crisis with a similar sense of urgency,” he added, emphasizing the need to significantly step up public and private investment into agriculture.

The focus in Hokkaido on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the global anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015 – was also appreciated by Mr. Ban, who was encouraged by the G-8’s promise to deliver on the official development assistance (ODA) commitments made at previous summits.

The Secretary-General, pleased with the increased attention given to health issues at the summit, called on the G-8 to act quickly to deliver on its promise to expand access to 100 million insecticide-treated bed nets so as to end malaria deaths by 2010.

“We see how much needs to be done in all these areas,” Mr. Ban stated. “Now the challenge is to move beyond discussions to action.”