Ban urges coordinated global response to food, poverty, climate crises

Ban urges coordinated global response to food, poverty, climate crises

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a “closely coordinated” response to the interconnected crises of food insecurity, extreme poverty and climate change that are being “exacerbated by global financial and economic turmoil of unprecedented proportions.”

In a message to the Ministerial Meeting of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations (NAM), held in Havana, Mr. Ban called the group to “play a strong, constructive role in forging consensus among developing countries and to continue to deepen global cooperation in the difficult times ahead.”

Although poorer countries have had no part in creating the crisis, they are likely to feel some of the worst of the consequences, he said in the message, which was delivered on his behalf by Haile Menkerios, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Developing countries are likely to suffer from declining growth, credit, development assistance, remittances and trade, warned the Secretary-General. “Indeed, the crisis raises the risk of social unrest and political instability.”

He noted that weakened governments are unlikely to be able to deliver on their responsibilities and to meet popular expectations, and underscored the importance of lending strong support, in particular, to countries emerging from conflict.

“We must make the most of upcoming opportunities to strengthen collective action, including the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development to be held at the United Nations in early June.”

Turning to climate change, Mr. Ban pushed for a move towards a “green economy” which can stimulate growth and create jobs while addressing global warming at the same time. “I urge the NAM to contribute to this effort, including the sealing of a deal at climate change talks later this year in Copenhagen.”

In the wide-ranging speech, he also urged leaders to continue demonstrating their commitment to peace and security efforts by helping deploy a full-strength peacekeeping force in Darfur, promoting peace in the Middle East, and supporting the economy in Haiti.