UN brings focus on plight of world's vulnerable to G20 summit in Canada

25 June 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is attending this weekend's summit of the leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and developing economies in Toronto, Canada, stressing the concerns of the world's most vulnerable and the need for everyone to step up efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is attending this weekend's summit of the leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and developing economies in Toronto, Canada, stressing the concerns of the world's most vulnerable and the need for everyone to step up efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At the summit Mr. Ban will take part in the main discussions and hold bilateral meetings with national leaders to urge them to focus their sights on promoting development in poor countries, despite the recent global economic slowdown.

“We must recognize a simple fact: in today's world, economic dynamism lies in emerging countries,” he told journalists earlier this week. “Like never before, global economic recovery depends on growth in developing countries?. Economic uncertainty cannot be an excuse to slow down our development efforts. It is a reason to speed them up.”

Mr. Ban underscored the same message yesterday at the opening of the leaders' summit of the Global Compact, the UN initiative that aims to foster socially responsible business practices, and on Wednesday, when he launched the latest progress report on worldwide efforts to achieve the MDGs by their target date of 2015.

The Secretary-General wrote an open letter at the start of the week in which he called on G20 participants to devote attention on human development, green growth and the needs of the most vulnerable in devising their economic recovery strategies.

“High unemployment, rising food and commodity prices, and persistent inequalities have contributed to a substantial rise in hunger, poverty and associated social tensions,” he wrote. “Now, more than ever, investments for the world's poorest are necessary to recover lost ground in pursuit of development objectives, including the MDGs.”

Mr. Ban is convening a high-level summit at UN Headquarters in New York in September to press countries to accelerate their actions to try to attain the Goals.

“With a unified effort and targeted investments, progress in maternal and child health could lead the way. I urge world leaders to take decisive action to put an end to the shameful reality of maternal and child deaths.”

To that end, in Toronto the Secretary-General will call on leaders to support the recently released UN global action plan on women's and children's health. Slashing maternal mortality is one of the eight MDGs.

After the G20 summit ends, Mr. Ban will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for an official visit coinciding with celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. He then heads to nearby Gabon for the last leg of his overseas trip.

 

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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Ban urges focus on development and green growth ahead of G20 summit

Noting the continued fragility of the global economic system, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged leaders of the biggest industrialized and developing nations to focus on development, green growth and the needs of the most vulnerable, in devising recovery strategies.