6 November 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

As Global Economic Crisis Persists, ‘Near-Poor Are Becoming the New Poor’,

Secretary-General Warns in Message to 2009 Beijing Forum


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Beijing Forum 2009:

Mr. Zhou Qifeng, President of Peking University,

Distinguished guests, scholars and leaders of the Beijing Forum,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Congratulations on holding the Beijing Forum 2009.

I thank Peking University, the Korea Foundation and my good friend, Ambassador Reed, for making this event possible.

I also welcome your focus on the global economic and financial crisis.

This is a critical moment.  The crisis is far from over.

People who had managed to keep from sliding into poverty are losing their jobs.

The near-poor are becoming the new poor.  More than 100 million people are expected to fall into poverty this year.

Higher levels of crime, hunger, disease, drug abuse and social tension could follow.  People around the world feel anxious -- and angry.

The United Nations is developing a global system to monitor the impact -- and to warn us about future danger signs.

We are also calling for assistance, a development-friendly trading regime and investments in jobs, health, education, infrastructure and food security.

We must not overlook the often forgotten people of our world.  They have experienced shock after shock, pushing their coping capacities to the limit.

I welcome the Beijing Forum’s engagement on these global issues -- in particular your strong commitment to global harmony and prosperity for all.

In that spirit, I look forward to our common efforts to recover from this crisis, regain momentum towards the Millennium Development Goals and reach the path of more equitable and sustainable development for all the world’s people.

Thank you for your support -- and congratulations on the Beijing Forum’s fifth anniversary.  May you enjoy many more.

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For information media • not an official record