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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Accra (Ghana)

21 April 2008


Closing statement at High-level segment of UNCTAD XII

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for all your contributions to this High-level Segment. I had expected a very informative and interactive and energetic discussion, and you did not disappoint. Let me acknowledge our distinguished panellists for sharing their expertise and insights.

Listening to today's speakers, I could not help noticing how much we all agree on core issues first, we agree on the need for urgent action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; second, we agree on the need to address Africa's development emergency; and third, we agree on the need for a just and equitable trading system; and fourthly we agree on the need to face threats like climate change and rising food prices.

If we lag, it is in translating our agreement into action. Together, we must work to change this.

After all, we cannot believe in the Millennium Development Goals, yet watch mothers die in childbirth, let HIV/AIDS patients wither-away untreated, or allow millions of people to languish in grinding poverty.

We cannot be for free and fair trade in the midst of a global trading system rife with unjustified tariffs and subsidies.

And we cannot decry climate change yet not reach out to those most vulnerable to its effects.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies,

We all know what needs to be done. But the window for decisive action is closing, and it is closing fast. So let us seize this moment. Let us take bold steps. And let us deliver for the people of Africa.

Thank you very much for your active participation and constructive contributions.