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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Doha (Qatar)

28 November 2008


Opening remarks at press conference

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would first like to begin this evening by strongly condemning the violence we have seen in Mumbai in the past two days.

No cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians, and the perpetrators must be brought swiftly to justice.

I send my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and the wounded, and express my solidarity with the people and Government of India.

This evening the Emir of Qatar and I hosted a meeting with a group of determined and committed world leaders. The Doha conference starting tomorrow provided us with an opportunity to meet and discuss how a globally coordinated response to the financial crisis we now face can protect developing countries, underpin our drive to a green economy, and stimulate a commitment to a renewed multilateralism.

The Doha conference is crucially important for the wellbeing of people everywhere.

It is also very timely, falling just two weeks after the emergency G-20 summit on the financial crisis.

One of the main goals of the discussion we just held, and indeed of the conference itself, is to build a bridge between the G-20 and the rest of the world – the full community of nations.

The financial crisis is not the only crisis we face. We also confront a development emergency and accelerating climate change. These threats are inextricably linked. They must be dealt with as one.

Our discussion confirmed that the bridge we are trying to build must stand on three pillars.

First, we need a truly global stimulus plan that meets the needs of emerging economies and developing countries.

Rescue packages must be closely coordinated. And in the process, we must protect the poorest and most vulnerable, not only the rich and powerful.

Emerging markets will need credit, including for trade financing. Developing countries will need sustained support through ODA.

We cannot retreat from the Millennium Development Goals. The vast sums committed to bailing out banks and private companies dwarf ODA.

Surely we can find the much more modest amounts needed to sustain more than a billion lives.

We must meet the promises we have made on ODA, as it remains a crucial pillar of development finance for many countries.

Second, we should use this as an opportunity to promote development that is sustainable and the fight against climate change.

Investments in green technologies will produce pay-offs in the long-term, in terms of a safer environment and more sustainable growth.

But the record already shows that green investment can produce jobs and spur growth in the here-and-now.

We can address several challenges at once – the financial crisis and climate change together. The time is ripe for a truly sustainable development.

Third, we need a new multilateralism.

Reform begins with the financial markets but it cannot stop there. We also need fresh thinking about our food and energy systems, about financing for development and about our institutions.

Virtually all growth next year will come from emerging and developing nations. This is not just the result of the financial crisis but reflects our fundamentally changing world.

Emerging economies will require a greater voice in our institutions, one that reflects not only their growing power but also their growing responsibilities.

Developing countries should also have a greater say as they are often impacted – both positively and negatively – by the policy choices and actions of the rest of the world.

If we focus only on the financial crisis, we will find no solutions at all.

A cascading series of crises will fall upon us, each building on the last, with devastating social and political consequences for us all.

So I have been stressed to world leaders and everyone involved that we need to think big.

Solutions to any one of our crises must be solutions to all.

I would like to conclude this evening with a small illustration of how we can commit to helping those in need even when our own situations are worsening.

I read a review of Ted Turner’s autobiography on my way to Doha.

In this he recounts how he lost nearly $8 billion dollars in the 2 and a half years after the stock bubble burst – equivalent to nearly $10 million each and every day.

And yet he was still willing to donate half of that remaining – one billion dollars – to the UN Foundation to help those in need.

He stood by his commitments; in the same way that I believe we should stand by ours now.

Thank you very much. I would be happy to take your questions.