Global cooperation more vital than ever, Ban tells French-speaking world

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the XII Summit of la Francophonie

17 October 2008 – The spirit of international partnership has never been more important as the world faces grave interrelated threats such as the financial crisis, climate change, terrorism and extreme poverty, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the heads of French-speaking-countries today.

In an address to the 12th Francophonie Summit, held in Québec City, Mr. Ban said cooperation was the only option given the scale and complexity of the global challenges.

“The partnership is the way forward,” he said. “This is the model that we must follow to meet the other challenges. This is the model that we must follow to find together a solution to the financial crisis.”

Mr. Ban welcomed the recent initiatives and measures of national leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to tackle the causes and effects of the financial crisis.

“I am ready to support and help them. As we all know, the United Nations is a unique forum of its kind where both developing countries and developed countries can be understood.”

The Secretary-General noted that, at the annual opening session of the General Assembly last month, world leaders pledged some $16 billion to try to achieve the ambitious programme of anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

They also proposed new ideas and strategies to boost development and eradicate poverty, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the region that is struggling the most to reach the MDGs.

“I count on you to help me preserve these gains in this difficult period, in the name of human solidarity and responsibility that we have to protect the less well-off.”

Mr. Ban said it was also important that the financial crisis not divert the attention of world leaders and policymakers from responding to the threats posed by global warming, particularly during global talks in Poznan, Poland, later this year and then in Copenhagen, Denmark, next year.


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