Ban, French leader call for urgent action on financial crisis

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Nicolas Sarkozy

18 October 2008 – Meeting today in Canada, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Nicolas Sarkozy underscored the need for swift and decisive measures to be taken on the current financial crisis.

They agreed in talks on the sidelines of the 12th Francophonie Summit in Québec City that a global initiative should be undertaken urgently to address the impact of the turmoil on all nations, especially the world's poorest people.

Following their meeting, Mr. Ban sent the French leader a letter in which he voiced support for Mr. Sarkozy's proposal, put forth in his capacity as European Union (EU) President, to convene an expanded, emergency meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized nations to tackle the problem.

The Secretary-General also expressed his appreciation to Mr. Sarkozy for extending an invitation to the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to take part in the event.

“Such a format will allow us to more effectively act upon this crisis which requires a global solution through cohesive international partnership,” he wrote in his letter.

The summit should take place in early December at the latest, Mr. Ban said, offering up as a venue the Secretariat of the United Nations, a symbol of multilateralism, to lend universal legitimacy to the event.

He emphasized his conviction – shared with Mr. Sarkozy – that the international community must act in concert to guarantee that the current economic crisis does not impede progress in combating climate change, addressing the food crisis and reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

In an address to the heads of French-speaking nations at the Francophonie Summit last night, the Secretary-General said that global partnership is the only option to meet the scale and complexity of interrelated threats, including terrorism and extreme poverty.

“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.”


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