Global financial crisis must be tackled through cooperation, Portugal tells UN

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal

26 September 2011 – Portugal has called at the United Nations for concerted efforts to tackle global financial instability and create conditions for economic growth and jobs, stressing the need to correct inequalities and strengthen international monetary security.

“The economic and financial crisis, which started in the last decade, underscores that interdependence is a reality at the global level,” said Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho when he addressed the annual general debate of the General Assembly on Saturday.

“Overcoming this crisis in a sustainable and structured way is a challenge that we must meet collectively.”

He urged governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society to cooperate to restore public and corporate confidence in the financial and economic systems.

Portugal had, during the drafting of the Secretary-General’s Report on Global Economic Government, suggested greater coordination between the United Nations, the Group of 20 (G20) economies and relevant regional blocs, he noted.

“We did so because we consider that it is indispensable to promote the involvement of emerging economies, the private sector and civil society, enhancing their respective role in global economic governance.”

Mr. Coelho also had a tête-à-tête with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the General Assembly debate on Saturday, during which they exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr. Ban expressed his appreciation of Portugal’s continued efforts towards Guinea-Bissau’s stabilization process, and Lisbon’s contribution to UN peacekeeping in Timor-Leste.

Spain, for its part, pointed out that the financial crisis should not be an excuse for States to shirk their international financial obligations, including commitments in official development aid (ODA).

“Spain believed in supporting the development of innovative financing instruments,” the country’s Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez, told the General Assembly.

“That is to say, the development of those mechanisms through which we should be able to mobilize mid- and long-term additional financial resources, in a stable and predictable manner, as well as complementary to official development aid, which should be maintained in any case.”

At a separate meeting with Mr. Ban on Friday, Ms. Jiménez and the UN chief exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including Western Sahara. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for Spain’s assistance in training of Afghanistan’s security forces, and for its support to the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative launched in 2005 by Spain and Turkey under UN auspices to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide.

Luxembourg stated that sustainable development informs its development cooperation policy, and pledged to do its best to ensure the success of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place in Brazil next year.

“It is my pleasure to be able to say that Luxembourg has managed to maintain, and even increase its effort in terms of official development assistance, which in 2010 reached 1.09 per cent of our gross national income,” said Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.


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