SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS LONDON MEETING CAN BE ‘NEW BEGINNING’, SET PATH FOR MORE ROBUST, EQUITABLE, SUSTAINABLE WORLD ECONOMY FOR DECADES TO COME

2 April 2009
SG/SM/12164-ECO/147

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS LONDON MEETING CAN BE ‘NEW BEGINNING’, SET PATH FOR MORE ROBUST, EQUITABLE, SUSTAINABLE WORLD ECONOMY FOR DECADES TO COME

2 April 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12164
ECO/147
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS LONDON MEETING CAN BE ‘NEW BEGINNING’, SET PATH FOR MORE


ROBUST, EQUITABLE, SUSTAINABLE WORLD ECONOMY FOR DECADES TO COME


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s prepared remarks for the Group of 20 (G-20) London Summit on 2 April:


Mr. Prime Minister, Excellencies. 

It is a great pleasure to join you at this Summit.


All of us have seen the alarming velocity of change.


A housing crisis became a financial crisis, which has turned into a global economic crisis.


I fear worse to come -- a political crisis with growing social unrest, weakened Governments and angry publics who have lost faith in their leaders and their own future.


We know only too well that this recession hurts everyone.


We know that those worst hurt are the poor, especially those from the world’s most vulnerable nations.


They have no safety nets.  They lack resources for effective counter-cyclical responses.  They are suffering from the decline in trade and international credit.


This downturn has exacerbated the food crisis that raised the number of hungry to nearly 1 billion.


Food prices remain volatile.  They are likely to rise again.  Investing in food production and food security is vital for household resilience.  For many nations it is the path to economic recovery.


We cannot depart from this Summit without very concrete results.


If not, there will be much more anger than we have seen today.


We must send a strong message from London.


I am happy to hear that the preparatory consultations have brought us close to agreement on an important package of support to developing countries close to $1 trillion.


To deliver this, you are taking important steps to ensure that developing countries have access to liquidity through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and long-term lending through the World Bank and other multilateral development banks.


But, I am concerned about assistance to the poorer countries.


Even though they are underrepresented here today, they will be anticipating an equally clear commitment on increased official development assistance (ODA).


They have had no part in the making of this crisis, and yet, they are in danger of suffering the most.


That is why those of you who committed to raising aid in Gleneagles should reaffirm that promise, and allocate more to poorer countries.


This should amount to at least $300 billion of assistance during 2009 and 2010.


I intend to mobilize the entire United Nations system to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable so that the international response will be appropriate.  I welcome your charge to do so and look forward to your support.


Let me raise three other points.


First, the new protectionism.


Many of us have taken a stand against it.


We agree that turning against free trade would hurt us all; developing countries most of all.


I, therefore, agree with Prime Minister Brown that we should create a mechanism to monitor and challenge new protectionist measures.


This would send a strong signal.


We should agree, as well, to renew the Doha trade round, to deliver real benefits for developing countries.


Second, global green growth.


It can and must be a major component of any global stimulus.


All countries must invest in clean energy and green infrastructure.  This will create jobs and spur recovery.


In Copenhagen we must reach a verifiable agreement that is comprehensive, fair and effective in reducing emissions.


This will send a strong signal -- even amidst this economic crisis -- world leaders are also attending to climate change.


Third, reform.


Better regulations governing the world financial system are sorely needed.


We agree that the Bretton Woods institutions need reform -- for greater legitimacy and effectiveness.


The voices of both the new Powers and poorer nations must be reflected in our decisions.


The world is watching for these signals.


I trust that this London meeting can be a new beginning, setting a pathway not only to short-term recovery, but to a more robust, equitable and sustainable world economy for decades to come.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.