New York, 18 October 2008 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Today's Meeting Between UN Secretary General and the French PresidentUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and President Sarkozy of France today met on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit in Quebec City to discuss the need to respond urgently and decisively to the international financial crisis. Both leaders agreed that a global initiative should be undertaken, in a swift and concerted manner, to address the crisis and its serious impact on all nations, particularly the poorest among them.
In a letter sent to President Sarkozy in the wake of their meeting, the Secretary-General expressed his support of the specific proposal put forward by President Sarkozy, in his capacity as European Union President, to hold an expanded, emergency G-8 summit to address the problem. He also voiced his appreciation of President Sarkozy's invitation to the UN Secretary-General and the heads of the World Bank and the IMF to participate actively in the summit meeting. 'Such a format will allow us to more effectively act upon this crisis which requires a global solution through cohesive international partnership,' the Secretary-General wrote in his letter to Sarkozy.
The Secretary-General also said that he fully subscribed to the idea of convening such a forum in early December at the latest. 'I am pleased to offer the facilities of the United Nations Secretariat in New York,' he added, noting that holding the summit at the United Nations, the symbol of multilateralism, will lend universal legitimacy to this endeavour and demonstrate a collective will to face this serious global challenge.
The Secretary-General also underlined the conviction, which he shares with President Sarkozy, that the international community must act together to ensure, above all, that the negative impact of the financial crisis on the world's economies not undermine the major UN efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, fight against the effects of climate change and address the food crisis.
18 October 2008