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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Astana, Kazakhstan, 22 May 2013 - Secretary-General's message to the Astana Economic Forum and World Anti-Crisis Conference, May 22-24 [delivered by Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs]

I am pleased to send greetings to the VI Astana Economic Forum and World Anti-Crisis Conference.  In bringing together global business leaders with high-level representatives from Government, academia, media and culture, this Forum is an important platform to forge a common policy agenda for inclusive and equitable growth.

You meet at a time of continued global economic uncertainty.  Widespread unemployment, growing inequalities, banking fragility, and sovereign debt problems threaten the modest global economic recovery.  Recent experience underscores the continuing need for coordinated action to reduce international financial market volatility and the risk of future crises.  We must make renewed efforts to sustain economic recovery and generate decent jobs, especially for women and youth.  Global economic governance structures should also better reflect the voices of developing countries in the world economy.

We are less than 1,000 days to the deadline for the largest and most-successful anti-poverty push in history, the Millennium Development Goals.  Now is the time to build on progress and accelerate our efforts to reach all the MDG targets.

At the same time, the UN is supporting Member States in their work to define a post-2015 development agenda and a new set of goals for sustainable development.  Defining and implementing such a framework will require your active engagement.  I encourage you to use this Forum as an opportunity to help us build the world we want. 

I wish you a productive meeting.