|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
‘URGENT CHALLENGE’ FOR ASIA -– TO FOSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH, WHILE MINIMIZING IMPACT
ON CLIMATE CHANGE, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE TO HONG KONG MEETING
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Clinton Global Initiative in Hong Kong, 2 December:
It is a great pleasure to greet the participants in this important international gathering.
You meet as the world wrestles with financial and economic turmoil that is spreading across the globe with gathering force. Yet, that is not the only crisis at hand: we also face accelerating climate change, persistent poverty and unacceptable levels of hunger.
These threats are interrelated. We cannot tackle one without taking the others into account. We need solutions to each that are solutions to all.
The Asia-Pacific region must play a leading role in averting a prolonged slowdown and a human catastrophe.
In recent decades, Asia has achieved remarkable gains in economic growth and development. More than a quarter of a billion people have been lifted out of poverty. The region is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty in half.
This progress has offered valuable lessons to the rest of the world. It is no coincidence that the Clinton Global Initiative is holding its first overseas meeting in Asia.
Yet, Asia remains home to 641 million of the world’s poorest people. It is also responsible for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The urgent challenge for the region –- and for the world as a whole -- is to foster economic growth to cut poverty, while minimizing the impact on climate change and the environment. Green growth, with the potential to create millions of jobs, offers one promising way forward.
We also need a more inclusive multilateralism -- one that is fair, one that gives voice to -– and responds to -– all the world’s people.
The United Nations and our main body in the region, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), look forward to working with all of you to find sustainable and equitable solutions to the world’s pressing problems. Please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting. Thank you very much.
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