UN's Ban urges world to think big on global crises

A A A

The world needs "to think big" to solve the global financial crisis while helping reduce poverty, the UN secretary-general said yesterday.

Ban Ki-moon, speaking after an informal retreat with leaders attending a UN development financing conference in the Qatari capital, said it was important to avoid focusing only on financial problems and chided leaders of rich nations for not attending in greater numbers.



"We need to think big," he said at a news conference. "The financial crisis is not the only crisis we face, we also confront a development emergency and accelerating climate change.



"We need a fully global stimulus plan that meets the needs of emerging economies and developing countries. Rescue packages must be closely coordinated and we must protect the poor and most vulnerable, not only the rich and powerful."



Expectations for the conference have been dampened by the absence of Western leaders, preoccupied with the global financial turmoil.



The crisis, which has prompted vast government bailouts in Europe and the United States and raised the spectre of a deep global recession, seems to have dampened appetite for providing aid, angering developing countries and aid agencies.



"Of course, we hoped that the more high level delegations would be represented, that might have been much better," Ban said, adding that the Group of 20 rich nations and key developing states was represented by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds the presidency of the European Union.



Sarkozy is the only Western leader attending the conference, and the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are both absent.



Aside from the Qatari ruler, other attendees at the retreat included the Korean prime minister and leaders from Benin, Bulgaria, Costa Rica and Croatia.



The UN chief said the group did not discuss an actual sum for financing development, but said any figure would be minuscule compared to the trillions spent on bailing out financial institutions.



"If we talk only on the food crisis - it is our estimate that we may need at least $30- to $35- billion annually for the coming three years," he said. "The vast sums committed to bailing out banks and private companies dwarf ODA (overseas development aid).



"Surely we can find the much more modest amount needed to sustain more than a billion lives."



This month, the United Nations and its partners asked for a record $7 billion for humanitarian assistance projects in 2009.



The Doha meeting - which runs from November 29 to December 2 and is unrelated to the World Trade Organisation's Doha round - was set up to discuss ways to finance development through trade, aid and debt relief.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?