G20 nations must not forget plight of world’s poorest at Seoul summit – Ban Ki-moon

10 November 2010 – The world’s richest nations must take into account the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people in their plans for reinforcing the global economic recovery – that was one of the key messages from the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of the two-day Group of 20 (G20) summit set to begin in Seoul on Thursday.

“The global economic recovery remains fragile; 64 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty this year. Everywhere there is economic insecurity and anxiety about jobs,” said the United Nations chief. “We cannot afford to think narrowly about development and economic growth.”

Mr. Ban made his remarks at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents Club, following meetings with leaders of the Republic of Korea, the hosts of the G20 gathering, which is taking place for the first time in a country that is not a member of the Group of Eight (G8) major economies. The G20 brings together industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy.

The Secretary-General highlighted three vital development messages that he is bringing to the summit, beginning with the need to keep the promise on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of targets agreed to by all countries and leading development institutions to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

He also stressed the need for strategic investment, particularly the need to invest resources in areas that address the interconnections among problems, and the need to advance the fight against climate change.

“The more we delay, the more we pay,” Mr. Ban said. “But by acting together we can open the door to prosperity, to job creation, to economic growth. By preparing for the long term, we can prosper in the short term.”

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