Thu, Jun 25, 2009 - Page 1 News List

UN unveils blueprint for global help for poor states


The UN General Assembly president announced tentative agreement on a blueprint for a global response to the world's worst economic crisis in 70 years that would make the UN a player in promoting recovery, especially in hard-hit poor countries.

After weeks of intense negotiations, rich and poor nations agreed on the 15-page document ahead of yesterday's opening of a three-day UN summit on the crisis and its impact on development.

But its 126 participants — including 14 world leaders and several dozen ministers — must approve the text and it could still be changed.

While the document would not be legally binding even if it is approved, it would put on record the view that a solution to the crisis cannot be left just to the G8 industrialized countries or the G20 key countries that account for more than 80 percent of the global economy.

It must include the views of all 192 UN member states, especially developing nations that have been affected more severely than the richer developed countries that are mainly to blame for the crisis.

“It is absolutely essential that the needs of the most vulnerable be take seriously into account,” General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, a leftist Nicaraguan priest and former foreign minister, told a news conference.

“I hope and I trust that we are not once again going to be in an exercise of giving alms to the natives but really doing what we must do, which is help them to cope with a crisis that they have not created, a crisis concerning which they are the victims of decisions taken by others,” he said.

While the draft proposal is short on specifics, it states that “the world is confronted with the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

To respond to the crisis, it says “developing countries will need a larger share of any additional resources — both short-term liquidity and long-term development financing.”

It also calls for examining ways to ensure that adequate resources are provided, especially to the least developed countries.

Also See: The unaffordable, unbreakable poverty of sub-Saharan Africa

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