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Mon, 26 Sep 2011

New York, Sep 26 2011


Portugal has called at the United Nations for concerted efforts to tackle global financial instability and create conditions for economic growth and jobs, stressing the need to correct inequalities and strengthen international monetary security.

“The economic and financial crisis, which started in the last decade, underscores that interdependence is a reality at the global level,” “http://gadebate.un.org/66/portugal said Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho when he addressed the annual general debate of the General Assembly on Saturday.

“Overcoming this crisis in a sustainable and structured way is a challenge that we must meet collectively.”

He urged governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society to cooperate to restore public and corporate confidence in the financial and economic systems.

Portugal had, during the drafting of the Secretary-General’s Report on Global Economic Government, suggested greater coordination between the United Nations, the Group of 20 (G20) economies and relevant regional blocs, he noted.

“We did so because we consider that it is indispensable to promote the involvement of emerging economies, the private sector and civil society, enhancing their respective role in global economic governance.”

Mr. Coelho also had a “http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=2008 tête-à-tête with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the General Assembly debate on Saturday, during which they exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr. Ban expressed his appreciation of Portugal’s continued efforts towards Guinea-Bissau’s stabilization process, and Lisbon’s contribution to UN peacekeeping in Timor-Leste.

Spain, for its part, pointed out that the financial crisis should not be an excuse for States to shirk their international financial obligations, including commitments in official development aid (ODA).

“Spain believed in supporting the development of innovative financing instruments,” the country’s Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez, “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/ES_en.pdf told the General Assembly.

“That is to say, the development of those mechanisms through which we should be able to mobilize mid- and long-term additional financial resources, in a stable and predictable manner, as well as complementary to official development aid, which should be maintained in any case.”

At a separate “http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=1994 meeting with Mr. Ban on Friday, Ms. Jiménez and the UN chief exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including Western Sahara. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for Spain’s assistance in training of Afghanistan’s security forces, and for its support to the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative launched in 2005 by Spain and Turkey under UN auspices to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide.

Luxembourg “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/LU_en.pdf stated that sustainable development informs its development cooperation policy, and pledged to do its best to ensure the success of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place in Brazil next year.

“It is my pleasure to be able to say that Luxembourg has managed to maintain, and even increase its effort in terms of official development assistance, which in 2010 reached 1.09 per cent of our gross national income,” said Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

Sep 26 2011

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UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 26 Sep 2011

New York, Sep 26 2011


The Group of 20, the recently established bloc of major industrialized and developed economies, should have a greater role in global economic affairs, China’s Foreign Minister “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/CN_en.pdf said today as he called on United Nations Member States to work more closely together to pursue development.

Yang Jiechi told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that China supported the transition of the so-called G-20 “from a short-term crisis response mechanism to a long-term mechanism of economic governance.”

Mr. Yang said the G-20 should play a bigger role in not only global economic governance, but in promoting current efforts to revive and expand the world economy.

“The underlying impact of the international financial crisis has yet to dissipate, and economic recovery is still fragile and uneven,” he warned. “We should intensify consultation and coordination and send a strong message of solidarity and win-win cooperation so as to strengthen international confidence in global recovery and growth.”

Given the scale of the current economic challenges, “we should work as a team” to pursue common development, he added, citing the need to build “sound momentum” for economic recovery, lay the political foundations for cooperative development, promote a security environment conducive to stability and development, and foster balanced development between rich and poor countries.

Mr. Yang also called on countries to use the world’s diversity as a positive factor to learn from each other, and not “as an excuse for the big to bully the small or the rich to ride roughshod over the poor in international relations.

“We should respect the right of each country to pursue the development path of its choice and respect diversity of civilizations. And we should seek common progress by drawing on each other’s strength with an open and inclusive mind and in a spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences.”

The biggest imbalance in the global economy, he noted, is the uneven development between the so-called South and North.

“Unless underdeveloped countries shake off poverty and grow their economy, there can be no common prosperity of the world.”

Mr. Yang called on affluent nations to honour commitments on official development assistance (ODA), liberalize markets and reduce or cancel debts.

“Developing countries, on their part, should explore growth models conducive to development and poverty alleviation in order to achieve development at a higher level.”

Sep 26 2011

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New York, Sep 21 2011

In the face of the world financial crisis, Argentina called from the podium of the United Nations today for true economic reform to regulate run-away speculation and other factors undermining market stability, global development and well-being.

“Speculation apparently has no brakes and can move from one place to another and from one country or region to another, affecting currencies, economies and also the daily life of citizens, destroying jobs, depriving them of a worth education and of health care,” Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner “http://gadebate.un.org/66/argentina told the General Assembly on the opening day of its annual general debate.

“It is crucial that this be understood, because today it might be speculation on food, yesterday it was on oil, and tomorrow it could be on mints if that proves profitable and provides a better market position to those capital flows that are transferred from one end of the world to the other without any type of control or regulation,” she said.

“Regrettably we continue in the same position because beyond what I would call totally cosmetic changes no serious steps have been taken towards the regulation that is required.”

At the same time Ms. Kirchner called for fundamental Security Council reform, expanding its current 15-State membership, but not by increasing the number of permanent members. That category should be eliminated, she said, along with the right to veto now held by the five permanent members – the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The veto was necessary at the UN’s foundation during the Cold War when there was a bipolar world aligned either with the US or the former Soviet Union, but now it no longer defends security and stability and is used for those members’ national interests, she said.

She urged the admission of Palestine as a full UN Member State and called on the UK to negotiate with Argentina, as demanded by UN resolutions, on the future of the UK-ruled Falklands Islands (Malvinas), saying that fishing and offshore oil resources were being illegally appropriated.

Returning to a theme that her country has raised every year since 2003, Ms. Kirchner called on Iran to hand over Iranians implicated by Argentine judicial authorities in the blowing up of the Israeli embassy and a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 respectively.

She noted that the Iranian foreign ministry in July voiced its intention to “cooperate and begin a constructive dialogue,” an offer she said Argentina would take up. But, she added, “although this may show a change of attitude on the part of the (Iranian) Government, it does not by itself constitute satisfaction of our demands which, as I have said with all clarity, are those of justice.”

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo Mendez echoed Ms. Kirchner’s calls for financial reforms and urged the UN to establish measures that allow States to implement policies enabling them to reduce inequalities in their own countries, as well between rich and poor countries.

He stressed that inequality is growth-stifling and called on the Assembly to design and construct a new financial model that can adequately respond to cyclical economic crises.

“Solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is a necessary reality to achieve progress and to avoid and combat the dark consequences if we ignore it: violence and delinquency,” Mr. Lugo said, emphasizing that inequality would not be reduced without cooperation from all states

He also voiced opposition to the United States’ 50-year economic embargo against Cuba.

Sep 21 2011

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New York, Sep 22 2011

Developing countries, with United Nations help, can lead the world in forging the changes needed to tackle the four major challenges facing the globe – on food, energy, resources and climate – with an integrated approach to all four, Guyana has told the General Assembly.

“The United Nations can provide the platform for making the changes that are needed,” Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/GY_en.pdf said yesterday, stressing that the world has enough land and ingenuity to feed itself, enough energy to power future prosperity, and sufficient resources for economic growth as well as the knowledge of what needs to be done to avert climate change.

Optimizing the response to these inter-linked challenges is not some abstraction but “an essential, specific call to action that has the potential to be the key global breakthrough of our time,” changing the “global paradigm of development,” he added.

“The food we need, the energy we generate, the minerals and other commodities that catalyze economic growth, and the forests and other land that can be drivers of climate solutions, these are largely in the developing world, and with the right international action, the developing world can lead the world in the creation of the transformational shift we need to see for people across our planet to be truly healthy and secure.”

He called for moving beyond the “global insanity” of the current response to potentially catastrophic climate change, and said the “anaemic delivery” on financial pledges for mitigating climate change “is leading to a disastrous breakdown in trust between the developed and developing world.

On other matters Mr. Jagdeo supported the right of the Palestinians to full statehood, and called for speedy Security Council reform with the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership and enhanced representation for developing countries, noting that neither Africa with 54 Member States, nor Latin America and the Caribbean region with 33, currently have a permanent seat.

Sep 22 2011

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