Ban asks G-20 to give $1 trillion to help developing world

March 26th, 2009 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown New York, March 26 (DPA) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked the group of 20 leading economies meeting in London next week to provide $1 trillion to assist developing countries suffering from the deep global recession.
Ban met British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at UN headquarters in New York Wednesday for a round of talks, focusing on the world economy and the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The two leaders called on the Sudanese government to remove the ban on relief groups working for the Darfurians and allow the return of 13 groups expelled in the wake of the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for the country’s leader Omar al-Bashir.

Ban sent a letter to the G-20 conference saying the UN estimated a total financing need of $1 trillion to support developing countries through 2009 and 2010.

“While this is a large sum, most of it could be mobilised through existing mechanisms and institutions,” the letter said. “In providing this support you will bolster the global economy, help to underpin your own growth and secure global stability.”

Ban said he and Brown had agreed on asking the world’s 20 most advanced economies to fight protectionism and to support the greening of the world economy - in what the UN has dubbed a Global Green New Deal, combining economic measures with clean and environmentally friendly technology.

The idea took its inspiration from US president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that helped bring an end to the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Both Ban and Brown will attend the London conference next Thursday. Dozens of heads of state, including US President Barack Obama, will be also there.

“My position is that the G-20 leaders, including the G-8, have to implement the Gleaneagles commitments,” Ban said. “If we utilise all existing mechanism and commitments, I think it (the amount sought to help the poor) can be achieved. I will discuss with the leaders.”

Ban referred to the 2005 summit meeting at Gleaneagles, Scotland, of the world’s eight most industrialised nations, at which programmes were agreed upon, but not implemented to help poor countries.

Brown added that the G-20 should help poor countries and make sure that their banking systems can serve the poor.

“We have to make sure that we can help those countries that want to trade but don’t have the facilities and the credit to do so,” said Brown, who declined to give a figure to be provided to poor countries.

Brown said the G-20 should work out programmes to help poor countries, particularly where the banking system has failed. He said the existing international banking systems, like the World Bank, should be able to help them.

“The combination of what we do will be substantial, but we have to talk to different countries about the contributions they are going to make, and I don’t think I will be able to put a figure on it,” Brown said.

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