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UN-lawmakers' partnership can help the poor out of recession, Ban

afrol News, 20 November - National parliaments are key allies of the United Nations in its efforts to haul the world’s most vulnerable people out of the global economic crisis, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an international gathering of lawmakers in New York.

“The global recession cannot be an excuse to abandon pledges,” Mr Ban said at the annual parliamentary hearing at UN Headquarters, an event jointly organised by the world body and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“On the contrary, there is an urgent need to increase the volume, quality and reliability of aid flows,” he said, stressing that this is “central to a coordinated global recovery plan.”

This year’s hearing is slated to focus on highlighting effective responses to the global economic crisis, which Mr Ban said strikes the poorest the hardest. “They are among those who are most affected yet least responsible.”

He told participants that as lawmakers they “take the work that is done in these halls and help make it real on the ground. You translate international standards and agreements into domestic legislation and regulations.”

In his address to the forum, Mr Ban outlined the UN system’s broad and coordinated response to the crisis, bringing together funding and initiatives on the ground to meet the needs of each developing country.

He said that his call earlier in the year for a global stimulus – a $1 trillion effort backed by the Group of 20 industrialised nations (G-20) to advance the interests of all nations – was only a beginning.

Promoting recovery through “green” growth is another critical plank to leveraging recovery efforts, said Mr Ban, noting that the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen is just days away.

“Copenhagen can be a catalyst for powering green growth,” he said. “We know that investing in green sectors improves chances for recovery and sustainable growth while preserving the environment. Let us continue to work together to invest in green.”

The Secretary-General also spotlighted the long-term efforts of the UN High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis to slash the number of hungry people around the world; the UN Trade Initiative’s work to counter protectionism and promote transparency in trade finance markets; and the Global Jobs Pact’s initiatives focusing attention of decision-makers on employment and decent work as the foundation for long-term recovery.

In addition, “inclusive growth requires inclusive institutions,” he said, referring to the Bretton Woods institutions, established towards the end of the Second World War.

“The global frameworks and bodies created generations ago must be made more accountable, more representative and more effective. We must work to expand the voice and participation of developing countries – in decision-making in general.”

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