New Delhi, Oct 31 : U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged rich countries not to lose sight of the developing world while tackling the worst global financial crisis in decades.
"While I welcome the world leaders to address the financial crisis, I also urge them not to lose sight of the challenges of the poor developing countries. This is exactly the message I would be carrying to the G-20 summit meeting on November 15," Ban Ki-moon said while delivering a lecture in memory of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi here last evening.
On his first visit to India as the U.N. chief, Ban Ki-moon outlined the need for swift measures to tackle the financial crisis. In the past month, Ban Ki-moon has stressed that the crisis should not hit hardest "those least responsible". Last week, he warned his top lieutenants that the financial turmoil could jeopardise everything the United Nations has done to help the world's poor and hungry.
Ban Ki-moon will press the issue at a financial summit of G20 leaders called by President George W. Bush on November 15.
The U.N. Secretary-General has said it was important that, despite the world economic downturn, the United Nations continue to pursue its Millennium Development Goals - eight targets for slashing poverty, hunger and disease by 2015. He also called for the revival of the stalled Doha round of trade talks.
"The Doha conference presents a more robust global partnership for development. There is also an urgent need to revive a global trade and negotiations. We should re-dedicate ourselves to reaching an ambitious pro-poor outcome to the Doha developmental round. We need leadership from all sides including India. I count on India's strong leadership and partnership in Doha trade negotiation," he said.
India and Brazil have stated that a prompt breakthrough in the global trade talks would send a clear signal about the political will of governments to collectively meet risks to the world economy from the financial crisis.
In a joint statement early this month, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath and Brazil's External Relations Minister Celso Amorim said it was still possible to conclude modalities in the trade talks, and reaffirmed their commitment to such an outcome.
Differences between the United States and developing country food exporters on the one hand and India and other big developing country importers on the other torpedoed talks among trade ministers two months ago. Since then official-level negotiations on farm and opening up trade in industrial goods have resumed.
Earlier in the day, Ban Ki-moon met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party.