Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cautioned rich nations Monday upon his return from the G-20 summit in Toronto against balancing their budget shortfalls “on the backs of the world’s poorest people.”
The U.N. chief’s appeal to step up efforts on poverty, climate aid, Haitian recovery and other development followed the weekend summit where the Group of 20 rich and developing nations backed a vow by rich nations to slash budget deficits in half by 2013.
Ban insisted that more, not less, world aid was needed because of the global financial crisis.
Specifically, he called on rich nations to make “concrete progress” in grappling with rising temperatures from greenhouse gases. He said they must honour their commitments at the Copenhagen climate summit last December to provide $30 billion by 2012 in “fast-start” aid for developing nations to deal with climate change.
“We are all concerned about rising budget deficits and public debt. But we cannot balance budgets on the backs of the world’s poorest people. We cannot abandon our commitment to the most vulnerable,” he told reporters at U.N. headquarters. “That is the message I delivered in Toronto, loud and clear.”
Ban praised the summit’s declaration to keep a strong focus on long-term efforts to reduce poverty and narrow the development gap between rich and poor.
He said he urged the summit to invest more in U.N. efforts to create jobs, promote agriculture, build public health systems and shift to clean energy sources.
“I am encouraged that in all these areas, leaders showed a growing unity of purpose. But of course, we must do more,” he said, adding that he was “especially encouraged by the strong expressions of support” for the U.N.’s anti-poverty goals and summit planned for September.
He said G-20 leaders must “narrow their differences” on financial approaches before their next summit in Seoul in October.
Asked about Haiti’s earthquake recovery effort, he acknowledged that very little of the $5.3 billion pledged in Haitian aid has actually been delivered. So far it’s been less than 1 per cent — just $40 million from Brazil.
“I’m aware of the current situation of delivering aid to many needy people in Haiti. I’m concerned that this delivery of aid program has not been moving as expeditiously as we had planned,” Ban said. “We will try to expedite this process.”
But he said the commission co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive “have moved the most vulnerable group of people to safer places,” but worry that with the rainy season more people will have to be resettled soon.
Ban was departing later Monday on his third trip to Africa this month. It will include stops in Gabon to address its parliament and in Congo to express “solidarity” for its 50th independence celebration.
It is a cruel hoax that is being played out. Nations get good press when they promise aid to Haiti, then never deliver.
Hundreds of thousands have yet to receive any assistance, in spite of news articles, and self-serving press releases to the contrary.
Something like 50,000 amputees hope for help but there is no follow-up. Many of these are now suffering infections and will die, without help.
Last night a 12 year old boy succumbed to his injuries.
Another man, who was one of the first I assisted with measurements for a new arm…died yesterday.
These are two I have been involved with.
There are countless unnamed Haitians who will lose their battles.
There are countless faceless Haitians who are hoping for the promised assistance which will probably never arrive.
The cynical Preval has effectively derailed any hope of a free-and-fair election so he dooms his Nation to a downward slide to oblivion – all to safe his worthless skin, and the fortunes he and his associates have stolen from Haiti’s treasury.
The truth is often disappointing.
This word does not fit the present situation.
Disgusting and immoral are better descriptive elements.