Tag Archives: kofi annan

Opinion: Development in a downturn

Writing in the Guardian, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has added his support to the growing chorus of voices demanding that the needs of the world’s poorest to be placed at the heart of international efforts to stabilise and boost the global economy. With unemployment and financial hardship at home making the headlines, we cannot and must not overlook the potentially enormous problems facing the developing world as a consequence of a situation for which they are entirely blameless.

Last week the G20 finance ministers met in Sussex to set the agenda for the forthcoming London Summit. Although it was encouraging to note that the communiqué that emerged from this meeting clearly indicated recognition of the need to support the developing world at this time of crisis, the extent to which these sentiments will be carried forward to the leader’s summit and reflected in significant new financial or institutional commitments remains unclear.

The G20 summit cannot achieve its aims without putting into place a comprehensive framework of support for vulnerable nations. Declining levels of Foreign Direct Investment, shrinking remittance flows and low commodity prices will all have a disproportionate impact on the lives of people within the developing world, with the World Bank estimating that the economic slowdown could keep an additional 53 million people in poverty in 2009. The complex and urgent nature of the task at hand should be reflected in the solutions offered by the G20; short term entitlement protection must be accompanied by more substantive reforms if the London summit is to successfully set the scene for an economic recovery and longer-term stability.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 23rd Apr - 9:29pm
    @John Dunn What is your point?
  • User AvatarSuzanne Fletcher 23rd Apr - 9:25pm
    for John Dunn who says " To aid your thinking, remember that today is St Georges Day. For Ukip MEP think (St George), and for...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Apr - 9:11pm
    I'm just concerned as to the fact that there's apparently someone working in HQ who considers the welfare cap to be an achievement. Perhaps next...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 9:02pm
    Although there is significant support for Nick Clegg in the above comments - the true and final measure of a leader's qualities is his or...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 8:29pm
    When I was a member of the Party [resigned some months ago] I did contribute to the Members Forum and was surprised how few did...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 23rd Apr - 7:56pm
    Can someone 'moderate' my earlier comment - and for goodness sake done something about the filter that doesn't like any variant of fracking