Secretary-General’s opening remarks to the press on return from his trip to Canada for the G20 meeting

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Good morning.

I have just addressed the High Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council.

And I just returned from the G-20 meeting in Toronto last evening.

At both occasions, I emphasized the need to build the global economic recovery from the ground up.

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

That is the message I delivered in Toronto, loud and clear.

As the G20 Summit Declaration stated, we must keep a strong focus on the longer term. And I quote: “Narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to our broader objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”

We have a tremendous opportunity to save lives and deliver results ? not only for the most vulnerable, but for all of us. We need to make the most of it: To generate truly global growth, we need truly global investment.

In Toronto, I focused on three areas of investment that can yield high and immediate returns:

First, we must invest in jobs.

Initiatives jump-started by the UN, such as the Global Jobs Pact and investments in agriculture, will have an enormous multiplier effect on growth and prosperity.

Second, we must invest in a green recovery.

Specifically, this year we must make concrete progress on delivering the $30 billion in fast-start funding for mitigation and adaptation efforts of developing countries.

Third, we must invest in health and health systems.

I welcome the leadership and new commitments of the G8 and developing countries on women’s and children’s health.

I also welcome the broad support for the Joint Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health.

I am encouraged that in, all these areas, leaders showed a growing unity of purpose. But of course, we must do more.

I am especially encouraged by the strong expressions of support for our MDG agenda and the MDG Summit in September.

While G-20 discussions about the financial crisis and financial reform continued to reveal some differences of opinion, I applaud all of the efforts to narrow the differences.

This will need to be intensified in the coming months in the run-up to the Seoul G20 Summit later this year

Later today, I depart for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, my third trip to Africa this month,

In the DRC, I will take part in events to mark the fiftieth anniversary of independence, to express the solidarity of the international community with the Congolese people.

In Gabon, I will address parliament, meet civil society leaders, and highlight efforts to that Gabon is taking to make real progress on the MDGs.

My visits to Africa have reinforced my conviction that Africa can indeed meet the MDGs, with the right investment in tools to create jobs and generate incomes.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Finally, a few words on Kyrgyzstan.

My Special Representative, Miroslav Jenca, has reported on the results of yesterday’s referendum.

I am encouraged by the level of voter turnout and that it took place in an orderly manner, without the difficulties seen in recent weeks. This clearly demonstrates the aspiration of the people of Kyrgyzstan for peace and stability.

The adoption of a new Constitution is an important step toward promoting the rule of law and establishing a legitimate, democratically elected government. The United Nations will continue to support Kyrgyzstan and its people as they prepare for parliamentary elections later this year.

We recognize that the situation remains fragile and we will continue to monitor developments closely, together with the key concerned parties in the region and in the world.

Thank you.

Originally posted on the UN News Centre website.


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