As the world’s leading economies prepared to meet in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 5-6 September 2013, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries to show leadership and commitment to achieve a sustainable future.
“At the Saint Petersburg G20 Summit, your leadership will be critical for strengthening global economic recovery and our collective work towards building a more sustainable, just and prosperous world for all,” Mr. Ban said in a letter to members of the Group of 20 (G20). “It is truly a time for action to end poverty.”
Noting that recent crises have inflicted heavy economic and social costs on many countries and vulnerable communities, the Secretary-General emphasized that while an unprecedented global policy response had sparked a modest recovery, it remained fragile and uneven. “Thus we need to strengthen our policies to promote growth and jobs,” also urging enhanced policy coordination to mitigate the vulnerability of emerging and developing countries to adverse spillover effects.
Mr. Ban stressed that global economic recovery needs to be inclusive, and countries must strengthen their policies to promote jobs for all members of their population. In addition, enhancing international policy to mitigate the vulnerability of developing countries is necessary, he said.
“Implementing a sustainable development agenda calls for renewed progress in trade, finance, technology and knowledge-sharing. I count on you to bring stability to the global economy and lead the way to sustainable development for all.”
Mr. Ban noted that the economic slowdown is no justification to scale back financial commitments to achieve the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and urged countries to boost efforts to achieve them before their 2015 deadline.
The UN Secretary-General also emphasized that financing for development is “critical for accelerating progress,” and added that stronger collective action by G20 countries is essential to make strides on some of the world’s most pressing issues including food insecurity, climate change, access to education and eradicating poverty.
IFSW Secretary General Rory Truell welcomed the Secretary General’s statement. ‘Social workers know from their daily experience that poverty continues to ruin lives and the potential of millions’, he said. ‘Social workers in countries subjected to austerity measures also witness suffering and personal tragedies as millions suffer real hardship as a result of short-sighted service cuts and reductions in financial support. Many social workers themselves share this suffering with reduced or unpaid wages and impoverished working conditions.
‘The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, being developed by IFSW and our global partners, offers a different way forward. Research confirms the experience of social workers that wide economic and social inequalities create unstable societies and make personal problems even worse’. Rory Truell continued
‘The African conference being held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 25-27 September brings together social workers and community representatives to show how it is possible to create sustainable development and reduce inequalilties,’ Rory Truell concluded.
The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the European Union.
Read the UN press release here
Visit the G20 St Petersburg official website here