For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that the current crisis is "not a cause for any one person, nation or group of nations. It is a challenge for us all."
Despite signs of financial stabilization and growth in some pockets of the world, he said that "the real impact of the crisis could stretch for years."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon delivers remarks during the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development at the UN headquarters in New York, the US June 24, 2009. Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday called for the multilateralism to fight the current global financial crisis, which he said is associated with the crises of food, fuel and the A/H1N1 flu. [Shen Hong/Xinhua]
A multi-pronged approach is needed to stem the catastrophe, Ban said, that incorporates boosting access to education, promoting "green" growth, helping subsistence farmers and increasing resources to fight diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.
"The world institutions created generations ago must be made more accountable, more representative and more effective," he said, voicing regret that reforming financial institutions has divided member states.
The crisis has revealed the need for a "renewed multilateralism", he said, adding that "challenges are linked. Our solutions must be, too."
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (1st L) attends the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development at the UN headquarters in New York June 24, 2009. The UN kicked off a three-day high-level meeting on Wednesday to assess the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. [Gu Xinrong/Xinhua]
The event will also feature several roundtable discussions on topics including the role of the United Nations in responding to the crisis and how to mitigate the impact of the downturn on development, featuring, among others, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and UN Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark.
Earlier this year, an expert panel appointed by D'Escoto and chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz emphasized that international finance structures must be drastically overhauled in the face of the current global economic crisis, calling on wealthier nations to direct one percent of their economic stimulus packages to help developing countries address poverty.
A coordinated approach -- bringing together not just the G8 or even G20 nations, but the "G-192" representing all members of the Assembly -- is needed to pull the world out of the recession, according to the recommendations of the Commission of Experts on Reforms of International Finance and Economic Structures.
The experts also called for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to increase the availability of funds for hard-hit nations.
(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2009)