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UN chief: tackle global food crisis
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The United Nations hosted on Monday a high-level meeting of international trade and finance officials to discuss measures to deal with policy challenges and emerging issues in development finance.

Participants at the annual high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) included senior officials from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The officials came to the UN meeting to consult with the ECOSOC following their weekend talks in Washington.

Addressing the opening session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spotlighted the growing global food crisis, calling for both immediate and long-term measures to tackle it.

"The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions," he said, warning that the crisis could not only push millions of people deeper into poverty but also have larger political and security implications.

"The international community will also need to take urgent and concerted action in order to avert the larger political and security implications of this growing crisis. The UN needs to examine ways to lead a process for the immediate and longer-term responses to this global problem," he said.

Turning to the theme of meeting, Ban called for building consensus around measures on development financing that would lead to more stable and predictable long-term resource flows to developing countries.

ECOSOC President Leo Merores said that new initiatives on financing for development could play a crucial role in increasing and complementing existing official development assistance.

"In a true partnership for development, developed and developing countries have come together to explore further innovative ways of financing for development," Merores said, adding that the council could play an important role in strengthening that international cooperation in the future.

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