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UN chief: Keep financial crisis from evolving into 'human crisis'
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on leaders attending the Group of 20 (G20) financial summit to take measures to prevent the current world financial crisis from evolving into "tomorrow's human crisis."

The UN chief was invited to the two-day summit of G20 richest and emerging economies starting Friday in Washington, where leaders are discussing the root causes of and solutions to the current global financial crisis.

"This financial crisis is unique and overpowering in its immediate as well as potential impact," Ban said in a letter released by the world body. "It has become a full-scale economic crisis, spreading across the globe."

However, Ban warned that the ongoing economic crisis cannot be taken as an excuse for "neglecting other critical issues: unacceptable levels of poverty and hunger, the food crisis, climate change."

He brought four proposals to the meeting on how to tackle the crisis, including a truly global stimulus package with "green economy" as a key, and financial rescue and assistance packages that can allow richest countries and also emerging markets to have access to liquidity.

He also noted that some part of the global stimulus package should come from commitments on aid, and inclusivity should be the key word to the financial reform.

A formal G20 summit meeting was scheduled for Saturday at the National Building Museum, where all participants are expected to explore the root causes of the current economic crisis and seek solutions, including global financial reforms.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who is playing host to the leaders, has said the summit is only the fist of a series of talks among G20 countries since "this problem did not develop overnight and it will not be solved overnight."

It is the first time the G20, which usually brought together finance ministers and central bank governors at annual meetings, holds a summit since its founding in 1999.

The body includes the Group of Eight richest countries -- the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Britain, Canada and Russia.

Other members are the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

Spain and the Netherlands have also been invited to the summit although they are not counted as members.

Top officials from the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will also be present at the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2008)

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