Economic crisis 'could last years'

UN secretary-general urges rich countries not to abandon aid pledges to the poor.

    World markets were rocked last year
    by a global financial crisis [Reuters]

    "Some see financial stabilisation and growth in some countries. But I want to say this loud and clear: These are merely signs," Ban said.

    "For a large number of countries there are no 'green shoots' of recovery. There are only fallow fields. The real impact of the crisis could stretch for years."

    Reform call

    Ban also said financial bodies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank badly need reform but that the world remained divided on how to improve them.

    "The world institutions created generations ago must be made more accountable, more representative and more effective," he said.

    "I regret that financial institutional reform has divided (UN) member states."

    Reform of global financial institutions is one of the key issues set to be discussed at the summit, which is being attended by 142 UN member states.

    The summit is set to call for the UN General Assembly to have a greater say in efforts towards a solution to the crisis, rather than the G8 and G20 groups of nations.

    Although the financial crisis meeting has been billed as a summit, no leaders of major Western powers are attending.

    SOURCE: Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.