UN: Ban urges multilateral action to aid refugees, close infrastructure gaps

Washington, D.C., US (PANA) – Addressing the global challenge of forced
displacement and fostering greater investment in infrastructure were
the main topics of discussion as United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon spoke to leaders in Washington, D.C., on Saturday at the Spring
Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.

“Supporting States in addressing large movements of refugees and
migrants is an issue ripe for more concerted multilateral action,” the
Secretary-General told the 93rd meeting of the Development Committee.
He was joined by President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong King, and
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary
Fund.

“We must strengthen international cooperation mechanisms, and boost
our collective work,” he said, noting that governments are struggling
for solutions and often responding by shutting borders, detaining
asylum seekers and migrants, and other measures.

To strengthen support, the UN will hold a high-level discussion on 19
September in New York to discuss ways to address large movements of
refugees and migrants.

Next month, Mr. Ban will convene the World Humanitarian Summit in
Istanbul, Turkey, for world leaders to come together with the private
sector, civil society, academia and others, to find new ways to
address the root causes of humanitarian challenges. As part of the
Summit, there will be a high-level round table on forced displacement,
and a special session on migration.

Mr. Ban pointed to six areas for “immediate action” to share challenges
and obligations while maintaining the international community's
commitment to sustainable development.

He called for countering xenophobic narratives and sharing
responsibilities in a more equitable, predictable and transparent way.

“We must better support countries that are hosting large numbers of
refugees, including through your excellent new initiative of offering
concessional loans to middle-income countries hosting large refugee
populations,” he said.

This includes, for example, the World Bank's recent announcement that
it will offer Jordan US$100 million in financing at rates usually
reserved for poorest countries, to create some 100,000 new jobs for
Jordanians and Syrian refugees over the next five years.

Mr. Ban also highlighted the need to create “safe, orderly and regular
pathways” for refugees and migrants, enhancing cooperation to fight
traffickers and smugglers, and continuing to fund humanitarian and
development projects hand-in-hand.

Earlier the same day, Mr. Ban spoke at an inaugural meeting of the Global
Infrastructure Forum on the need for more investment to close gaps in
electricity, water and sanitation access.

The Forum is one of the major deliverables of the Third International
Conference on Financing for Development held last year in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. It was created to identify and address infrastructure gaps,
highlight opportunities for investment and cooperation, and work to
ensure that projects are environmentally, socially and economically
sustainable.

Mr. Ban said that together, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris
Climate Change Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development
Agenda are international commitments “to transform the global economy,
expand opportunities, and leave a healthier planet for future generations.”

The Forum's role is to improve alignment and coordination among
established and new infrastructure initiatives, bringing together
multilateral and national development banks, UN agencies, development
partners and the private sector. All of which allows “for a greater range
of voices to be heard,” he underscored.

Mr. Ban urged international support to bridge existing infrastructure
gaps, particularly in vulnerable developing countries.

He noted that the Forum should also work to ensure that all infrastructure
investments are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Also,  addressing the Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries
(LDCs), which include a group known as the Small Island Developing
States, Mr. Ban called for their voice to be heard in all global
decision-making and norm setting processes.

The LDCs “are disproportionately affected by environmental challenges,
health emergencies, natural disasters, poverty and hunger, and youth
unemployment,” Mr. Ban said, but they also represent “enormous
reservoirs of untapped potential.”

The UN chief urged the participating governments to attend a high-level
meeting in Antalya, Turkey, at the end of May, which will focus on the
development of LDCs.
-0- PANA AR 17April2016

17 april 2016 13:02:55




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