Ban: 'People on the edge' can't wait

Sept. 23, 2009 at 4:09 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used a lunch for visiting dignitaries to remind them people throughout the world need their help sooner, not later.

"People on the edge cannot afford the delays" because they aren't seeing the "green shoots" of economic recovery reported elsewhere, Ban said while toasting the dignitaries during a lunch at the U.N. headquarters in New York Wednesday.

"When global shock waves hit, you need to make sound and speedy decisions," he said.

He apologized for taking "such a serious tone" during a toast, saying he wanted to take advantage of the setting to drive home what he thinks about daily, "how to help people, how to help you, and how to build a stronger United Nations for a better world."

Ban thanked U.S. President Barack Obama for a strong U.S. commitment to the United Nations and its agencies.

"The heightened commitment of your host country -- of our host country is not simply welcome, but essential, to fulfilling our mission," Ban said.

Obama said Ban has shown dedication to pursuing peace, protecting human rights, promoting democracy and development, and the advancement of international justice.

"(Days) like this offer renewed hope that we will find it within ourselves the courage and the determination to meet our responsibilities to ourselves, to our citizens, and to future generations," Obama said.

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