British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for global action to
solve the credit crunch that has shaken world financial markets. Mr.
Brown was one of several world leaders speaking at the U.N. General
Assembly's annual debate on Friday. From United Nation's headquarters
in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.
Mr. Brown said
because the financial, food and energy crises are having a worldwide
impact, they cannot be solved by nations working in isolation and
called for international cooperation. "We must resist those instincts
that are protectionist. Now is not the time to pull up the drawbridge.
To seek solace in isolation or revert to an outdated and futile
He said in the short-term countries must take
action to deal with the fall-out of the credit crunch and offered
support for U.S. efforts to stem the crisis. In Britain, he said his
government has injected billions of dollars into the market. "We must
do all it takes to stabilize the still turbulent financial markets,
and, in the months ahead, work together to rebuild the world financial
system around clear principles."
On issues of peace and
security, Mr. Brown said Sudan's Darfur region "remains a disaster" and
called on Khartoum to create the conditions that would allow the
conflict to end. He also said justice has to be part of any sustainable
The prime minister said the task of defeating
terrorists in Afghanistan is hard, but progress is encouraging. And he
called for standing firm against oppression in Burma and said the
international community must send a strong signal of its support for
democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.
India's Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh also addressed the Assembly Friday. He welcomed the new
president of Pakistan, saying his government is committed to resolving
all outstanding issues between the two neighbors, and said his country,
a nuclear power, is committed to non-proliferation. "I reiterate
India's proposal for a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting the
development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons and
providing for their complete elimination within a specified time frame."
Minister Singh also called for a second "green revolution" to address
the problem of food security, saying new technologies, institutional
responses and a global compact are needed to ensure enough food.
President René Préval, whose country was devastated in recent weeks by
tropical storms and hurricanes that claimed some 500 lives, thanked the
international community for its assistance, but said he worries the
concern is only temporary. He is heard here through a translator: "I am
worried because the Haitians run the risk of finding themselves alone
in undertaking the real, genuine task today, which is the
reconstruction of the country, the rebuilding of our productive
capacity and our social infrastructure."
The General Assembly
annual meeting continues with a special Saturday session, when the
foreign ministers of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and North Korea
are scheduled to be among those leaders addressing the debate.