Economic crisis could result in failed states

April 2, 2009
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, LONDON April 2 – UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday that failing to act to halt the global economic crisis could lead to widespread social unrest and failed states, ahead of the G20 crisis summit here.

"What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis," the UN secretary general wrote in an article in the Guardian newspaper.

"I fear worse to come — a full-blown political crisis defined by growing social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost all faith in their leaders and their own future."

He said the global economic downturn affected the poorest countries the most, and noted that in these countries "things fall apart alarmingly fast".

"Unless we build a worldwide recovery we face a looming catastrophe in human development," Ban wrote.

World leaders meet in London on Thursday to decide how to tackle the global financial crisis, but are divided on whether to boost the world economy with an injection of capital, or to focus on new rules to prevent another such crisis.

Ban called for a "truly global stimulus" package, and argued that developing countries need one trillion dollars over 2009 and 2010.

He added: "There is a thin line between failing banks and failing countries, and we cross it at our peril."

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