UN chief calls for international action on rising food prices
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for concerted international
action on rising food prices ahead of the yesterday's opening of five
days of talks on globalistion.
More than 3,000 delegates from 193 nations are expected to attend the
12th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
which is being held against a backdrop of rising food prices and an
economic slowdown. "The United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development could not have come at a more crucial time," Ban said upon
his arrival at Accra airport late on Saturday.
The soaring price of basic foodstuffs in some of the world's poorest
nations has already caused riots in Haiti and demonstrations across
Africa. "This is a worrisome situation as it poses a threat to the
stability of many developing countries," he said, adding that solving
this crisis immediately is of particular importance as those hardest hit
by it are those who have been left behind by globalisation.
"Concerted international action is urgently needed to tackle this
issue," he said, adding: "UNTAC's mandate is more important than ever in
this context of deepening interdependence."
The Accra meeting was set to begin with a speech by Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - head of one of the so-called BRIC
nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) of rapidly-expanding
economies, and a key player in the stalled Doha round of world trade
In his address to conference Ban was expected to warn that not
everyone benefits from globalisation.
"We are going to study the economic impacts of globalisation,
including poverty reduction, wealth, employment, and we will draw the
lesson that some countries benefit from globalisation, and others do
not," he was expected to say.
The conference is to explore the options to improve the international
monetary and financial system, how to ensure the current boom in
commodity prices translates into higher employment, and how countries
can acquire the trade and productive capacities needed to compete on the
The rise in trade in services, and the related expansion in
international labour migration, will be considered as well, along with
the impact of Asia's mounting energy needs on energy security and
climate change. AFP
NTPC plant for Sampur
India has agreed to locate a 500-MW coal-based plant of the National
Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Sampur in Trincomalee district, The
Hindu said yesterday quoting sources.
The newspaper said New Delhi's decision was conveyed to the Lankan
Government. Though the two countries signed an agreement in December
2006, there was no unanimity on the plant location.
Sri Lanka identified Sampur, which its military wrested from the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in September 2006, though an NTPC team
earlier preferred a site near the Indian Oil Corporation oil complex,
close to the Trincomalee harbour.
The move to locate the plant at Sampur triggered a controversy with
the Tamil National Alliance raising political and environmental
objections. The project, involving an investment of $500 million, is to
be implemented by a joint venture company, in which the NTPC and the
Ceylon Electricity Board will each hold a 50 per cent stake and which
will be funded with a debt equity ratio of 70:30.
For Sri Lanka, this is one of the largest ever infrastructure
investments and the project will augment its power capacity by 20 per
cent, according to official sources.