Fighting Poverty: 'Central Priority'
01 October 2001

Rubens Ricupero, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), called on governments to dialogue with anti-globalization demonstrators. 'Otherwise we are heading for an increasingly violent confrontation. These movements express an understandable fear and anguish.' He discerned 'a pervasive desire for something that goes beyond the economic'.

Rubens Ricupero, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), called on governments to dialogue with anti-globalization demonstrators. 'Otherwise we are heading for an increasingly violent confrontation. These movements express an understandable fear and anguish.' He discerned 'a pervasive desire for something that goes beyond the economic'.

Ricupero, who comes from Brazil, insisted that globalization was bringing positive changes. But he ridiculed the claim by some governments that there were no limits to competition. No one today would justify slavery or child labour in the interests of greater competition, he said. 'The economy is an instrument, not an end in itself. Human beings are the ultimate value.'

Fighting poverty, he said, should be 'the central priority' within nations and in the international community.


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