05/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ban Ki-moon: I Fear Global Collapse

Today's G20 meeting can make the difference between human hope and despair, between economic recovery and a plunge into deepening recession. We have seen the frightening velocity of change. What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis. 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.

We must stop the slide. The recession hurts everyone, but those hurt worst are the poor - people with no homes or savings to lose, who in some countries spend as much as 80% of their income on food, and often lack the basics of healthcare, water and sanitation. They are the majority of the world's people - and they have no safety net.

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