“The United Nations attaches great importance to close ties with Rotary International, and is grateful for the contributions you have made to global health, education and poverty eradication efforts,” Mr. Ban told participants at Rotary International Day at the UN on Saturday. “Today, we need your hard work more than ever,” he said in a message delivered on his behalf by Deputy Chef de Cabinet Kim Wonsoo, stressing that “ours is a good, longstanding partnership.”Earlier this year, the Secretary-General had highlighted what he described as a “triple crisis” – soaring prices for food and fuel, accelerating climate change, and stalled development for the world’s poorest people. “Some thought I was exaggerating. Today, we see that, if anything, it was an understatement,” he stated, adding that the global financial crisis has brought an additional shock, compounding all the others.He also noted that progress towards the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven, with many countries falling behind, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. “We hear much in this country about how problems on Wall Street affect people on Main Street. We also need to think about people around the world with no streets at all,” he said.In this regard, a series of upcoming meetings “offers a test – and an opportunity to get on track,” Mr. Ban pointed out. These include the meeting in Washington this weekend of the so-called Group of 20 (G-20) nations, the financing for development conference later this month in the Qatari capital of Doha, and climate negotiations next month in Poznan, Poland. “We must make the most of these occasions,” said Mr. Ban. “Together, we can and must deliver results for a safer, healthier and more prosperous world. “It is encouraging to know that the United Nations will continue to be able to count on Rotary International to do its part,” he added. 10 November 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has hailed the long-standing partnership between the United Nations and Rotary International, stressing the vital contributions of civil society groups as the world body tackles multiple global crises, ranging from food to energy to climate change.