New York, NY (BBN)- Global solidarity is needed more than ever at a time when the world faces numerous crises, ranging from the economic downturn to climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed to a group of former United Nations staff members Thursday.

“You gather at a time when the world faces a number of serious multiple crises,” Mr. Ban told the annual meeting of the Association of Former International Civil Servants, in a message delivered by the Chief of Human Resources Services, Netta Avedon.

Mr. Ban stressed the need for global solidarity in addressing today’s challenges. “I have been calling on Member States to take multilateralism to the next level. I want to see a new multilateralism take hold – one that is focused on delivering global goods such as health, education, freedom from hunger, peace.

“A multilateralism that combines power with pragmatic principle. And one whose instruments of service – the United Nations above all – have the authority and the funding needed to do the jobs asked of them,” he stated.

He also said that UN staff are his main allies in carrying out that vision. “But I continue to rely on the achievements, wisdom and institutional memory of those who came before – former civil servants such as you, whose formal careers with the Organization may have ended but who remain vital members of the UN community.”

BBN/SS/SI/AD-22May09-4:13 pm (BST)