New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations and the World Bank have signed an agreement to strengthen their commitment to work more closely together in countries struck by conflicts or natural disasters.

The agreement, signed on Friday in New York by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, sets out common principles to guide the two institutions on how to work with national authorities and aid partners to support crisis prevention, stabilization and recovery strategies.

At the same time, the agreement acknowledges the importance of the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, according to a UN press statement.

The UN and the World Bank are also committing themselves to improve inter-agency communications, strengthen joint planning, increase collaboration on funding mechanisms and foster a broader culture of collaboration between the two institutions.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-26October08-11:34 AM (BST)