UN: Resources should finance development not war

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UNITED NATIONS— The United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General is urging countries to transform resource inequities that have fueled conflicts over oil, diamonds and precious metals and use those resources to finance economic development and provide basic services like health care and clean water.

In too many countries, Jan Eliasson says, a wealth of natural resources has benefited a powerful few while communities and individuals pay a terrible cost in corruption, human rights abuses and environmental damage.

“Yet, managed wisely, extractive resources can — and should — be the foundation for sustainable development and lasting peace,” Eliasson told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.

Former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan told the council that it’s up to governments to effectively and transparently manage their resources to prevent conflict, fight corruption and promote sustainable development.

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