Developing nations' concerns in focus at G-20 meet

Friday, 22 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Economic concerns of developing nations figure high on the agenda of a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 (G-20) that started in the Indian capital Friday.

Deputies of finance ministers and central bank governors began the deliberations, prior to a ministerial session Saturday.

This is the first time India is playing host to the forum that was set up in 1998 "in response to the economic volatility experienced in the 1990s," said Rakesh Mohan, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Comprising 19 developing and developed nations, the European Union (E.U.), the policymaking committees of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, the G-20 represents over three-fourths of the global economy and 60 percent of the world population.

India's Finance Secretary S. Narayan told reporters Thursday: "Various groups and countries are facing different economic situations. While the U.S. and the European Union are concerned about growth and continuing economic slowdown, countries like Argentina and Brazil are grappling with financial crisis. On the other hand, China and India are witnessing healthy growth.

"All these concerns will figure in the deliberations. The focus will be on globalisation, crisis prevention, ways to combat financing of terrorism, development aid and other such issues crucial for international financial stability."

The closed-door meetings of the deputies to the finance ministers and central bank governors at a hotel here amid tight security will chart out the agenda for the ministerial deliberations. The summit will conclude with a joint communiqué.

"In view of the global economic slowdown in the last three to four years, the forum will re-examine economic concerns of the developing nations, particularly development aid and how it can be expanded and made more effective," said RBI's Mohan.

Narayan said an added focus of the meet would be the setting up of an early identification system for prevention or tackling of potential economic crises.

The meetings are a continuum of the deliberations that began in Berlin, Germany.
An actionable forward plan to put into effect the Monterrey Consensus, dealing with delineating a new global approach for financing development, will also figure in the talks.

Other development concerns, particularly related to the environment, health and quality of life, will also figure, with focus beyond the Johannesburg Declaration on sustainable development and the Millennium Goals that seek to reduce global poverty.

"The Monterrey Consensus had for the first time brought on board education, health, drinking water, irrigation and other social concerns as a major plank of achieving development goals," said Narayan.

Officials said the focus on ways of combating financing of terrorism would be of great help to New Delhi. India has been planning to bring in more effective legislation to curb money laundering and other such methods employed by terrorist groups to channel funds.
Source: IANS
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