G-20 resolves to reduce poverty, combat terror funding
Monday, 25 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
NEW DELHI: Top finance officials of developed and developing nations Saturday reaffirmed their commitment to reducing global poverty, elimination of trade distortion and combating financing of terror. In a communiqué issued at the close of the two-day meet here, the Group of 20 (G-20) nations also expressed concern about the continuing uncertainty concerning the global economic outlook. "We reviewed the global economic situation and outlook, and deliberated on matters concerning crisis prevention and resolution, globalisation, the challenge of achieving sustained growth and development and combating the finance of terror," the G-20 members said in a statement. 'We reaffirm our conviction that increasing integration of the global economy is producing benefits, including improvement in living standards and reduction of poverty, and our commitment to maximise these benefits through domestic policies, strong institutions, and enhanced international cooperation," they added. Top finance officials from the G-20 are discussing how to combat financial crises, alleviate poverty and cut off funding to terrorist groups at a two-day meeting that opened in the Indian capital Friday. The G-20 was set up in 1998 as a forum for industrialised countries and emerging markets to encourage financial stability. The group's fourth meeting is its first in a developing country. The G-20 represents more than 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product and over 60 percent of its population. The meeting has brought together finance ministers, senior officials and central bank governors from 19 developed and developing nations, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. On the interdependence of national economies, the communiqué states: "Effective and accountable international financial institutions and worldwide surveillance are essential for a healthy global financial system". Indian Finance Minister Jaswant Singh said the forum has "emphasised the need for progressive elimination of trade barriers to maximise the benefits of globalisation". The G-20 members admitted that the process of globalisation had not yet delivered "its potential in reducing poverty in some of the world's poorest countries". "Reduction of the remaining trade and related barriers and phasing out of trade distorting subsidies would contribute to spreading further the benefits of globalisation," they said. On terrorist funding, the forum has resolved to continue efforts to eliminate financial irregularities such as money laundering. Singh said the forum has realised that illegal transfer of funds was not the only means being employed for funding terrorism, but transfer and sale of products like gold and diamond are also being used as conduit. "We have agreed to continue our efforts to eliminate other abuses of the financial system, particularly money laundering," the minister said. The next in the series of annual ministerial and central bank chiefs meetings will be held in Mexico next year.