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The G20 and the post-crisis world

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About the author
David Hayes is deputy editor of openDemocracy, which he co-founded in 2000. He has written textbooks on human rights and terrorism, and was a contributor to Town and Country (Jonathan Cape, 1998). His work has been published in PN Review, the Irish Times, El Pais, the Iran Times International, the Canberra Times, the Scotsman, the New Statesman and The Absolute Game

He has edited five print collections of material from the openDemocracy website, including Europe and Islam; Turkey: Writers, Politics, and Free Speech; and Europe: Visions, Realities, Futures. He is the editor of Fred Halliday's Political Journeys - the openDemocracy Essays (Saqi, 2011)

In the week of its summit in London, the Group of Twenty played its role to perfection. All the familiar scenes, routines and dramas of an international gathering of this kind have been evident - the formal receptions, the competitive briefings, the photo-opportunities, the choreographed demos (as has a newer ingredient: the tech-buzz of the chittering classes). So much so that it easy to forget how recent and provisional this global grouping is, how much it has been borne on the great financial hurricane that since 8 August 2007 ("debtonation day", as Ann Pettifor calls it) has swept across the world - and how, therefore, it may itself be surpassed as the work of creating a new and accountable model of global governance becomes (if and when it does) serious.

The Group of Twenty (G20) was created in 1999 as a forum for finance ministers and central-bank governors in the advanced and developing countries to discuss global economic issues

The current members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States

The first meeting of the G20's heads of state and government was held in Washington on 14-15 November 2008. This was also attended - as was the London summit on 2 April 2009 - by the European Union (represented by the rotating presidency and the European Central Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank

The participating states together represent approximately 90% of global GNP, 80% of world trade, and 63% of the world's population
After all, the meeting in London on 2 April 2009 is only the G20's second in its present form, the follow-up to the one in Washington on 15 November 2008. The if, when and where of any forthcoming meeting will be one sign of whether this still elusive entity will begin to consolidate.

The final communiqué - and the tensions and performative gestures that preceded this moment of "discharge" is another staple of the modern summit - has more substance than the watery outcome at Washington. The emphatic declarations ("We believe that the only sure foundation for sustainable globalisation and rising prosperity for all is an open world economy based on market principles, effective regulation, and strong global institutions")"are at least on this occasion supported by a few actual pledges - on trade credits, financial stability, and global liquidity.

To get agreement even to this extent is an achievement; though the absence or vagueness of commitments on unemployment, climate change, women and the millennium development goals is clear.

At the same time, the lack of self-awareness about the agency that lies behind it is notable. The question of exactly who and what the G20 is, has yet to be resolved (the 3,070-word communiqué uses the word "we" ninety times). Perhaps - as Claude Sautet said in another context - being together will become enough to answer it. That has worked for the G7/G8, after all; but doesn't such very lack of definition suit less-than-accountable power all too well?

The shift from in-itself to for-itself may yet happen. Everything seems open in these deeply uncertain times - including the future of a new body that in its early incarnation more fairly reflects the shifting economic and geopolitical power-balances in the world. If a trend towards its institutionalisation develops, the implications for its older and more established siblings (the G7/G8, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and World Trade Organisation) might also be profound.The United Nations too - which hosts a high-level meeting on the crisis of its own in June 2009, but which has been missing in action in many of the global deliberations - needs to find its voice. 

A grouping that emerged in ad-hoc fashion from a crisis which has wrecked the lives of millions and threatens even greater damage, whose character is less than defined and whose final form is unclear, is in an odd position: it has neither the credibility that comes from substantive achievement nor yet the taint of failure and disappointed expectations. The diversity of the G20 is an additional complicating factor here for those who would anathematise it with the vehemence they might attach to the G8 or the IMF; a group that includes the governments of (say) Brazil, South Africa and India is by that very fact significantly different from one run by rich, white, western elites.

All this helps explain the extraordinary phenomenon whereby the G20 has over a relatively short period become a focus for the energetic activism of a huge array of campaigning coalitions, civil-society and pressure groups, and political organisations (amid too a refreshing absence of celebrity rock-stars or actors). At a time of wrenching dislocation and fear across much of the world, this response to the London summit - it is too early as well as too simplifying to call it "resistance" - shares something of the elusive reality it is mobilising around and against, but adds more: recent and provisional, diverse and inchoate, as well as multi-generational and tech-savvy, intelligently radical, and (perhaps above all) palpably searching for a shape that can give definition to an epochal moment.

In this sense it is the G20's first great service to have called into existence a prolific mobilisation that may yet become an effective agent of the change the more progressive politicians of the age proclaim: towards a more equal, just, balanced, humane, and sustainable world.  

This article presents a few of the voices and perspectives from the week of the G20 summit in London - with links to some of the organisations involved.

----------

 

Paul Kingsnorth, author and campaigner

Full circle

A political movement which ten years ago seemed to be sweeping all before it, yet hit a brick wall a few years later, may once again make the political running. The global justice movement is back in town.

Among the groups reporting on and campaigning around the G20 are:

Put People First

G20 Voice / White
Band Action

Oxfam

Jubilee Debt Campaign

Camp for Climate Action

Avaaz

CAFOD

New Economics Foundation

chinadialogue

Trade Justice Movement

Bretton Woods Project

People and Planet

World Development Movement

VoxEU - global crisis debat
Ten years ago, in the US city of Seattle, governments gathered for a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation. They had come to set the rules by which the global economy would operate. In retrospect, it was probably the high-water mark of globalisation: after the fall of communism and before 11 September 2001.

As the meeting began, the delegates were unexpectedly confronted by a mass of people who saw things very differently. More than 50,000 people took to the streets to rebel against the WTO's version of history. Environmentalists highlighted the global economy's disastrous impact on the natural world; campaigners for justice railed against the exploitation of the poor; unions, religious groups, anarchists and thousands of unaligned individuals took to the streets to shut down the WTO. The police responded violently with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. A movement was born, and during the next three years it stormed every global summit. The inequality and unsustainability of the global economy were exposed to public view. But the 11 September 2001 attacks and Iraq war caused the movement to dissipate, and its surface energy disappeared.

Yet, a decade on, the wheel has come full circle. Many of the claims that the protesters made back in Seattle have been proved right, and what is happening now can be seen as the next phase of the same movement. But this time those who claimed that markets should not be left to their own devices, that global inequality was something to be ashamed of, find their arguments echoed, however insincerely, by prime ministers, presidents and CEOs.

The movement seems to have learned from its mistakes. It knows it can never repeat the vast street protests that culminated in widespread police brutality, most shamefully the death of an activist in Genoa in 2001: a newly empowered and determined state apparatus would not allow it, for one thing. But it knows also that getting too close to power, as the Make Poverty History coalition did, can be fatal. The trick is to create a space in which everyone from artists and anarchists to NGO policy wonks can play a part, while making hard, detailed demands of power. And not stopping until those demands are met.

It remains to be seen where this movement goes next. But the world leaders inside the summit venue would be well advised to listen to what it has to say. After all, it's not as if they have any better ideas of their own.

 

Susan George, Attac

There are millions throughout the world who refuse to accept the plans and the so-called solutions of the G20, who refuse the notion that the very people and institutions that got us into this crisis to begin with have any legitimacy to get us out of it. They want to give power to failed institutions like the IMF and the WTO; they want business as usual and they have already handed over hundreds of billions to prop up the banks.

The money is ours. It can only come from our past, present and future taxes. But we are receiving absolutely nothing in return. The banks belong to the people and should be treated like public utilities for the good of the people, for making credit available to job-creating enterprises and for massive conversion to a green, fossil-fuel-free future. This crisis is a crisis of the whole world system - a crisis of poverty and inequality, of food and agriculture, of climate and the environment. So let's use the financial crisis to solve the others and let's begin with the banks. The banks are ours - and we want to use them for the common good, for the welfare of people everywhere and a green future for the planet.

 

Duncan Green, Oxfam / From Poverty to Power

Bank bailout vs make poverty history

Here are some killer facts on the global economic crisis and the response.

Among openDemocracy's articles on the G20:

Larry Elliott, "From G8 to G20: the end of exclusion" (16 November 2008)

Katinka Barysch, "The real G20 agenda: from technics to politics" (16 March 2009)

Sue Branford, "The G20's missing voice" (26 March 2009)

Will Hutton, A G20 deal: power bends to protest" (29 March 2009)

Daniele Archibugi, "The 20 ought to be increased to 6 billion" (31 March 2009)

Stephen Browne, "The G20 summit: a transition moment" (1 April 2009)

Saskia Sassen, "Too big to save: the end of financial capitalism" (1 April 2009
First the bail out: globally, as of January 2009, a calculation for Oxfam shows that banks and other financial service firms have already received or been promised at least $8.424 trillion. The breakdown is $903 billion of government capital injections; $661 billion of toxic asset purchases; $1.38 trillion of subsidised loans and more than $5.48 trillion of debt guarantees. This equates to more than $1,250 for every man, woman, and child on the planet.

OK, that's a lot of zeroes. What to compare it with? By comparison, the annual cost of ending extreme poverty - the amount needed to lift the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day above this threshold - is $173 billion. That is reached basically by measuring the area of between the global income-distribution curve and the $1.25 a line.

Conclusion: the resources devoted to the global financial bailout are sufficient to end world poverty for half a century.

And now the caveats:

First, a lot of this is in the form of guarantees rather than actual money disbursed - for a better estimate you could for example, see what proportion of guarantees were actually drawn down in previous crises. Anyone got a number?

Second, this is a static transfer: achieving sustainable poverty reduction requires dynamic processes through which developing countries and people living in poverty can produce their way out of extreme deprivation.

Third, getting this money into the hands of those 1.4bn people in the right amounts is a monumental task and even if it were possible, would add a lot of additional costs.

Still, the contrast is I think worth making - bank bailout vs make poverty (almost) history.

 

David Mepham, Save the Children

Whatever it takes

The global financial crisis may have started in the US and other developed economies, but it is now impacting very severely on some of the world's poorest countries and communities, including children. The leaders of the G20 should reject narrow nationalism and protectionism and recognise their wider interests and obligations.

A global economic recovery plan will not succeed if the needs of developing and low-income countries are not addressed, and it is morally untenable that the world's poor should be left unaided to cope with the effects of the crisis. While the G20 is not the right forum for reaching binding agreements on climate change, it is also vital that proposals to help stimulate economic recovery are fully consistent with a dramatic reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases over the next decade and beyond. The ecological crisis, like the financial one, is hitting poor people the hardest.

The World Bank estimates that an additional 100 million people have been pushed into poverty over the last year because of the food and fuel crisis, and that another 46 million could suffer the same fate in 2009 because of the financial crisis. There has already been a dramatic reduction in resource flows to developing countries, including reduced export revenues, lower levels of inward investment and less income from remittances. This has left developing countries facing a financing gap of between $270 and $700 billion, depending on the length and severity of the downturn and the nature and timing of the policy response.

Such financial instability and declining incomes can have highly damaging and lasting consequences for children. When a child's growth becomes stunted as a result of inadequate nutrition during the first two years of life, the effects are irreversible. No amount of subsequent intervention can make up for the damage done to that child's cognitive and physical development. Similarly, when children drop out of school because the costs of attending have become prohibitive, they rarely resume their studies when economic circumstances improve.

The implications of the current crisis for child mortality are particularly serious. Even before the onset of the crisis, the world was way off track in relation to Millennium Development Goal 4 (a commitment to reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015). But it is now estimated that infant deaths in developing countries could be 200,000 to 400,000 per year higher on average between 2009 and 2015, making the target still more challenging to achieve.

There are three areas in particular where decisive action by the G20 is needed: honouring existing promises on increasing aid flows to the poorest countries; ensuring that more of this aid reaches the poorest and most marginalised communities, particularly through a rapid scale-up of social protection programmes (cash transfers and other in-kind benefits); and giving developing and low-income countries a much bigger voice and real decision-making authority within the international financial and economic institutions.

The G20 leaders should commit to do "whatever it takes" to protect the world's poor, including millions of children, from the disastrous consequences of an economic and financial crisis that was not of their making.

 

Ann Pettifor, Advocacy International

The unelected King of finance

A week before the G20 summit, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King - a public servant and head of a nationalised bank - intervened in the global political process it represents.

David Hayes is deputy editor of openDemocracy

Also by David Hayes:

"A world in contraflow" (3 January 2008)

"A politics of crisis: low-energy cosmopolitanism" (22 October 2008) - with Andrew Dobson
The message he delivered was an attempt to sabotage proposals by Britain's prime minister Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama of the United States to reflate the global economy. They planned to do this by ensuring that government spending filled the vacuum created by the collapse of private-sector spending - and to protect and create jobs.

Without this stimulus it is certain that the global economy will continue to contract - and destroy economic activity. The ILO predicts that job losses in 2009 will rise to 52 million, against 14 million in 2008.

In opposing the injection of liquidity into the system, Mervyn King is both overstepping his authority and missing the target. The real threat today is deflation. As credit dries up around the world, consumption is squeezed, exports collapse, firms are bankrupted and unemployment rises on a frightening scale. These job losses will in turn exacerbate the crisis of the finance sector. The unemployed will default on mortgages and debts, and will stop consuming, leading to more corporate bankruptcies and bank failures. This will accelerate the downward spiral of falling wages and falling prices.

Mervyn King is an unelected central-bank governor, who moreover presided over the City of London - the very belly of the beast that was globalisation - and did very little to tame the beast as it helped inflame the biggest credit-bubble in history. His overwhelming concern, like many monetarists, is with the interests of creditors - the money-lenders that brought down the temples of our civilisation on all our heads. He was wrong then, and is wrong now. But his comments reveal the problem of democratic legitimacy and accountability that go to the heart of the G20 process - and to the way the world is misgoverned.

The G20 communique: London, 2 April 2009

Introduction

1. We, the Leaders of the Group of Twenty, met in London on 2 April 2009. 

2. We face the greatest challenge to the world economy in modern times; a crisis which has deepened since we last met, which affects the lives of women, men, and children in every country, and which all countries must join together to resolve. A global crisis requires a global solution. 

3. We start from the belief that prosperity is indivisible; that growth, to be sustained, has to be shared; and that our global plan for recovery must have at its heart the needs and jobs of hard-working families, not just in developed countries but in emerging markets and the poorest countries of the world too; and must reflect the interests, not just of today’s population, but of future generations too. We believe that the only sure foundation for sustainable globalisation and rising prosperity for all is an open world economy based on market principles, effective regulation, and strong global institutions.

4. We have today therefore pledged to do whatever is necessary to:

  • restore confidence, growth, and jobs;
  • repair the financial system to restore lending;
  • strengthen financial regulation to rebuild trust;
  • fund and reform our international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent future ones;
  • promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin prosperity; and
  • build an inclusive, green, and sustainable recovery.

By acting together to fulfil these pledges we will bring the world economy out of recession and prevent a crisis like this from recurring in the future.

5. The agreements we have reached today, to treble resources available to the IMF to $750 billion, to support a new SDR allocation of $250 billion, to support at least $100 billion of additional lending by the MDBs, to ensure $250 billion of support for trade finance, and to use the additional resources from agreed IMF gold sales for concessional finance for the poorest countries, constitute an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy.  Together with the measures we have each taken nationally, this constitutes a global plan for recovery on an unprecedented scale.

Restoring growth and jobs

 6. We are undertaking an unprecedented and concerted fiscal expansion, which will save or create millions of jobs which would otherwise have been destroyed, and that will, by the end of next year, amount to $5 trillion, raise output by 4 per cent, and accelerate the transition to a green economy.  We are committed to deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort necessary to restore growth.

7. Our central banks have also taken exceptional action. Interest rates have been cut aggressively in most countries, and our central banks have pledged to maintain expansionary policies for as long as needed and to use the full range of monetary policy instruments, including unconventional instruments, consistent with price stability.

8. Our actions to restore growth cannot be effective until we restore domestic lending and international capital flows. We have provided significant and comprehensive support to our banking systems to provide liquidity, recapitalise financial institutions, and address decisively the problem of impaired assets.  We are committed to take all necessary actions to restore the normal flow of credit through the financial system and ensure the soundness of systemically important institutions, implementing our policies in line with the agreed G20 framework for restoring lending and repairing the financial sector.

9. Taken together, these actions will constitute the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus and the most comprehensive support programme for the financial sector in modern times. Acting together strengthens the impact and the exceptional policy actions announced so far must be implemented without delay. Today, we have further agreed over $1 trillion of additional resources for the world economy through our international financial institutions and trade finance. 

10. Last month the IMF estimated that world growth in real terms would resume and rise to over 2 percent by the end of 2010. We are confident that the actions we have agreed today, and our unshakeable commitment to work together to restore growth and jobs, while preserving long-term fiscal sustainability, will accelerate the return to trend growth. We commit today to taking whatever action is necessary to secure that outcome, and we call on the IMF to assess regularly the actions taken and the global actions required.

11.  We are resolved to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability and price stability and will put in place credible exit strategies from the measures that need to be taken now to support the financial sector and restore global demand. We are convinced that by implementing our agreed policies we will limit the longer-term costs to our economies, thereby reducing the scale of the fiscal consolidation necessary over the longer term.

12. We will conduct all our economic policies cooperatively and responsibly with regard to the impact on other countries and will refrain from competitive devaluation of our currencies and promote a stable and well-functioning international monetary system.  We will support, now and in the future, to candid, even-handed, and independent IMF surveillance of our economies and financial sectors, of the impact of our policies on others, and of risks facing the global economy.

Strengthening financial supervision and regulation

13. Major failures in the financial sector and in financial regulation and supervision were fundamental causes of the crisis.  Confidence will not be restored until we rebuild trust in our financial system.  We will take action to build a stronger, more globally consistent, supervisory and regulatory framework for the future financial sector, which will support sustainable global growth and serve the needs of business and citizens.

14. We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong. But we also agree to establish the much greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries, and the framework of internationally agreed high standards, that a global financial system requires.  Strengthened regulation and supervision must promote propriety, integrity and transparency; guard against risk across the financial system; dampen rather than amplify the financial and economic cycle; reduce reliance on inappropriately risky sources of financing; and discourage excessive risk-taking.  Regulators and supervisors must protect consumers and investors, support market discipline, avoid adverse impacts on other countries, reduce the scope for regulatory arbitrage, support competition and dynamism, and keep pace with innovation in the marketplace.

15. To this end we are implementing the Action Plan agreed at our last meeting, as set out in the attached progress report. We have today also issued a Declaration, Strengthening the Financial System.  In particular we agree:

  • to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission; 
  • that the FSB should collaborate with the IMF to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them;
  • to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks;
  • to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets.  This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds;
  • to endorse and implement the FSF’s tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms;
  • to take action, once recovery is assured, to improve the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital in the banking system.  In future, regulation must prevent excessive leverage and require buffers of resources to be built up in good times;
  • to take action against  non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens.  We  stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information;
  • to call on the accounting standard setters to work urgently with supervisors and regulators to improve standards on valuation and provisioning and achieve a single set of high-quality global accounting standards; and
  • to extend regulatory oversight and registration to Credit Rating Agencies to ensure they meet the international code of good practice, particularly to prevent unacceptable conflicts of interest.
16. We instruct our Finance Ministers to complete the implementation of these decisions in line with the timetable set out in the Action Plan.  We have asked the FSB and the IMF to monitor progress, working with the Financial Action Taskforce and other relevant bodies, and to provide a report to the next meeting of our Finance Ministers in Scotland in November.

Strengthening our global financial institutions

17. Emerging markets and developing countries, which have been the engine of recent world growth, are also now facing challenges which are adding to the current downturn in the global economy.  It is imperative for global confidence and economic recovery that capital continues to flow to them.  This will require a substantial strengthening of the international financial institutions, particularly the IMF. We have therefore agreed today to make available an additional $850 billion of resources through the global financial institutions to support growth in emerging market and developing countries by helping to finance counter-cyclical spending, bank recapitalisation, infrastructure, trade finance, balance of payments support, debt rollover, and social support.  To this end:
  • we have agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF through immediate financing from members of $250 billion, subsequently incorporated into an expanded and more flexible New Arrangements to Borrow, increased by up to $500 billion, and to consider market borrowing if necessary; and
  • we support a substantial increase in lending of at least $100 billion by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including to low income countries, and ensure that all MDBs, including have the appropriate capital.

18. It is essential that these resources can be used effectively and flexibly to support growth.  We welcome in this respect the progress made by the IMF with its new Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and its reformed lending and conditionality framework which will enable the IMF to ensure that its facilities address effectively the underlying causes of countries’ balance of payments financing needs, particularly the withdrawal of external capital flows to the banking and corporate sectors.  We support Mexico’s decision to seek an FCL arrangement. 

19. We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250 billion into the world economy and increase global liquidity, and urgent ratification of the Fourth Amendment.

20. In order for our financial institutions to help manage the crisis and prevent future crises we must strengthen their longer term relevance, effectiveness and legitimacy. So alongside the significant increase in resources agreed today we are determined to reform and modernise the international financial institutions to ensure they can assist members and shareholders effectively in the new challenges they face.  We will reform their mandates, scope and governance to reflect changes in the world economy and the new challenges of globalisation, and that emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, must have greater voice and representation. This must be accompanied by action to increase the credibility and accountability of the institutions through better strategic oversight and decision making.  To this end: 

  • we commit to implementing the package of IMF quota and voice reforms agreed in April 2008 and call on the IMF to complete the next review of quotas by January 2011;
  • we agree that, alongside this, consideration should be given to greater involvement of the Fund’s Governors in providing strategic direction to the IMF and increasing its accountability;
  • we commit to implementing the World Bank reforms agreed in October 2008.  We look forward to further recommendations, at the next meetings, on voice and representation reforms on an accelerated timescale, to be agreed by the 2010 Spring Meetings;
  • we agree that the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions should be appointed through an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process; and
  • building on the current reviews of the IMF and World Bank we asked the Chairman, working with the G20 Finance Ministers, to consult widely in an inclusive process and report back to the next meeting with proposals for further reforms to improve the responsiveness and adaptability of the IFIs.
21. In addition to reforming our international financial institutions for the new challenges of globalisation we agreed on the desirability of a new global consensus on the key values and principles that will promote sustainable economic activity.  We support discussion on such a charter for sustainable economic activity with a view to further discussion at our next meeting.  We take note of the work started in other fora in this regard and look forward to further discussion of this charter for sustainable economic activity.

Resisting protectionism and promoting global trade and investment

22. World trade growth has underpinned rising prosperity for half a century.  But it is now falling for the first time in 25 years.  Falling demand is exacerbated by growing protectionist pressures and a withdrawal of trade credit.  Reinvigorating world trade and investment is essential for restoring global growth. We will not repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras.  To this end: 
  • we reaffirm the commitment made in Washington: to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organisation (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.  In addition we will rectify promptly any such measures.  We extend this pledge to the end of 2010;
  • we will minimise any negative impact on trade and investment of our domestic policy actions including fiscal policy and action in support of the financial sector.  We will not retreat into financial protectionism, particularly measures that constrain worldwide capital flows, especially to developing countries;
  • we will notify promptly the WTO of any such measures and we call on the WTO, together with other international bodies, within their respective mandates, to monitor and report publicly on our adherence to these undertakings on a quarterly basis;
  • we will take, at the same time, whatever steps we can to promote and facilitate trade and investment; and
  • we will ensure availability of at least $250 billion over the next two years to support trade finance through our export credit and investment agencies and through the MDBs.  We also ask our regulators to make use of available flexibility in capital requirements for trade finance.

23. We remain committed to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Round, which is urgently needed.  This could boost the global economy by at least $150 billion per annum.  To achieve this we are committed to building on the progress already made, including with regard to modalities.

24. We will give renewed focus and political attention to this critical issue in the coming period and will use our continuing work and all international meetings that are relevant to drive progress.

Ensuring a fair and sustainable recovery for all

25. We are determined not only to restore growth but to lay the foundation for a fair and sustainable world economy. We recognise that the current crisis has a disproportionate impact on the vulnerable in the poorest countries and recognise our collective responsibility to mitigate the social impact of the crisis to minimise long-lasting damage to global potential.   To this end:
  • we reaffirm our historic commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving our respective ODA pledges, including commitments on Aid for Trade, debt relief, and the Gleneagles commitments, especially to sub-Saharan Africa;
  • the actions and decisions we have taken today will provide $50 billion to support social protection, boost trade and safeguard development in low income countries, as part of the significant increase in crisis support for these and other developing countries and emerging markets;
  • we are making available resources for social protection for the poorest countries, including through investing in long-term food security and through voluntary bilateral contributions to the World Bank’s Vulnerability Framework, including the Infrastructure Crisis Facility, and the Rapid Social Response Fund;
  • we have committed, consistent with the new income model, that additional resources from agreed sales of IMF gold will be used, together with surplus income, to provide $6 billion additional concessional and flexible finance for the poorest countries over the next 2 to 3 years. We call on the IMF to come forward with concrete proposals at the Spring Meetings; 
  • we have agreed to review the flexibility of the Debt Sustainability Framework and call on the IMF and World Bank to report to the IMFC and Development Committee at the Annual Meetings; and
  • we call on the UN, working with other global institutions, to establish an effective mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable.

26. We recognise the human dimension to the crisis.  We commit to support those affected by the crisis by creating employment opportunities and through income support measures.   We will build a fair and family-friendly labour market for both women and men.  We therefore welcome the reports of the London Jobs Conference and the Rome Social Summit and the key principles they proposed.  We will support employment by stimulating growth, investing in education and training, and through active labour market policies, focusing on the most vulnerable.  We call upon the ILO, working with other relevant organisations, to assess the actions taken and those required for the future.

27. We agreed to make the best possible use of investment funded by fiscal stimulus programmes towards the goal of building a resilient, sustainable, and green recovery.  We will make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure.  We encourage the MDBs to contribute fully to the achievement of this objective.  We will identify and work together on further measures to build sustainable economies.

28. We reaffirm our commitment to address the threat of irreversible climate change, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and to reach agreement at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Delivering our commitments

29. We have committed ourselves to work together with urgency and determination to translate these words into action. We agreed to meet again before the end of this year to review progress on our commitments.
 

 


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