PM to leave tomorrow for G-20 Summit

Manmohan Singh

Accompanied by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan among others, the Prime Minister will be in Pittsburgh at the summit hosted by President Barack Obama on September 24-25.
Heads of governments of G-8 countries along with those of emerging economies like India, Brazil and South Africa representing 90 per cent of the global GDP, 80 per cent of world trade and two-thirds of humanity will discuss how to expedite the revival process amid signs of green shoots of recovery.

The summit, third of its kind since the financial crisis began last September, will review implementation of the measures decided at the previous summits -- Washington (2008) and London (April, 2009) -- where it was decided to pump in USD 1.1 trillion for revival of the emerging market economies.

Though the Summit is not a negotiating forum, the issue of climate change is expected to figure in a big way among the leaders as nations prepare themselves for the Copenhagen Summit sponsored by the UN in December this year.

India strongly favours differentiated responsibility placing more burden on the advanced countries for the carbon emissions over decades and fund technological innovations to help poor and emerging countries.

The basic groundwork for the Pittsburgh Summit was made at the meeting of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors early this month in London which decided they will work to achieve high, stable and sustainable growth.

That would require orderly re-balancing in global trade, removal of domestic barriers and promotion of efficient functioning of global markets.

India is expected to utilise the opportunity to press for changes in the international financial architecture through reforms of the global financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank so that the voice of poor and emerging economies get heard.

The Prime Minister is also expected to voice the demand for reforms of international governance by seeking reforms of institutions like the United Nations Security Council so that countries like India can get a permanent seat in the powerful panel.

Obama has already made his plans clear when he said he would work with G-20 leaders to strengthen the rules governing financial markets and ensure that the global economic crisis that engulfed the world just a year ago does not happen again.

"We cannot allow the thirst for reckless schemes that produce quick profits and fat executive bonuses to override the security of our entire financial system and leave taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up the mess," Obama had said.

He said the world's leading economies had made progress in stabilising the global financial system but much work remained to create jobs and growth.

At the Summit, India will oppose all types of protectionism in trade and financial inflows to developing countries resisting any temptation to resort to barriers.

The summit is also likely to take a long-term view of the economy and review impact of the measures already adopted before proceeding cautiously about the future.
The gathering is expected to send a strong political message on the crucial issue of climate change negotiations in the Copenhagen summit under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Prime Minister will arrive on September 24 in Pittsburgh where he will attend a reception and dinner by Obama on the same day. The next day, there will be a summit plenary and a lunch which will attended by world leaders.

He will leave Pittsburgh on September 25. Singh will also be interacting with other heads of government and hold bilateral meeting with some of them.

PM's delegation to Pittsburg pruned
 In view of the austerity measures, the Prime Minister's delegation for G-20 Summit in Pittsburg in the US has been pruned.
At least two officials and three members of the official media have been dropped from the delegation that will leave for the four-day visit tomorrow, official sources said here today.
Among those dropped from the delegation is an official each of Press Information Bureau and the Ministry of External Affairs, they said.
Also dropped are a correspondent each of Doordarshan and AIR and two members of the Films Division.
The government has launched the austerity drive for curtailing expenses.

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