G-20 leaders to decide future mandate in Toronto

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New Delhi, June 22 (ANI): Leaders of various nations who formed Group-20 will meet in the Canadian city of Toronto on Saturday and Sunday to decide on the future course of the grouping.

The leaders at the G-20 Summit in Canada will decide on the mandate and direction of the G20's future course of action and likely to deliberate on issues like global recovery, the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth; international financial institutions, etc..

Addressing media here today, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao described the G-20 as an important international economic entity that would use its Toronto meeting to deliberate on the next steps to end the ongoing global fiscal crisis.

"Some of the areas the leaders can be expected to address are: global recovery, its prospects and challenges; the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth; international financial institutions (IFI) reform; financial regulatory reform; protectionism; and looking ahead to Seoul the venue of the Fifth G20 Summit in November 2010,"Rao said.

She said the fourth G-20 Summit is being held on June 26 and 27 in Toronto, Canada. This is the fourth Summit of the international grouping within a span of 20 months, starting with the Washington Summit in November of 2008, the London Summit in April 2009, and the Pittsburgh Summit in September, 2009.

"We believe this is indicative of the dynamism and importance of this grouping which since Pittsburgh has been designated as the premier forum for international economic cooperation," said Ms. Rao.

She informed as the host, the Prime Minister of Canada would preside over this Summit. Leaders of the G20 member countries are expected to attend. Canada has also invited Spain, Netherlands, Malawi (as Chair of the African Union), Ethiopia (which holds the Chair of NEPAD), and Vietnam (as the Chair country of ASEAN), to the Summit. In addition, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF, the Director-General of the WTO, heads of the ILO, the Financial Stability Board, etc., are likely to be present.

She said that Prime Minister Dr Singh would have a busy schedule in Toronto.

Ms. Rao said that the Prime Minister would be accompanied by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Secretary (West) Vinay Katju and other senior officials.

Revealing the agenda, Ms. Rao said the G20 Summit starts with an official welcome and reception followed by Working Dinner by the Prime Minister of Canada and the day's programme concludes with a cultural event.

On June 27, the programme includes the Summit Opening Plenary followed by other plenary sessions, a G20 family photograph, a leaders' working lunch, and finally the concluding Final Plenary in the afternoon.

After the Summit, Prime Minister will attend to the bilateral component of his visit to Canada.

"Prime Minister will interact with leaders of participating countries in the G20 Summit on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. Some bilateral meetings are envisaged on the sidelines of the Summit," Ms. Rao informed.

The host country Canada is organizing some side events in conjunction with the G20 Summit.

"There is firstly a G20 Business Summit, or B20, as it has been called, which will be held on June 25th and 26th, 2010, to which each country has been invited to send two businesspersons. India will be represented at the B20 by CII and FICCI and this event is being organised at the invitation of the Canadian Finance Minister."

"The other event is the G20 Youth Summit called 'MY Summit' for which each country will be sending up to seven persons. India will be represented by a youth group selected by our Department of Youth Affairs. Select participants from the Youth Summit will also interact briefly with the G20 leaders on June 27 afternoon."

The Toronto Summit's theme is, "Recovery and New Beginnings".

"The Summit's main focus will be on implementation of the previous Summit decisions. Therefore, the leaders are expected to take stock of where we are and to chart the future direction. They can be expected to review the current status of the global economic recovery, as well as, the progress of implementation regarding the past G20 Summit decisions," Ms. Rao said.

"In the light of the above, the leaders will decide on the mandate and direction of the G20's future course of action. Without trying to prejudge the deliberations of the Summit, broadly speaking some of the areas the leaders can be expected to address are: global recovery, its prospects and challenges; the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth; international financial institutions (IFI) reform; financial regulatory reform; protectionism; and looking ahead to Seoul the venue of the Fifth G20 Summit in November 2010."

"As in the past, a Toronto Summit Declaration or Communique is expected to be issued", said Ms. Rao while refraining from speculating on the outcome of the Summit or the contents of the Communique.

"But what the G20 has sought to focus on in its previous Summit meetings and the meetings of the Finance Ministers is to evolve a common understanding on the causes of the global financial and economic crisis, a reaffirmation of commitment to financial and economic stability and growth, to evolve common principles for reforming the financial markets, and launching of the national plans for information."

Ms. Rao informed media persons that the Pittsburgh Summit, which is the last Summit held before the Toronto Summit, had designated the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and had noted the success achieved in tackling the international financial and economic crisis by prompt and effective measures. It had mandated a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the 21st century through sound macro-economic policies; emphasised the need for sustained strong policy responses to growth until a durable recovery was secured; and to avoid any premature withdrawal of stimulus while preparing for coordinated exit strategies.

It had called for implementing regulatory measures governing banks, financial institutions, capital markets, compensation standards, risk taking, over- the- counter (OTC) derivatives, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, non-cooperative jurisdictions, as well as, reiterated the fight against protectionism and all its forms. It was also decided to hold a Summit at Toronto and thereafter at Seoul, and to have Annual Summits thereafter starting with France in 2011.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and the United States. (ANI)

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