Skip to main content

G20: Conference

Volume 709: debated on Tuesday 24 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they will discuss at the G20 meeting in London on 2 April to ensure that poor countries play a full part in shaping the agendas of multilateral institutions and meetings. [HL1973]

We are keen to ensure that the voices of developing regions are heard at the London Summit of G20 leaders. That is why we invited Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia as chair of the New Economic Partnership for African Development and Prime Minister Abhisit in his capacity as the chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Jean Ping, of the African Union (AU) Commission, and Dr Surin, the Secretary General of ASEAN, will also attend to further extend the representation from developing regions.

I attended the AU Summit at the end of January 2009 and the ASEAN summit at the end of February 2009 to seek views from African and Asian leaders directly. I have also held consultations at the UN with member states, the Secretariat and specialised agencies in New York and Geneva. And on 16 March 2009, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister hosted a discussion with African leaders in London.

We recognise the importance of protecting the poorest during the economic downturn. We will therefore be seeking action from the multilateral development banks to take immediate steps to help countries cope with the impact of the crisis on the poorest people.

Further, as well as seeking to ensure that fiscal support is available from the International Monetary Fund on an affordable, flexible basis, we need to agree the principles for governance reform of the international financial institutions to make them more effective and legitimate. Actions at the London G20 summit to stabilise the financial system and build foundations for sustaining and strengthening global growth are essential in order to achieve this. It will be more important to ensure that growth during the economic recovery helps the poor as well as helping more developed countries.