PM to press for resolute action on eurozone crisis (Lead)

June 16th, 2012 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Ahead of his eight-day overseas tour to attend the G-20 and the Rio+20 summits in Mexico and Brazil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday flagged the global concerns on the economic meltdown, essentially the eurozone crisis, and the environment degradation, calling for Europe to take resolute action to come out of its financial mess that is threatening to bring the global economy crashing down.

He also vowed to press for ensuring primacy of the development dimensions in the G-20 deliberations at the resort town of Los Cabos in Mexico June 18-19, and the need to focus on investment in infrastructure to stimulate global growth.

“G-20 leaders will meet once again in the shadow of the economic crisis in the eurozone and a faltering global economy. This situation in Europe is of particular concern as Europe accounts for a significant share of the global economy and is also India’s major trade and investment partner,” the prime minister said in a statement ahead of his departure for Los Cabos.

“Continuing problems there will further dampen global markets and adversely impact our own economic growth. It is our hope that European leaders will take resolute action to resolve the financial problems facing them,” he said.

The other issue of immediate concern is the need to revive global growth, Singh said, noting that it was “imperative” that the G-20 countries work in coordination to implement policies that promote sustained growth.

“India has been pursuing this objective in its capacity as the co-chair of the working group on the ‘Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth’. I will stress the need to ensure primacy of the development dimension in G-20 deliberations and the need to focus on investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth,” the prime minister said.

He noted that the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — have been the new growth poles of the global economy and recalled that at the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi in March this year, the leaders of the five nations agreed to work with the international community to ensure policy coordination to maintain macroeconomic stability conducive to the healthy recovery of the global economy.

As current chair of BRICS, India will host an informal meeting of BRICS leaders prior to the commencement of the G-20 summit at Los Cabos to exchange views on the agenda of the summit.

From Los Cabos, Singh will travel to Rio de Janeiro for the UN-sponsored Earth Summit June 21-22. The prime minister will emphasize that the world must not dilute the cardinal principles enunciated by the Earth Summit in 1992, also held in Rio, particularly of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity, which were the core of global sustainable development efforts.

“We have come a long way since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Environmental concerns today occupy the centre-stage of global discourse. Yet, we are far from pursing a truly sustainable path towards development,” the prime minister said.

“The UN conference on sustainable development is an historic opportunity to give meaningful content to the paradigm of sustainable development. At its heart lies the imperative of moving away from a resource intensive development path while ensuring inclusive and balanced development for eradicating the grinding poverty that afflicts millions,” he added.

The Rio+20 Conference is likely to debate complex and contentious issues such as green economy and sustainable development goals.

“We must acknowledge the continuing differences in levels of development across the world, and the need for provision of financial and technological support to the developing world if we are to work together as a global community to address our most pressing environmental challenges. India will work with like-minded countries to forge a consensus in this endeavour,” Manmohan Singh said.

During the visit to Los Cabos and Rio de Janeiro, Singh said, he looked forward to separately meeting Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the newly-elected French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley, Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Benin President Boni Yayi and other leaders.

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