Commonwealth finance ministers to discuss rising prices

September 3rd, 2008 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 3 (IANS) Commonwealth finance ministers will discuss the implications of rising food and fuel prices on their economies at their annual meeting in Castries, St Lucia, Oct 6-8.The meeting will bring together ministers, senior finance officials and delegates from the 53 member countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat said in a statement here Wednesday.

It traditionally takes place just before annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington, allowing Commonwealth ministers to take joint concerns and positions into those meetings.

“High food and energy prices present serious humanitarian, development and macro-economic challenges to all members of the Commonwealth, and particularly to finance ministers,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma.

Ministers will consider the implications of rising prices on economic and social development before turning to the policy implications for their portfolios.

“The discussions should enable ministers to identify short and long-term policy responses to the fuel and energy crisis, not least by sharing their comparative experience,” Sharma added.

Ministers will also discuss the ongoing Commonwealth call for the reform of international institutions, following the mandate given by its heads of government at their meetings in Kampala in 2007, and in June this year.

The focus of their discussions will be to continue Commonwealth efforts to promote deeper reforms in the IMF and World Bank.

They will also follow up on their discussions of 2007 on the economic implications of climate change, through assessing the impact of climate change on the trading prospects of small states.

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