Gordon Brown calls for new world order sans protectionism

November 11th, 2008 - 11:00 am ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 11 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a “new global order” shorn of protectionism and he hopes that American President-elect Barack Obama would lead the way in helping build such a world.In comments made ahead of this week’s emergency summit of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and biggest emerging economies in Washington, the British leader also urged solutions to the global financial crisis based on a “new multilateralism”.

“While I see a world that is facing financial crisis and still diminished by conflict and injustice, I also see the chance to forge a new multilateralism that is both hard-headed and progressive,” Brown said Monday.

“My message is that we must be internationalist, not protectionist; interventionist, not neutral; progressive, not reactive; and forward-looking, not frozen by events,” Brown told guests at a traditional banquet thrown every year by the lord mayor of City of London - the British capital’s financial district.

“We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society,” Brown said.

He called for a “rejection of beggar-thy-neighbour protectionism that has been a feature in transforming past crises into deep recessions”.

Paying handsome tributes to Obama and America, which he called “our closest ally”, the British premier said: “As America stands at this new dawn of hope, so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the first century of a truly global society.”

Brown said the Nov 15 summit of the G20 in Washington “must use the power of multilateralism to establish a global consensus on a new, decisive and systemic approach to strengthening the global economy”.

A new financial system, he said must be based on “the principles of transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders”.

“In Washington this weekend, the British government will work with its G20 partners to establish that consensus and with it to begin to build a new Bretton Woods with a new IMF (International Monetary Fund) that offers, by its surveillance of every economy, an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world,” he said.

A meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors ended Sunday with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva telling officials gathered in Sao Paulo the global financial system “collapsed like a house of cards” because of “dogmatic faith in non-intervention in markets”.

The G20, set up in 1999, comprises seven developed countries - America, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - plus Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union along with the IMF and the World Bank.

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