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UK's Brown: World's Poorest Will Not Be Overlooked at G20 Summit


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the world's poorest and most vulnerable people will not be forgotten at the summit of the world's 20 largest economies next month in London. Speaking alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday at the United Nations, Mr. Brown said it is "urgent" that the G-20 take action to help the world's poorest nations through the global financial crisis.

Prime Minister Brown said the world economy is interdependent, and that there is no solution to the current crisis that is not a global solution.

"I think we are recognizing that the Washington consensus on economic policy is over - that the old world has gone, that we have got to build a new consensus on economic development for the future," he said. "And the message to every country, I think, is that doing nothing is no longer an option."

He said that at the April 2 summit in London, the G-20 will have to take steps to put the world on the road to economic recovery.

"And we will have to take action in London to make sure that the banking system is reformed, to ensure ourselves that our financial institutions can come to the aid of the poorest countries, and to make sure that we do what is necessary to ensure that there is strong growth and recovery - and particularly jobs in the world economy as a result of the actions that we take," he said.

Mr. Brown is on a tour to promote a coordinated international response to the global financial crisis. After he leaves New York, he will go to Chile and Brazil.

He spoke to reporters after a meeting with the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will also attend the G-20 summit.

The U.N. chief said his role would be as an advocate for the world's poorest people, who he fears will suffer the most if donor countries reduce their international assistance or do not fulfill their aid commitments.

"My position is that while I would welcome the G-20 leaders to formulate their national stimulus packages, they should never lose sight of the challenges and pride of developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable poor countries," said Ban Ki-moon.

Mr. Ban said he has written to the G-20 members, outlining four areas where he thinks they must show leadership, including producing a "very substantial" international stimulus package in addition to their national ones, meeting their existing donor commitments and taking a firm stand against protectionism.

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