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Updated: September 20, 2009 20:04 IST

BRIC nations push for greater voting rights at IMF and World Bank

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Manmohan Singh and the other leaders of the BRIC nations are expected to push for greater voting rights at IMF and the World Bank when the G-20 meet again. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu Manmohan Singh and the other leaders of the BRIC nations are expected to push for greater voting rights at IMF and the World Bank when the G-20 meet again. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of emerging countries like Brazil, China and South Africa are expected to make a big push for more space and a stronger voice in global financial institutions at the G-20 Summit starting in Pittsburgh on September 24.

Climate change will also loom large at the summit of the world’s 19 largest economies and the European Union ahead of a key UN environment summit in Copenhagen in December set to hammer out a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

At the summit hosted by President Barack Obama, India will advocate reforms of the international financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to keep pace with the ground realities of the changing world.

Brazil, Russia, India, China—the four countries in the BRIC grouping—and South Africa are seeking greater representation and voting rights at the IMF and the World Bank to reflect their growing economic clout.

With financial markets reforms set to be a central issue at the summit, Mr. Obama set the tone on Saturday when he stressed the need for regulations to prevent another global economic crisis.

“We know we still have a lot to do, in conjunction with nations around the world, to strengthen the rules governing financial markets and ensure that we never again find ourselves in the precarious situation we found ourselves in just one year ago,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly radio address.

Ahead of the Pittsburgh meet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “We need to get well beyond the agreements made in London,” she said. “We can work towards ensuring a (financial) crisis like this is not repeated worldwide. That must be our goal.” The previous G-20 summit was held in London in April.

The BRIC finance ministers at their recent meeting in London urged counterparts from the Group of 20 largest and fastest-emerging economies to rid the world’s economic architecture of weaknesses that helped trigger the global crisis.

They have sought a seven percent shift of IMF quotas towards developing countries and emerging markets after lending their support to G-20 plans to triple the institution’s lending capacity to 750 billion dollars.

The BRIC nations and South Africa are of the view that money is a key sticking point in fighting climate change, with rich economies expected to find funds to help poorer nations buy clean technology and cope with increased droughts, floods and rising seas.

With the summit expected to send a strong political message to combat global warming, India is of the view that long-term measures have to take centrality of the need of the developing countries.

The G-20 countries account for 90 per cent of global GDP, 80 percent of global trade and are home to two-third of the world’s humanity

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