N. Ravi

Comes out with a political declaration and another on trade at a joint press meet

L’Aquila, Italy: Leaders of the developing countries meeting at their parallel G5 summit at the venue of the G8 summit urged the industrial nations to deliver on the commitments they had made on financial and credit flows and on avoiding protectionism.

At the end of Thursday’s meetings, which the chairman, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, described as “quite interesting and very productive,” the G5 came out with a declaration that it was important to comply with the agreements reached at the earlier G8 and G5 meetings and particularly at the London G20 summit in April. These related to the steps to address the economic crisis jointly and in particular the commitment to provide the resources to restart credit flows to the developing countries.

The sudden departure of Chinese President Hu Jintao to deal with the ethnic violence in the Xinjiang region cast a shadow over the deliberations of the G5, but the Chinese delegation remained as an active participant.

The G5 came out with a political declaration and another on trade that were presented at a joint press appearance where the leaders made opening statements.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed in his remarks that the developing countries had been the worse hit by the economic crisis, and a collective approach to recovery should address their problems of drying up of credit flows and worsening food poverty.

The G5 declared its commitment to engage with all World Trade Organisation members to complete the Doha round of negotiations. It wanted the negotiations to deliver real and improved market access to the developing countries.

On the contentious issues of agriculture and non-agriculture market access, the G5 leaders wanted the mandates already negotiated to be upheld and not reopened selectively in a way that will upset the overall balance.

The leaders wanted the negotiations on climate change to move forward to a successful conclusion at Copenhagen on the basis of joint but differentiated responsibility. They urged the developed countries to commit themselves to reducing their emissions by at least 40 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2020. They also wanted the conference to consider the funding arrangements for the developing countries to cut emissions and an international mechanism for developing and transferring climate-friendly technologies.

The G5 declaration also stressed the need for the strongest collective action by the international community to prevent terror attacks and punish the perpetrators. To provide an effective international legal framework against terrorism, it called upon the United Nations members to conclude and adopt as early as possible a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The U.N. has been discussing the convention for the last eight years.

Related stories:
  • Climate change talks at a critical stage
  • Manmohan Singh seeks green technology transfer commitment
  • Climate in focus at G8 - Pics
  • G8 meetings to focus on economic crisis and climate change
  • 'No worthwhile action to curb terrorist attacks on India'
  • More In: Today's Paper