World Bank urges G20 action on global challenges

LONDON (AFP) – World Bank president Robert Zoellick urged Monday G20 leaders to set an ambitious agenda of "responsible globalisation" at this week's summit.

Zoellick said the summit should include efforts to promote more balanced growth with financial stability, development and climate change, rather than the narrow focus set at the last G20 summit in London in April.

"The challenge for the G20 is how do you sustain the momentum and co-operation they were able to achieve when staring into the abyss at the time of the London summit as the crisis wanes?" Zoellick told the Financial Times.

US President Barack Obama hosts G20 leaders in Pittsburgh starting Thursday for two days of talks aimed at tightening regulations to ensure that a similar global financial crisis never happens again.

"The core message of Pittsburgh needs to be more than implementing the agenda set in London, which was mostly about financial stability or reforming bankers? bonuses," he said.

"I would like the G20 to talk about responsible globalisation.

"That would capture balanced global growth, financial stability, climate change, help for the poorest including our proposal for a new facility to help countries cope with economic shocks not of their own making," he added.

Zoellick also warned of rising protectionism and called for a robust G20 response. "We have a low-grade fever of trade tensions and the temperature is starting to rise," he told the FT.

He urged the United States and China to settle their dispute over imports. The United States last week imposed punitive tariffs of 35 percent on Chinese-made tyre imports -- a move that prompted Beijing to lodge a complaint at the World Trade Organization.

The World Bank last week urged the Group of 20 nations to step up aid to the poorest countries, saying they lack billions of dollars for critical spending to weather the global economic crisis.

Source: AFP

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