» Monday, March 30, 2009

G20 Summit

Asked about security at the G20 Summit, the Prime Minister s Spokesman (PMS) said that it was the responsibility of the police, who were working hard to ensure that the right security arrangements were in place. This would not be hassle free for Londoners, but people were working hard to ensure that the impact on Londoners was minimised as much as possible.

Asked for the Prime Minister s reaction regarding the suggestion that the Sardinian G8 Summit could effectively become a G20 meeting, the PMS said that we would see merit in further meetings of the G20. The meeting in Washington had been constructive and we were looking forward to the meeting this week, but it was for leaders to discuss and take a view on.

Asked if the Prime Minister would rule out having further G20 meetings in 2009, the PMS said that we would not rule out that possibility; we would see merit in it, despite what had been reported this morning.

Asked if the UK was chairing the G20 for the whole year, the PMS said that technically the UK was the chair of the G20 Finance Ministers. The meeting in Washington had been a meeting of heads of government so was therefore slightly outside of the normal G20 process. It did not necessarily follow that we would expect to chair any future meetings.

Asked if the Prime Minister would have time to lead another meeting like the one happening this week, the PMS said that it was an important meeting and the Prime Minister took his responsibilities seriously; this was a global problem that required a global solution. Therefore, the Prime Minister thought that it was right to devote a lot of time, energy and effort into working with his international colleagues to find common solutions to the global crisis.

Put that the Prime Minister saw merit in the idea of another meeting but was indifferent to where it should take place, the PMS said that that was a fair assessment of our views, but it was something we would want to discuss with other leaders.

Asked if the Prime Minister would want to chair a second meeting given that he had some expertise in the area, the PMS said that that was not something we would anticipate and it was for leaders to decide the right way forward.

Asked if there should be a permanent secretariat to deal with such issues, the PMS said that the Prime Minister saw the case for looking at the way we dealt with a lot of these international issues. We had moved away from the traditional format of it being only the G8 who meet to discuss global issues. In recent years the G8 meetings had included participation from India, China, South Africa and Brazil. It was worth remembering that the G8 didn t have a permanent secretariat.

Asked if there was a list that divided up the G20 countries into importance, the PMS said that that was not the position taken by No 10 and not something that No 10 would either draw up or endorse.

Asked if that meant the Foreign Office drew up such a list, the PMS said that it was not Government policy to divide G20 in that way.

Put that all major discussion at the summit this week would involve the whole G20, the PMS said yes.

Asked how the PMS would describe the G20 London Summit, the PMS said that it was a process rather than an individual meeting, and a process that was nearer to its beginning than its end. It was about the world coming together to show that we were united in our response to the crisis. It also addressed the common issues that we all faced around how we tightened financial regulation; how we sustained growth and shortened the recession; how we reformed and made sure the international financial institutions had the resources they needed in order to do their jobs. It was also about sending a strong signal that the world community was anti-protectionism.

Asked if the draft communiqu published in the Financial Times this morning was a reliable guide, the PMS said not necessarily; there were numerous draft communiqu s floating around and there were sure to be many more before Thursday.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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