Gordon Brown's Letter to Benedict XVI

«This Is a Decisive Moment for the World Economy»

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LONDON, MARCH 31, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is the response of British prime minister Gordon Brown to a letter sent by Benedict XVI on Monday regarding the Group of 20 summit to be held in London this week.

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Your Holiness

Thank you for your letter of 30 March about the London G20
Summit. It was a pleasure to meet you recently. I was inspired by our discussion to redouble my efforts to ensure the G20 Summit does not forget the poor or climate change.

Millions of families around the world are struggling as the recession takes its toll. We must provide real help to get people through these tough times and take action to lay the foundations for recovery. That is why we must get an ambitious outcome from the London Summit on 2 April.

As you say, the world’s poorest are most at risk from this crisis, even though they have not been responsible for creating it. Protecting the poorest is one of my top priorities and we stand ready to support the most vulnerable in society. It is vital that rich countries keep their promises on aid, even in these tough times.

The UK has also already announced a contribution to the World
Bank’s Rapid Social Response Fund that will protect some of the poorest from the impact of the crisis. We are calling on others to make a contribution, to provide real help for people in difficulty. We must not turn away from the poor at a time when they most need our help.

I hope the G20 will also help create momentum for the vital Copenhagen Climate talks and back a low carbon recovery. I am committed to doing all I can to help ensure our transition to a greener future.

As well as helping the poorest and supporting a low carbon recovery, the G20 must also take bold action to help kickstart global trade and give the IMF the funds it needs to support big emerging economies, increasingly starved of global finance. Millions of jobs will depend on this.

Finally we must agree tough measures to better regulate banks and hedge funds and ensure the shadow banking system is regulated.

As you say, the poorest, particularly Africa, need a greater voice in the G20. This is why we have extended the participation at the London Summit beyond the traditional members of the G20 to include African and Asian regional representation, in the form of the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). We will of course also have the heads of the IMF and World Bank, who work to support the economies of the emerging and developing world, and I am delighted that the UN Secretary General will be joining us. Additionally, in advance of the London Summit, I hosted detailed discussions in London with African leaders to hear views and have taken these into account.

This is a decisive moment for the world economy. We have a choice to make. We can either let the recession run its course, or we can resolve as a world community to unite, to stand with millions of people struggling in these tough times, to fight back against this global recession that is hurting so many people in every continent. I hope that the world’s leaders can come together to rise to this challenge.
Yours sincerely,

Gordon Brown

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