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Costello should untie poor countries at G20.

October 13, 2005

Costello should untie poor countries at G20.

AID/WATCH today called on Treasurer Peter Costello to loosen the neo-liberal knot that binds poor countries when he attends a meeting of the G20 in China this week.

The G20 meeting of finance ministers, central bankers and international financial institutions will discuss the global economy and the future for the IMF and World Bank when it meets on October 15-16.

Australia will host meetings of the G20 through 2006 culminating in meeting of finance ministers in Melbourne during November.

"The recent announcement of debt relief by the G8 was a great start but much more needs to be done on aid, trade and poor countries debts", Tim O'Connor AID/WATCH said.

"Peter Costello should push for rich countries to untie their aid and debt relief programs from the neo liberal polices of the World Bank and IMF. Poor countries should not have to privatise and deregulate their economies to receive help. Too often the poorest are being forced to suffer poor education and health services because of the exorbitant debts they have to repay to the Asian Development Bank and the IMF."

"Two billion people live on less than two US dollars a day and its getting worse. We have to question whether the World Bank and IMF can be reformed as they continue to be part of the problem. Instead of imposing our development models on them we need to ensure that indebted countries can attain their own paths to development. "

"Australia has an opportunity next year to use its leadership of the G20 to push for policies that will really help the world's poor and contribute to sustainable development. We need to advance on ground made by the G8 and really tackle the structural problems that keep people in poverty."

"Over the coming year AID/WATCH will take the lead in organising information, forums and demonstrations to pressure the Australian government and the G20 countries to make real change."

WHAT IS THE G20?

The G-20 brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from the G8 countries, Australia and 11 major emerging markets (Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey), along with the European Union, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Supported by meetings of their G-20 deputies, G-20 ministers and governors meet annually to address key issues in international economics and finance.

ENDS


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