India, Brazil, South Africa call for reform; EU wants new monetary order

15 Oct 2008


Mumbai: Leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa today called for reforms at the United Nations and its sister institutions, making them more representative, even as leaders of European Union have sought a new world monetary order.

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels today to chalk out plans for a new `Bretton Woods' for overhauling the global financial structure in order to ensure that the credit crisis does not rear its head again.

Leaders of the three major developing countries argue that the genesis of the crisis, that even the poorest countries now feel, could be blamed on the mistakes and greed of wealthier Western nations.

''We run the risk of being victims of a financial crisis generated by rich countries. This is unjust," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the summit of the three countries in New Delhi.

''It is inadmissible that we'll pay for the irresponsibility of speculators that transformed the world into a gigantic casino. At the same time they gave us lessons on how we should govern our countries," he said.

''Our countries should participate more directly in international coordination to confront the financial crisis," he added.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has called for a strengthening of the global financial institutions as also a broadening of the Group of Eight developed nations to make it more representative.
''We need more than ever before a renewed effort to reform the institutions of international governance, whether it is the United Nations or the G-8,'' he told the three-nation summit.

The financial market crisis has hit Brazil's once strongly performing stocks and currency markets and jeopardised its ambitions to become a global economic heavyweight.

India too has been forced to inject liquidity into its banking system amid fears of a decline in the country's economic growth rate.

''The pillars of stability ... potentially lie in the south,'' said South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Meanwhile, India and Brazil, key members of the Group of 20 developing nations, have called for a prompt breakthrough in global trade talks that would signal the political will of governments to collectively meet global financial risks.

Brazil and India and South Africa along with China and Russia, which form the BRIC group of major emerging markets, have been for years campaigning for more influence on global diplomatic and financial policies. The current financial market crisis has given added weight to their argument.

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