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EU Launches Development Appeal to G20 Summit

The European Commission on Friday called for development to be given a place in the new global financial architecture.

"Poverty is the most urgent crisis facing the world. The "Bretton Woods II" summit in Washington offers a crucial opportunity to integrate the development dimension into the new international financial architecture," said Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

Leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) major industrial and emerging economies are due to meet in Washington on Saturday.

The summit was called to overhaul the international financial system to prevent a repeat of the current global financial crisis. EU leaders had hoped that the reform could help build a new Bretton Woods system.

The current global financial rules were created in 1944 at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, where the international monetary protocols governing trade, banking and other financial relations among nations were established.

Michel said the time has come for the financial system to play its part fully and help lift millions of people out of poverty.

"The G20 must also make it one of its central priorities to address poverty," he said.

The Commission said it hopes to bring about a pro-development consensus at the level of the G20 and beyond.

The EU is the leading donor of development aid, accounting for 56 percent of the worldwide total with a contribution of 46 billion euros (US$58 billion) in 2007.

EU leaders agreed at an informal summit earlier this month that the reform of the international financial system must be integrated into the full range of challenges facing the world, such as combating poverty and climate change and promoting free trade.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2008)

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