Commonwealth Finance Ministers to meet in Washington DC

Finance ministers from Commonwealth countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and the Pacific will meet in Washington DC early next month on the 8th October 2010 to map out strategies for continuing to deal with the impact of the global economic crisis.

Finance ministers from Commonwealth countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and the Pacific will meet in Washington DC early next month on the 8th October 2010 to map out strategies for continuing to deal with the impact of the global economic crisis.

The meeting, which takes place during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, will be held in the IMF’s HQ1 building.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said that one of the issues that Ministers will discuss is the potential relationship between the Commonwealth and the G20.

“The G20 has been established at leaders’ level for almost two years now, as a framework of global governance.  But it can only represent a part of global public opinion,” Mr Sharma said.

“Five of the Commonwealth members are in the G20, but 49 are not.  There is a ‘G172’ of those countries which do not sit at its table. But in a Commonwealth meeting, we are able to bring together those inside it and outside it, to express and discuss mutual concerns.”

Ministers will also discuss ways of promoting environmentally sustainable growth, as well as addressing the challenges of small and vulnerable states in managing their debt.

“For many years, it has been clear that a growing number of small states have seen rising and increasingly unsustainable levels of domestic and external debt. In Washington, we will discuss the policy options to address this challenge, including innovative approaches to sustainable debt management,” the Secretary-General said.

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