We, the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20, held our third meeting today in Ottawa against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown whose effects have been exacerbated by the tragic events of September 11. The barbarous attacks on the United States were attacks on all of us, intended to shake global economic confidence and security. We will ensure that these efforts fail.
We are committed to combating terrorism by cutting off its financial sources. There should be no safe havens for the financing of terrorism. To this end, we have agreed on an action plan to deny terrorists and their associates access to our financial systems. We call on other countries to take similar steps.
We are confident that the attacks of September 11 will not undermine our economic prospects. We have taken policy actions to maintain liquidity and stabilize markets. We stand ready to take additional actions as necessary. These measures will provide the foundation for an early resumption of growth without undermining our future economic prospects. We agreed that heightened security measures should be implemented in a manner that facilitates the cross-border flow of legitimate trade in goods and services. We reaffirm our commitment to free trade and open international markets as a key source of global prosperity. In this context, we welcome the Doha Development Agenda agreed to at the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference launch of a new WTO trade round and commit to work together to achieve multilateral trade liberalization that accelerates progress against poverty and promotes growth.
The reduction of capital flows to emerging markets underscores the need for sound policies to provide and maintain a positive investment environment in member countries. We remain committed to this endeavor. Adopting the best practices embodied in international standards and codes also will help support strong, stable growth and reduce the risk of future financial crises. A majority of the members of the Group of 20 have already participated, on a voluntary basis, in assessments under one or both of the IMF–World Bank–led Financial Sector Assessment Program and Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes, consistent with our undertaking at our inaugural meeting in Berlin in December 1999. We will continue to promote adoption of international standards and codes for transparency, macroeconomic policy, sound financial sector regulation, and corporate governance in consultation as appropriate with relevant international bodies and with the private sector, and thereby strengthen the integrity of the international financial system. We will continue our work on appropriate exchange rate regimes, prudent liability management, and orderly liberalization of the capital account. These efforts will reduce susceptibility to financial crises.
Borrowing countries, creditors, and the international community have a common interest in efficient and well-functioning international capital markets. We would welcome the earliest possible resolution of Argentina’s debt problem. We recognize that lenders are increasingly differentiating between different international borrowers, be they private or sovereign. Good communication between borrowers and their creditors can play an important role in sustaining capital flows to emerging markets. Building on the recent Group of 20 roundtable with private sector representatives on promoting efficient international capital markets, we have asked our deputies to report to our next meeting on improving the way financial crises are resolved, taking into account the lessons learned from experience in emerging markets. A common objective is to reduce uncertainty and ensure the sustainability of capital flows to emerging markets.
We recognize that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable are facing acute challenges in the midst of the global economic slowdown—in particular, the increased uncertainty resulting from the terrorist attacks. We look forward to participating Constructively in the International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee meetings with a view to ensuring that appropriate international support is available to complement the sound national policies needed to generate economic recovery in those countries most affected.
Building on our discussion at our last meeting in Montreal, we reviewed our experiences in responding to the challenges of globalization. We agreed that greater economic integration has led to demonstrable improvements in living standards for the vast majority of our citizens. The Group of 20 and other countries that have integrated into the global system have in general made significant progress in raising real incomes and reducing poverty. But globalization also poses a number of challenges and risks, which call for enhanced international cooperation. We recognize the need to work with the international financial institutions and the WTO to ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared by all, including the poorest countries. To obtain the full benefits of globalization, our governments have a critical role in creating well-developed domestic institutions, good governance, and sound domestic macroeconomic, social, and structural policies. As reflected in the Montreal Consensus, by sustaining such policies we ensure that our economies are better able to maximize the contribution of open markets to growth, equity, and well-being for all our peoples.