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G-20 Global Response: 'Developing World Needs Its Own Stimulus'

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As the G-20 Summit in London wraps up today, bloggers and citizen journalists from around the world are covering the outcomes, ideas and policies presented by the leaders at the meeting, including President Barack Obama, who spoke today.

Representatives from across the developing world are worried that the economic leaders will forget about the poorer countries affected by the global financial crisis.

Mary Robinson, honorary president of Oxfam International, expresses this concern and asks the G-20 members to bring the so-called Third World out of the periphery.

I do get the strong sense today that the G20's focus is much closer to home - that this meeting is about reforms through stronger regulation and stimulus packages all designed to move the richer and more powerful countries out of financial crisis.

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The developing world needs its own stimulus package to help ensure better global security and to meet finally the millennium development goals particularly to halve poverty and achieve people's rights to health and education. The amount of money needed to do this is minimal compared to the vast bail-outs of the banks; one of the biggest lessons we have learnt in
the past 12 months is that huge resources can certainly be mobilized if there's a will to do so.

Sanjay Suri wrote in Inter Press Service that while the G-20 Summit nations seemed to make the argument that a global response was required to and could solve the global financial crisis, a one-size-fits-all solution is not realistic.

"There is this myth that everybody has to follow exactly the same rules in the global economy," John Hilary, executive director of the rights group War on Want told IPS. "I think one of the key principles which has been tried in the global trade rules is the principle of special and differential treatment. Which says that what the developed countries like the U.S. or the EU have to do is not necessarily the right type of policy for developing countries to adopt."

Any acknowledgement of such differences is largely missing from the G20 rhetoric so far. The accent is now on a one-size-fits-all kind of solution that does not seem to leave room for any acknowledgement from developing countries that the G20 must agree that some countries do one kind of thing, and other countries another.

Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made it a point to speak about how the G-20 can help fight extreme poverty, blogger Chris Scott reports. Brown placed specific importance on the IMF's action in this crisis.

To deal with this crisis we have today asked the IMF to bring forward proposals to use the proceeds of agreed gold sales to support low income countries. So in total we have now reached agreements worth $50 billion for the poorest countries - alongside our support for a world bank vulnerability fund.

In that same spirit, Obama told the conference goers that he would work with Congress to come up with $448 million of immediate assistance to give to vulnerable populations.

Richard Murphy, a financial expert, comments on the G20Voice website about the tax policy discussed at today's meetings and finds hope for developing nations because the tax treaty will be based on the United Nations' model.

When it comes to broader issues the UN agreement is biased to developing countries. This would be good news, and a boost to our call for the Un to have a much more important role in taxation. It may be an unexpected bonus of the day.