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Brown wants new global financial order

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Associated Press
Published: September 26, 2008

UNITED NATIONS: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Friday for “a new global financial order” to resolve the financial crisis currently roiling world markets.

In his address before the U.N. General Assembly, Brown said the world was facing the “first real financial crisis” of the global era and that it required an international solution.

“The international institutions created in the aftermath of World War II have not kept pace with the changing global economy. We need national regulators to be cooperative, rules and principles to be consistent and international movements of capital to be transparent,” Brown said.

He said the immediate priority was to stabilize financial markets and then work to rebuild the world financial system around clear principles, including increased transparency, regulation, responsibility and global oversight of international capital flows.

“For we must build a new global financial order founded on transparency, not opacity, rewarding success not excess, responsibility, not impunity, and which is global not national,” Brown said. “We must clearly state that the age of irresponsibility must be end.”

Britain is dealing with the current credit crunch by making over 100 billion pounds (US$184 billion) available and extending a special liquidity scheme until the end of Jan. 2009, Brown said.

The country has also placed a temporary ban on short-selling.

Brown bemoaned wildly fluctuating oil prices and called for a restart of the stalled Doha round of World Trade Organization talks.

The Doha talks broke down earlier this year after rich nations were unable to reach agreement with developing nations over these agricultural tariffs and subsidies.

On Friday, Brown called for the removal of protectionist trade barriers and subsidies, which he acknowledged denied developing countries some US$15 billion in agricultural income each year.

At end of the year, Brown said he would host a global energy summit in London.

Finally, he warned against a tendency toward isolationism in the face of the current crises involving food, fuels and world finance.

“Some say in a time of difficulty we should look inwards and cut aid. That we have excuse for tolerating famine, or for walking by on the other side,” Brown said. “Now is not the time to pull up the drawbridge. To seek solace in isolation or revert to an outdated and futile protectionism.”

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