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  Saturday, October 19, 2019
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World leaders pledged at a summit in Washington to restore global
World leaders pledged at a summit in Washington to restore global economic growth and start work on reforming financial regulation.

Leaders of the G20 nations, which account for 90% of the world's economy, agreed at Saturday's summit to reform the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to improve their effectiveness in helping emerging economies through the credit crunch.

Although leaders hailed progress at the talks, concrete agreements will have to wait until a follow-up summit, scheduled for April 2009, likely to be held in London.

A joint summit communique said: "We are determined to enhance our cooperation and work together to restore global growth and achieve needed reforms in the world's financial systems."

"We must lay the foundation for reform to help to ensure that a global crisis, such as this one, does not happen again.

After the talks, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said: "What matters now are the follow-up actions."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed that the vast and complex issues discussed at the summit "cannot be resolved in three weeks," but welcomed the U.S. approach to the crisis, saying: "The U.S. administration has accepted to move on subjects where historically all U.S. administrations refused to move."

"Never before have Anglo-Saxons agreed to subject rating agencies to oversight and regulation," he said.

Acknowledging failings in global financial regulation, the G20 statement said: "Policy-makers, regulators and supervisors, in some advanced countries, did not adequately appreciate and address the risks building up in financial markets, keep pace with financial innovation, or take into account the systemic ramifications of domestic regulatory actions."

President George W. Bush, who leaves office in January, said the participants had agreed to modernize financial regulation, making markets more "transparent and accountable."

The outgoing leader hailed the summit as "very successful."

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team released a statement saying the future leader was ready to work with other G20 countries to tackle the credit crisis when he takes office. He called the summit "an important opportunity to seek a coordinated response to the global financial crisis."


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