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White House gears up for G-20 summit

world Updated: Nov 12, 2008 13:05 IST
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The White House is gearing up to host one of the biggest political shows in the eight year stay of President George W Bush by organising the G-20 summit where the top world leaders are expected to participate.

"The summit is a too serious a matter for posturing. There is no time for posturing. The shoe is really pinching," a senior official speaking on background maintained stressing the fact that each of the representative country is going to speak for itself.

"There is not going to be a group view," the official maintained making the point that each country is on its own capacity.

Besides, twenty world leaders, the heads of the World Bank Group, the IMF, the chair of the Global Financial Stability Forum, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon will also attend the summit.

The dinner scheduled at the White House on Friday is said to be a "brainstorming" session. Simultaneously, the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will be hosting a dinner for Finance Ministers, the Sherpas (advisors) and Finance Deputies.

New Delhi will be represented by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Secretary for Economic Affairs Ashok Chawla will accompany the Prime Minister. Expectations are also that a communique or a statement may be issued at the end of the meeting which is not likely to be a prescriptive document.

The expectations are manifold but neither the Bush administration nor the delegations are in a position to write the final script on how the meeting is going to work out, with one perception being that the leaders may be keen on coming up with a larger agreement on principles and a new regulatory mechanism and also on ways as to how to prevent a crisis in the future.

But one indication out of the latest meeting in Sao Paulo is on a thinking that the power arrangements in the international financial system needs to be re-arranged.

The argument is being made that no single country can solve this financial crisis and the rationale for the upcoming Summit is to bring the Heads of State/Government together to come up with "something" in a process that has already began prior to the Sao Paulo meeting.