Gordon Brown: world leaders should create a new international (world) order of trade and global governance.

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London Telegraph
10 Nov 2008

Mr Brown will use a high-profile speech in the City of London to say that Britain, the US and Europe should join together to provide leadership in the creation of a "stronger and more just international order".

This weekend's emergency summit of world leaders in Washington must establish consensus on a new Bretton Woods-style framework for the international financial system, featuring a reformed IMF which will act as a global early-warning system for financial problems, he will say.

The Prime Minister yesterday promised to work with US President-elect Barack Obama to build a new global society in which the markets are subjected to morality and ordinary people's interests are put first.

In electing Mr Obama, US voters showed their belief in the "progressive" agenda of government intervention to help families and businesses through the current crisis, he said.

In his annual foreign policy speech to the Lord Mayor of London's Guildhall banquet today, Mr Brown will say that the trans-Atlantic relationship between Britain and Europe and the USA can be the driving force behind the creation of a new international order.

"The alliance between Britain and the US - and more broadly between Europe and the US - can and must provide leadership, not in order to make the rules ourselves, but to lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order," Mr Brown will say.

"The trans-Atlantic relationship has been the engine of effective multilateralism for the past 50 years.

"As America stands at its own dawn of hope, so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the century of a truly global society.

"And I believe the whole of Europe can work closely with America to meet the great challenges which will test our resolution and illuminate our convictions."

The circumstances of a financial crisis affecting the whole world provide the opportunity for thorough-going reform of international institutions, Mr Brown will say.

"Uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together so that 2008 is remembered not just for the failure of a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the resilience and optimism with which we faced the storm, endured it and prevailed," he will tell his audience of City financiers.

"And remembered too for how, in doing so, we discovered and refashioned the global power of nations working together."

Following last month's co-ordinated international moves to refinance the banks and slash interest rates, Mr Brown will say that this weekend's meeting of the G20 states offers "the chance to forge a new multilateralism that is both hard-headed and progressive".

"If we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society," he will say.

Mr Brown will say that the world faces five great challenges: to win the battle of ideas for democracy over extremism and terror; strengthen the global economy; tackle climate change; resolve conflicts and rebuild fragile states; and meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

And he will call on the international community to "use the power of multilateralism to establish a global consensus on a new, decisive and systemic approach to strengthening the global economy".

This should involve recapitalisation of banks to permit the resumption of normal lending to households and businesses; better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy; a new IMF fund to help struggling economies and stop "contagion"; agreement on a world trade deal; and reform of the international financial system based on principles of "transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders".

Mr Brown will say: "In Washington this weekend, the British Government will work with its G20 partners to establish that consensus and with it to begin to build a new Bretton Woods with a new IMF that offers, by its surveillance of every economy, an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world.

"My message is that we must be: internationalist not protectionist; interventionist not neutral; progressive not reactive; and forward-looking not frozen by events. We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society."

Mr Brown will be greeted at the Guildhall by anti-poverty and environmental protesters urging him to call time on the global greed which they hold responsible for the financial crisis.

The groups - including the Trade Justice Movement, ActionAid, Cafod, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, Stamp Out Poverty, War on Want, the World Development Movement and the New Economics Foundation - say that while those to blame for the crisis have been bailed out with billions of dollars of taxpayers' money, the world's poorest people remain saddled with an unfair economic system and have received nothing.

Meredith Alexander from ActionAid said: "The financial crisis has graphically demonstrated to people in rich countries what the poor have known for years - that the current international economic system doesn't work.

"We need a radically different economic system which puts people first. Most importantly, the world's poorest people must have a full and equal say in developing this system. Decisions must not be taken by organisations that only represent rich countries."

Benedict Southworth, chair of the Trade Justice Movement, added: "It's time for a radically different system which reduces inequality, creates jobs and puts people before profit, within a low carbon economy.

"It's essential that rich countries do not use this crisis as an excuse not to make deep cuts in carbon emissions and agree a post 2012 climate change deal. Instead we need to grasp this as an opportunity to set the world economy on the path to sustainability."

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