The Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy held on November 14 and 15 in Washington was the latest in the series of important collaborative steps taken by the world's major economic powers in response to the international financial crisis.
The summit and the days of preparation leading to the issuance of the leaders’ Declaration and Action Plan have laid a foundation for reforms to reduce the risk of future crises. Together with the measures already taken to mitigate the impact of the current turmoil, the pledges of action and plans for a follow-up meeting in April to review progress made are moving the global economy toward recovery.
Nations both large and small have suffered from the impacts of collapsing financial institutions and destabilized markets. Under these conditions, consumers and producers, lenders and borrowers, and employers and employees have faced difficult choices and called upon economic policy leaders to respond.
Since the emergence of the crisis, U.S. policy makers have undertaken a series of emergency measures to address the situation at home, and have coordinated actions with other countries and international financial institutions to lessen the secondary impacts in other economies.
At the Summit, representatives of the G-20 governments moved quickly to identify principles for reform aimed at improving risk management in the modern global financial market. The action plan established a timetable for rapid implementation of measures including enhanced accounting standards, improved disclosure requirements, and information sharing among regulators of globally active financial institutions.
Summit participants also committed themselves to renew efforts to conclude the Doha Round global trade talks that were suspended in July, refrain from introducing new trade barriers, and uphold the international consensus for growth-oriented development policies. Acknowledging the changing global economic landscape, the leaders also called for emerging and developing economies to have greater voice and representation in international financial institutions.
"The best way to solve our problems is for there to be economic growth," said President George Bush, reaffirming the aims of the summit and the principles for further reforms. "And the surest path to that growth is free market capitalism."
No single action by any nation will be enough to reverse the impact of the crisis, but coordinated action pushing in the same direction, of the kind endorsed at the G-20 summit, will provide the tools necessary for the world economy to emerge stronger than ever before.