Washington: (Agencies: 15/11/2008): World leaders at the G20 financial summit in Washington have pledged to work together to restore global growth.
They said they were determined to work together to achieve "needed reforms" in the world’s financial systems.
US President George W Bush said that finance ministers would now work on detailed reform proposals, and then report back.
Leaders of emerging economies said the summit marked a historic shift of power away from the richer countries.
Brazil‘s President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said: "We are talking about the G20 because the G8 doesn’t have any more reason to exist."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the global financial structures created at the end of WWII were now inadequate.
Mr Bush’s successor in the White House, Barack Obama, said in a statement that he was ready to work "together on these challenges" with the G20 when he takes office in January.
The meeting brought together leading industrial powers, such as the US, Japan and Germany, and also emerging market countries such as China, India, Argentina, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and others – representing 85% of the world economy.
Key issues agreed by world leaders at this summit included:
· reform of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
· an agreement by the end of 2008, leading to a successful global free-trade deal
· improvements to financial market transparency and ensuring complete and accurate disclosure by firms of their financial conditions
· making sure banks and financial institutions’ incentives "prevent excessive risk taking"
· asking finance ministers to draw-up a list of financial institutions whose collapse would endanger the global economic system
· strengthening countries’ financial regulatory regimes
· taking a "fresh look" at rules that govern market manipulation and fraud
In their joint closing statement, leaders said the reforms would only be successful, if they were "grounded in a commitment to free market principles".
G20 leaders say they will meet again by 30 April, 2009, to review progress.
The next summit looks set to be held in London, with US President-elect Obama attending.