G20 will become main economic council: UK's Brown

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Global leaders will institutionalize the G20 as the world’s main economic governing council, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday.

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses the 64th United Nations General Assembly, at the U.N.headquarters in New York September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar

In New York for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly before flying to Pittsburgh for the third Group of 20 leaders’ summit, Brown told reporters that the body would meet regularly under a new framework from now on.

“What we are trying to do is to create a new system of international economic co-operation around the world,” he said.

“It’s never really happened before. We’ve had the G8, we’ve had all these organizations - we’ve got this one chance to make a huge success of international economic cooperation.”

Brown said Shriti Vadera will leave her role as business minister in the government and become an advisor to the G20 presidency, working closely with South Korea who will take over the chairmanship of the group in 2010.

“Her expertise in this area is such that that there is no one better to do this job.”

Trade minister Mervyn Davies will take over Vadera’s ministerial responsibilities.


Brown said it was important that leaders agree they need to keep the life-support packages for their economies in place for now as the recovery was still fragile.

He said he did not expect any he did not expect any discussion on the Chinese currency at this week’s G20 meeting but said: “We would like to see China importing more.”

Brown noted there were $7 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves in the world economy which he said were “not necessarily being used in a constructive way.”

He said he has proposed he wanted to see the International Monetary Fund come up with an insurance scheme that would lessen some countries’ need to accumulate reserves so that they could use those funds to support their economies.

Before flying to Pittsburgh later on Thursday, Brown will attend a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation.

“We are coming to a moment of truth with Iran,” Brown said. “We will be proposing fuller and tougher sanctions.”

Asked about reports of tension between him and U.S. President Barack Obama, Brown said the proof of their relationship is in their common goals and actions.

“The special relationship is strong and strengthening. And it’s strengthening because there is a common purpose,” he said.