L’AQUILA, July 10 Reuters) - Following are comments by world leaders on the final day of a summit involving around 30 nations.
“I am not suggesting that any country begin to unwind its economic stimulus measures now. That would clearly be way too premature. I have suggested that those that are seeing the emergence of these structural deficits...have to at least be thinking about how they are going to emerge out of a structural deficit position as the recovery begins to take hold. This may be something we’re discussing — I hope we’re discussing — next year (at the G8 summit) in Muskoka. I’m hoping that by next year in Muskoka that the recovery will be fully under way... Right now we have greater stability. We don’t yet have full recovery...We have definite signs the severity of the recession is slowing.”
“It has been really good news — the good news from the summit — that the united states said $20 billion on a very specific program: the issue of agriculture, particularly food security. ..We can’t say it’s enough, but at least it begins to do very concrete things. We all appreciated what President Obama did”
“The G8 in our judgment remains an important forum. It is a forum of the major developed countries...”
“Obviously we have to develop a wider body that will be more representative...What we had at this forum...I counted, at one point we had a G8, we had a G9, we had a G14 or 15, we had a G18, at one point a G19, another point a G25, and we finally ended with a G28. And of course we have the G20 process going on around the world, which is now up to G24 last time I counted. So I think our challenge for the year ahead will be to use our presidency to bring some coherence to this as we move forward.”
“The resumption of global economic growth was the key topic. The dominating opinion was that this could be achieved only through joint efforts.
Everyone at the summit said it is not time to relax, it is not clear whether we are at the bottom and how the crisis will develop. It was remarkable that the U.S. backed strengthening the role of the U.N. Before that leaders of this state did not speak too good about this respected organization.”
“We have a 100 million people who dropped into further dire poverty as a result of this recession, we estimate that a billion people are hungry around the globe. So wealthier nations have a moral obligation as well as a national security interest in providing assistance.”
“The flip side is that countries in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the world that are suffering from extreme poverty have an obligation to use the assistance that is available, in a way that is transparent and accountable and that builds on rule of law and other institutional reforms that will allow long-term improvement.
“There is no reason that Africa should not be self-sufficient when it comes to food. It has sufficient arable land. What’s lacking is the right seeds, the right irrigation, but also the kinds of institutional mechanisms that ensure that a farmer is going to be able to grow crops, get them to market get a fair price.
“My father traveled to the United States a mere 50 years ago. And yet now I have family members who live in villages, they themselves are not going hungry but they live in villages where hunger is real. So this is something that I understand in very personal terms.”
“Everybody is coming to understand that the Copenhagen talks are of incredible importance to humanity and are an incredible responsibility. We have a bit of differences... I think that by Copenhagen, we’re going to come to an agreement on this because there’s political will, positive, to reach a deal.”
“We remain concerned about the appalling events surrounding the presidential election and we’re deeply troubled by the proliferation risks Iran’s nuclear program poses to the world.”
“Full recovery is still a ways off. It would be premature to begin winding down our stimulus plans.”
“But while our markets are improving and we appear to have averted global collapse, we know that too many people are still struggling, so we agree that full recovery is still a ways off, that it would be premature to begin winding down our stimulus plans and that we must sustain our support for those plans to lay the foundation for a strong and lasting recovery. We also agreed that it’s equally important that we return to fiscal sustainability in the midterm after the recovery is completed.”
“I believe that in future the G14 will have strength and could become a fundamental force for the Governance of the planet.”
“Working with the G8, African and European countries and multinational bodies, we had the satisfaction of increasing the 15 billion to 20 billion dollars over thee years.”
He also said G8 expressed disapproval over return of speculation in oil markets.
“Our challenge going forward is to persuade other countries such as Iran and North Korea to follow the Libyan example of renouncing nuclear weapons.”
“I am pleased to say that of that $20 billion the United Kingdom will contribute $1.8 billion to this initiative.
“I believe that not only does Africa have the capacity to feed itself if things are done right, but it can in future also play a part in feeding the world.”
“On food security we managed a commitment that mobilizes 20 billion dollars.”
“Reaching the bottom of the slump is not when you start with exit strategies. We need to choose a point where we’ve already got some way out of the trough.”
“The tragic events of the last three years, with riots in 22 countries in all regions of the world, restrictive and protectionist measures on the supply side, clearly demonstrated how fragile our international food system is and how vulnerable it is.”
“Today, stocks of cereals are at their lowest in 30 years and 31 countries are in a situation of crisis requiring emergency assistance, of which 20 are in Africa.”
On shift to helping poor produce own food:
“That is what we have been preaching for many years without success. I am convinced that you will ‘walk the talk’ not only for natural ethical considerations but also for sound economic judgments and, last but not least, for peace and security in the world.”
“I had a long discussion with President Obama. It seems to me that he really has the will to focus on food in Africa,” Wade told Reuters.
“The United States produces maize and some crops and sends it to people in famine, but the new conception is to produce these crops in Africa and not in the United States.”