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* Sri Lanka President proposes G-15 to work closely with G8 nations
Mon, May 17, 2010, 08:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 17, Teheran: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed the Group of 15 to work closely with the G8 nations to promote constructive global dialogue on all major aspects of development and suggested a clear methodology to be worked out for the dialogue between the G 15 and G 8 to be realistic and fruitful.

Addressing the G-15 summit today after assuming the chairmanship from the Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Islamic Conference Hall in Teheran, President Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of people centered development policies that result in a fair distribution of benefits to the people.

"The G15 with its unique composition, also representing about 33 percent of the world population, and clearly identified objectives, has the potential to play a constructive role in promoting people centered development initiatives in global economic and social policy dialogues," he said.

President Rajapaksa called for the world's monetary institutions to developing countries' specific conditions and needs as well as the structural constraints they confront when working with them.

"These Institutions should refrain from imposing conditionalities which we see in retrospect, did lead in their own way to fuelling the recent crisis," he said noting that despite the concerns raised by many of the developing economies in the past over the Washington consensus and requests for alternative development models, developing countries as a group has not succeeded in the past.

Speaking of the global trade, President Rajapaksa said the developing countries have responsibly contributed to the progressive liberalization of global trade, yet, they are still waiting for the final conclusion of Doha Round of negotiations in the World Trade Organization aimed at lowering trade barriers across nations.

"The G-15 must remain firm that the final package should address the concerns of the developing countries," the President stressed.

The President proposed the group to concentrate on action to strengthen Development Corporation in the area of infrastructure development, human resource development, and trade and investment promotion within the group and launch a mechanism to facilitate exchange of human resource skills within the group.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, parliamentarian Sajin vas Gunawardena and Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunge were also present at the occasion.

(Pictures by Sudath Silva)

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