UNITED NATIONS - G20 countries must sign up to a new agreement setting clear objectives on how they can contribute to more balanced global economic growth, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday.
In a speech to the United Nations, Brown also said the recent economic recovery is fragile and could still be reversed, and that countries need to keep emergency stimulus measures in place.
We need strong economic coordination now as we navigate the uncertainties of recovery, he said. I therefore propose that we launch the compact by agreeing that we are committed to high levels of growth on a sustainable and balanced basis.
The United States has proposed a new framework to try prevent the global economy lapsing into the same imbalances that have plagued it for so long.
Policymakers are concerned that with the U.S. consumer expected to be weak in coming years, the world economy will need a new engine of growth.
But this would require countries that have previously run large current account deficits to do more to boost domestic demand.
Analysts say there is little in the proposed framework that would make countries act but officials say the financial crisis has strengthened resolve to act together on this.
We must cement a global compact for jobs and growth, Brown said. Maximising the amount of stimulus measures we have agreed, with proper planning of exit strategies, to make sure the recovery does not falter; that we do not turn off the life support of our economy prematurely.
Besides the economy, Brown said the world faced four other urgent challenges -- climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and poverty. In the interests of promoting peace, Britain would consider reducing its nuclear submarine fleet to 3 from 4, he said.
Iran and North Korea must also know that they could face tougher sanctions for non-compliance and Britain will offer civil nuclear power to non-nuclear states ready to renounce plans for weapons.