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Wednesday 3 December 2008

Queen’s Speech - G20 Summit and Nato

“My Government will work for a coordinated international response to the global downturn, including by hosting the next G20 Summit on financial markets and the world economy in the United Kingdom in April next year and reforming financial institutions.  My Government will continue to work as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation including at its sixtieth anniversary summit.”

The UK will host the next Summit on financial markets and the world economy with G20 leaders on 2 April 2009. 

As the incoming chair of the G20, the UK will set out over the coming weeks the schedule of events and papers that will take us to the Summit. The summit will be an opportunity to review progress on the Action Plan for strengthening financial regulation; to consider the impact our macroeconomic policy actions have had on the world economy, and the need for a further coordinated response; and set out a clear process for reform of the International Financial Institutions to make them fit for an age of global capital. We will use it to generate global growth and jobs.

NATO

As NATO approaches its 60th anniversary it continues to be the cornerstone of European security. The UK looks forward to next year’s Summit in Strasbourg / Baden Baden as an important milestone in setting NATO’s future role.  In moving forward the UK continues to push for further reform of NATO making it leaner and more flexible and better able to deal with security concerns wherever they arise.

The UK Government supports Georgia and Ukraine’s desire to join NATO.  At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008 all Allies agreed that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO and that the 2-3 December Foreign Ministers’ meeting would provide the first review of the progress Georgia and Ukraine have so far made.   The Government cannot prejudge the outcomes of the meeting, however all Allies agree that it is very important that the reforms needed for eventual membership are implemented on the ground. We believe that NATO should use the NATO-Georgia and NATO-Ukraine Commissions to strengthen its relationship with both countries and help them carry out these reforms and move them closer towards implementation of the Bucharest commitment.

NATO is currently undertaking more operations than it has even done before, the UK will continue to work with Allies to achieve a safe and stable world. Currently, the UK is actively involved in Afghanistan, Kosovo and in the anti-piracy Operation Allied Provider in the Gulf of Aden.

In Afghanistan the UK continues to support the NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in its provision of security in Afghanistan to enable the reconstruction and development the country needs to prosper. Currently the UK has more than 8000 troops in Afghanistan of a total international force of approximately 51,000. In Kosovo the UK supports the efforts of NATO, the UN and the EU in working with the local authorities and surrounding countries to provide the necessary conditions for a viable Kosovo for all Kosovars regardless of ethnicity. Similarly the UK supports the on-going efforts of Operation Active Endeavour in its bid to prevent the sea lanes of the Mediterranean being used by terrorists.

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