World News Brief, Wednesday June 20

G20 leaders pressure Europe to boost economic growth; China pledges $43 billion to International Monetary Fund's reserves; Chinese and Philippine vessels withdraw from disputed Scarborough Shoal; Afghan militants killed in attack on coalition base; governments urged to 'seize the moment' at Rio environmental summit; and more

Top of the Agenda: G20 Leaders Pressure Europe to Boost Growth

G20 leaders, meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico yesterday, urged European members to jumpstart growth in the beleaguered eurozone (al-Jazeera) by easing austerity measures and allowing the European Central Bank to play a more active role. A draft of the G20's official statement, to be finalized and published later today, called on members to "take the necessary actions to strengthen global growth," amid increased concern that the eurozone sovereign debt crisis could plunge the global economy back into recession.


"Since the euro crisis has escalated, the chancellor [Angela Merkel] has been more isolated than ever before. Everyone, from U.S. President Barack Obama to French President François Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, together with an army of international economists, financial experts and journalists, is demanding that the Germans take on a greater financial burden," notes Der Spiegel.

"But a eurozone collapse would be a disaster that might define our era. Its prospect must focus the minds of all at the G20 summit on action. Non-Europeans must persuade Europeans that the rules change when the stakes rise. The ECB's credibility will mean little if there is no longer a common currency," writes Lawrence Summers for the Financial Times.

"With the global economy again weakening, we need a strong G-20 now more than ever. The leaders of the world should take the opportunity of their meeting in Los Cabos to put aside political incentives and do what is best to ignite the global economy. By setting real membership standards, world leaders could build a better G-20, one capable of facing the challenges ahead," Alex M. Brill and James K. Glassman for the Wall Street Journal.




China to Boost IMF Reserves

China pledged $43 billion to the International Monetary Fund's crisis-fighting reserves at the start of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, yesterday. The move was part of a global effort to double the fund's emergency resources (Reuters) to $456 billion.

The International Monetary Fund, both criticized and lauded for its efforts to promote financial stability, finds itself again at the forefront of global economic crisis management, explains this CFR Backgrounder.

PHILIPPINES: Chinese and Philippine vessels yesterday withdrew from the disputed Scarborough Shoal (NYT) off the Philippine coast due the start of typhoon season, alleviating tensions that have persisted for two months.

In this CFR Contingency Planning Memo, Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies discusses the significant risk of conflict in the South China Sea and how the United States can prevent becoming involved in an armed clash.



Afghan militants killed in attack on coalition base

Governments urged t0 seize the moment at environmental summit

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