Mon, Nov 20, 2006 - Page 1 News List

G20 meeting ends in Melbourne with slam at N Korea, vow to fight terrorism


The Group of 20 economies yesterday condemned North Korea for its nuclear test, upheld a vow to fight terrorist financing and expressed concern about surging global demand for energy resources.

"All of the countries represented at the G20 deplore that test and the instability that it threatens on the Korean Peninsula," Australian Treasurer Peter Costello told reporters at a news conference at the end of two days of closed-door meetings of finance ministers and central bankers from 20 of the world's top economies.

In a final communique, the officials reaffirmed their commitment "to take action against money laundering and terrorist and illicit financing."

Though the statement didn't elaborate, it was certainly directed at North Korea and Iran, countries G20 member the US has accused of carrying out such activities.

Officials from 19 countries and the EU, the World Bank and IMF attended the talks in Melbourne, which were marred by large-scale anti-globalization protests on Saturday. There was tight security, but no protests, yesterday.

On Saturday police clashed with rock- and bottle-throwing demonstrators outside the meeting venue.

The skirmishes were orchestrated by a hardcore group of activists using "guerrilla" tactics, a top police official said yesterday.

Ten officers were injured, including one who was bitten by a protester and is now waiting on the results of an HIV-AIDS test, said Christine Nixon, the police commissioner of Victoria state.

"What we saw yesterday was guerrilla tactics," Nixon told a news conference. "These people don't have morals or standards."

Seven people had been arrested and more would soon be detained, Nixon said.

The finance ministers also discussed the global thirst for energy and resources, especially among fast-growing economies.

"Global demand for energy and minerals commodities is set to increase significantly over coming decades driven by a strong world economy, rising incomes and ongoing industrialization in many economies," the statement said.

"We have achieved a consensus that lasting resource security will be best facilitated by open trade and investment," Costello said.

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