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G20 speakers exchange views over climate change, poverty

The international community must work together on issues of climate change, food shortage and famine, parliamentary leaders from the world’s 20 major economies said Thursday, discussing global challenges during the conference in Seoul.

The two-day meeting opened here Thursday, bringing together parliamentarians from the G20 nations, five non-G20 members ― Spain, Ethiopia, Singapore, Equatorial Guinea and Algeria ― and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

During the second session of the conference, parliamentarians exchanged views over ways of helping the world’s poorest sectors, cooperation over terrorism, environmental issues and shortages of water and food, the South Korean parliament said in a press release.

“Today, we must view everything together with the environment,” President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazile Marco Aurelio Spall Maia said during the second section of the conference.

“It is climate change that causes famine, the shortage of water and the shortage of food.”

Anders B. Johnsson, secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, said his agency has been increasing efforts to “create a safety net” for the world’s poorest sector and asked for the participating nations’ support in solving global conflicts.

The leading parliamentarians also shared views over the growing importance of global cooperation on anti-terrorism.

“International cooperation is the only and the best way to root out terrorism,” Alexander P. Torshin, vice chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, said.

This week’s conference comes as the death of Osama bin Laden last month has triggered security alerts across the globe and ongoing political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Seoul conference is the second gathering of the G20 speakers since they first met in September 2009 to continue efforts on tackling global challenges at the parliamentary level.

By Shin Hae-in (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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