Developing states aim to lift millions out poverty with new G11 forum

Chandi Dharmaratne

NEW YORK, Sept 20, 2006 (AFP) – Eleven developing economies clubbed together Wednesday to unveil a new forum aimed at easing their debt burden, narrowing the income gap with rich countries and lifting millions of people out of poverty.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II unveiled the Group of 11 (G11) mostly lower-middle income countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and appealed to the world’s most developed economies for their assistance.

“Today we launch a partnership that can deliver tremendous benefits for the people we serve — and make a positive impact for all nations,” the Jordanian monarch told assembled heads of state and representatives from the 11 countries.

The group aims to persuade developed countries and notably the Group of Eight (G8) — the world’s most industrialised powers plus Russia — that given greater access to markets and debt forgiveness, they can harness growth and stability.

“Trade gives multiple advantages. Trade gives advantages of job creation and therefore poverty eradication and therefore I would say it strikes at the root of extremism and terrorism,” Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said in a speech.

Besides Jordan, which first proposed the n