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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 20:43 GMT
Wealthy nations target terrorists
Canadian police
Security is very tight for the meetings
David Schepp

Canada's Paul Martin has emerged from a meeting with fellow finance officials in Ottawa, saying members of the Group of 20 nations have accomplished all of their objectives during their morning meeting.

Every single member of the G-20 - without exception - has signed on to [the] action plan

Paul Martin, Canada's finance minister

"We came to this G-20 meeting with three goals, and I am pleased to say we achieved all three," Mr Martin, who is hosting the meeting, told reporters.

Among those objectives, members agreed on a plan of action aimed at cutting off funds to terrorist groups, including Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, thought to have masterminded the 11 September attacks on the US.

"Every single member of the G-20 - without exception - has signed on to that action plan," Mr Martin said, including Saudi Arabia, which is at odds with its citizens over its support of the US-led attack on Afghanistan.

United stance

"And every single member of the G-20, without exception, has said they would put that plan in implementation as quickly as they can pass the legislation or take the measures in their own country."

Canadian finance minister Paul Martin
Martin: goals achieved

In making their stand clear, the finance ministers of the 19 countries and the EU that make up the G-20 issued a joint communiqué following their meeting.

"We, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G-20, in the name of global peace and security, are determined to stop the financing of terrorism," the communiqué read.

"The fight against terrorist financing is a shared responsibility of the G-20 and the broader international community," the document said.

Quick decisive action

The parties agreed to "implement quickly and decisively measures that the United Nations have identified as essential to combating terrorist financing."

The plan includes blocking terrorists' access to financial systems and the sharing of information internationally as well as domestically.

The problems facing developing countries and their fragile economies remain foremost in the minds of the finance ministers of the G-20, he said.

It is an issue that has taken on increased significance since the terror attacks on the US.

While the global economy was slowing prior to the attacks, further economic erosion caused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday to issue a new forecast for the world's economy's after the attacks.

Mr Martin also noted that security of each country's respective citizens was also paramount, as were the costs associated with countries who default on debt payments.

Demonstrations heat up

Demonstrators clashed with riot police outside the conference centre during a seasonal but chilly afternoon in Ottawa.

Protesters on the streets of Ottawa
There have been some protests but police are out in force

The scene was reminiscent of the riots that took place in Seattle during a meeting of trade officials in 1999.

"Drop debt, not bombs" and "IMF - Insensitive Murdering Fascists" read some placards carried by protestors.

The weather and heavy police numbers have kept the number of protestors below the expected 5,000.

Nevertheless, the anti-trade protestors have succeeded in smashing store windows, including those of a local McDonald's restaurant.

Multinational firms such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola are often the object of scorn and vandalism during anti-globalisation demonstrations.

The BBC's Stephen Evans
"Military action will be followed by economic action"
See also:

15 Nov 01 | Business
IMF sees global slowdown
17 Oct 01 | Business
Economic leaders choose Ottawa
10 Oct 01 | Business
Economic fallout
05 Oct 01 | Business
G7 plans to tackle slump
26 Sep 01 | Business
IMF warns on global economy
17 Sep 01 | Business
World Bank and IMF cancel talks
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