Interview with Ambassador Erdogan Iscan - Yonhap - 18.02.2010

Erdoğan İşcan 18.02.2010
G-20 has future role in global economic recovery: Turkish envoy

SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- The G-20 forum of advanced and emerging economies, slated to meet in Seoul in November, is expected to play a vital and continuing role in fueling the global economic recovery as it has proven that it can respond effectively to crisis situations, Turkey's envoy to South Korea said Thursday.

"Experts agree that without the G-20's intervention in past summits held in Washington, London and Pittsburgh, the impact of the recent financial crisis would have been much worse," Ambassador Erdogan Iscan said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency.

He said that while the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations play a vital role in setting long-term goals and taking steps to create and improve norms that regulate international relations, the G-20 is better at dealing with short- to medium-term developments.

The career diplomat added that while the worldwide financial crisis and its fallout on the global economy is receding, uncertainties linger that require attention and concerted efforts.

"It is true we are experiencing a positive trend and an (economic) contraction may be turning back into growth but there is still danger," he stressed.

He pointed out that the economic recovery was possible with "substantial external financing" and that there is currently no strong signals that suggest things will continue to improve.

Iscan, Ankara's former ambassador to Ukraine, said because the G-20 countries represent over 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product, it has a "representative" character that was lacking in the Group of Seven or Group of Eight summits of advanced industrialized economies.

He said there is a need to strike a balance between representative values and being an effective tool to resolve outstanding issues, brushing aside lingering criticism about the representative nature of the G-20.

"I think there is a balance in the structure and function of the G-20 so it can respond promptly to new crises that develop," the ambassador said.

He emphasized that countries such as South Korea and Turkey can act as a bridge to represent the interests and views of developing economies not invited to meetings of the top 20 countries.

Both South Korea and Turkey have officially announced that they will do their best to reflect the concerns and expectations of the developing world within the G-20 mechanism.

"The G-20 will only be successful as long as it represents the views and expectations of developing economies, otherwise it will be doomed to fail," he claimed.

On speculation that an "exit strategy" may be dealt with in the November gathering, the diplomat said the matter could become an issue, though he made clear that it is impossible to determine what will be discussed nine months down the road. He ad

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