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G20 summit: less-developed nations still struggle to shape agenda

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With developed countries focusing on – and arguing about – stimulus spending vs. austerity measures and whether to impose a global bank tax, the summit is unlikely to meaningfully address the priorities of least-developed countries: reforming the governance of international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund to give them more of a say; loosening requirements for IMF loans; ensuring predictable aid flows; and open trade access to developed markets.

Still, the meeting gives leaders of developing countries the rare opportunity to rub shoulders and develop personal relationships with those of more developed states. The G20 has become a fixture on the global scene in which “major developed and developing players meet in formal equality at the highest level of government,” as Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank puts it.

Poorest countries struggle for influence

Mr. Araujo says the growing clout of BRIC countries is simply a sign that they are now serious actors. “The influence comes naturally – not only to Brazil, but to China, India and others," he says. "It’s not a question of radically redesigning world governance. It’s a question of finding concrete answers to the real crisis we face in a more participatory way.”

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