APEC leaders to unite against poverty

Busan, November 16:

Leaders of the US, China, Japan, Russia and 17 other nations will pool efforts this week at a two-day long summit against poverty.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) heads of state will promote more liberalisation of world trade, and their summit is expected to draw thousands of anti-globalisation protesters to the South Korean port city of Busan.

Foreign and economic ministers have met to hammer out a joint Busan Declaration and several documents for their leaders to present after meetings Friday and Saturday. Top of their agenda is a strong leaders’ statement urging all nations to work for progress in next month’s crucial World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks.

US president George W Bush, Chinese president Hu Jintao and Japanese premier Junichiro Koizumi have all promised to raise initiatives on bird flu and other infectious diseases. Bush is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with leaders of many states.