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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

British Prime Minister phoned Indian PM ahead of G20 and UN General Assembly

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has a “Busy week” ahead of him, flying to New York from London for the UN General Assembly. In an individual email, the Prime Minister’s spokesman told me that Gordon Brown is expected to remain in New York until Thursday, according to the planning schedule.

Number 10 said that the UK Premier “Is very focused on the Climate at the moment, with less than 77 days to the Copenhagen Summit.”

Not everyone may be aware, for only selected journalists were briefed, that, preparing for the UN General Assembly and the G20 in Pittsburgh, Prime Minister Brown telephoned his Indian counterpart and Prime Minister of the world’s second largest growing economy, Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister's Spokesman intimated that the call “would cover a range of issues, including climate change and the global economy.”

India, a key player on the world stage and the world’s largest democracy, is being courted by both the UK as well as the US, and the steady, calm, Indian leader Manmohan Singh is held in high esteem by both his British as well as his American counterparts. The Indian Premier, who, as finance minister, was the architect of India’s financial reform, is a quieter public performer than both Brown and Obama, yet his counsel and his words are taken very seriously and he appears to get on well with the two leaders despite being eighteen years older than Brown and twenty-eight years older than Obama. The average Indian politician tends to be in his late seventies.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that Gordon Brown will be co-chairing an international meeting on climate change with Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General, designed to build consensus ahead of Copenhagen. He also said that Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will be in New York too for climate change meetings.

On Wednesday the British PM will be at the UN General Assembly and chairing a meeting of leaders on the issue of healthcare provision in poor countries. Thursday the Prime Minister will be at the UN General Assembly, attending meeting of the UN Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation and a meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan, before travelling to Pittsburgh where on Friday he and the Chancellor Alistair Darling will be at the G20 summit. Gordon Brown has been highly active within the G20, and is continuing to hold a leadership role within the arena of the world’s 20 most significant countries.

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