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Speeches
Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the Second G-11 Summit Dead Sea
Dead Sea, Jordan
19 May 2007

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate, Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon, and thank you. On behalf of Jordan, welcome to the 2nd Summit of the Group of Eleven. This meeting is the largest G-11 gathering of national leaders since our partnership began. That high-level commitment indicates the importance of what our countries are trying to achieve. Your Excellencies, I deeply appreciate the generous sharing of your time, ideas, and leadership today.

Let me also thank the officials, from all our countries, whose work helped launch our initiative and prepared the way for today's Summit. And I would like to extend our special appreciation to the G-8 observers who have joined us today. Our two organisations have a vital shared goal, to strengthen prosperity and peace in the 21st century. Working together is a top priority.

My friends,

The G-11 countries have come together, out of a shared commitment and a shared requirement.

The commitment is to the serious path of development – structural reforms and accelerated programs that advance the opportunities, prosperity, and well-being of our people.

The requirement is for supportive partnerships, among ourselves and with other nations – partnerships that can cement our gains and sustain our progress into the future.

We can take satisfaction in what we have begun to achieve. Our countries have made significant gains across society and the economy, increasing participation in global trade; widening access to skills and technologies; committing to good governance; and realising higher growth.

The challenge is to consolidate these gains and sustain progress into the long-term. That means having the budgetary space to continue to invest in development and economic growth. For all of us, that space has been squeezed by fiscal and other constraints - high debt burdens; rising oil prices and other external shocks; rising employment demand; and more. We can and are pushing forward, including finding new opportunities from cooperation among our countries. But it is vital that the international community support our continued progress.

In this regard, the G-11 has identified four priority areas for international support and cooperation: debt burden alleviation; investment promotion, trade development, and targeted grant assistance. These are the basics for self-sustaining prosperity, supporting the foundations for reform, opening new opportunities for millions more people to escape poverty, and enabling our young people to build strong futures.

The four G-11 priorities, articulated and agreed in this group's White Paper, have been submitted to the G-8 Presidency for consideration. We have also identified specific initiatives that can serve as a practical, targeted start-up for G-8/G-11 cooperation. These include investment in infrastructure, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, scientific research and development, and technology transfer.

I am very pleased to announce that the G-8 Presidency has extended an invitation to the G-11 Presidency to discuss the establishment of a formal, institutional relationship between the two groups in Berlin later this year.

The G-8's partnership with the G-11 can multiply the positive effects its support to each of our countries has already had. It will tell the world that the friends of development will not be satisfied until the house of prosperity is really open to all, that our countries are not simply welcomed up the path; not simply left at the door; but invited, gladly, over the threshold and into the house.

And let me say, yes, success is in our interest, but not only our own. This is especially true now, with the global economy in transformation. Developing countries are having more and more impact on trade, investment and productivity. And lower-middle income countries hold an especially pivotal role. Our success anchors our respective regions in prosperity and stability. And it provides a crucial model, for other countries, of what structural and economic reform can achieve. That can be the seed of a new international development paradigm, one that reaches those most in need and that cements successful steps towards sustainability on the ladder of development.

My friends,

Our future is still in the balance. Only by working together can we get the message across to the entire international community. Only by working together can we build on our common strengths.

Today, we meet to reaffirm our commitment to that partnership. I look forward to your ideas on practical measures to consolidate our relationship with the G-8. I hope also we can discuss the tremendous opportunities to enhance cooperation among G11 members, especially in the fields of trade and investment, information technology and tourism.

Allow me to thank you again for your participation and commitment. Together, I believe we can take another step closer to the prosperity and stability our peoples seek.

Thank you very much.