US President Barack Obama (C) stands with other APEC leaders for group photo following their evening dinner in Singapore, 14 Nov 2009009
Asia-Pacific leaders ended their summit in Singapore Sunday with a final statement that pledged a conclusion of the Doha Round of global trade talks in 2010, but removed targets for carbon emissions cuts.
The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit dropped a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, despite declaring climate change one of the biggest global challenges.
The APEC leaders also rejected all forms of protectionism and said they would commit to concluding the Doha Round of trade talks next year. The talks have been deadlocked over disagreements between developing and developed nations on cutting farm subsidies and tariffs.
The declaration Sunday also said the 21 member economies will maintain stimulus policies until a durable global economic recovery has clearly taken hold.
Obama Meets MedvedevU.S. President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Sunday on the sidelines of the APEC forum. The two plan to discuss Iran’s nuclear program and Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama waves after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, 14 Nov 2009
Mr. Obama also announced that his native U.S. state, Hawaii, will host the APEC summit in 2011.
President Obama’s schedule Sunday includes meeting with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with Burma among the key topics.
At a breakfast meeting early Sunday to discuss climate change, most ASEAN heads agreed that it is not likely they will seal a deal at next month’s climate change talks in Copenhagen. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, host of the Copenhagen talks, made a trip to Singapore to attend the meeting.
US Accused of Protectionism
APEC leaders called Saturday for more cooperation on global economic recovery efforts and took aim at signs of U.S. trade protectionism.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said promoting openness in international trade and curbing protectionism would help revive the world economy.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon singled out Washington for “going in the opposite sense of free trade.” Russian President Medvedev made the same point.
In a speech in Tokyo Saturday, President Obama called on Asian countries to break their dependence on exports to the United States, and to pursue “balanced” and sustainable economic growth.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.