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David Miliband(Archived), London
I first met Kevin Rudd in the 1990s. He combines strong values and high levels of technical competence - both on display during his Marr interview yesterday. His government web page is pretty good too. He has worked very closely with our Prime Minister in the G20 economic process, and as President Obama made clear at his press conference last week, has left an impression in Washington too. Prime Minister Rudd has some choice Australian words for the idea that the London Summit has failed before it has begun. It's a British thing to knock your own ideas; for most of the leaders involved there is still a lot to play for, and the substance of the agreement already registered is substantial. To be fair the FT leader made this point yesterday - as has Will Hutton in the Observer and Anatole . One other point: the G20 process has ALREADY led to commitments in areas like tax havens that people previously said were impossible. in the Times
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By 2020 Asia will account for 45 per cent of global gdp, one third of global trade, and its military spending will have grown by a quarter. Energy demand among APEC economies will grow by 40 per cent by 2020 - over half the increase in global energy consumption over the period. Yet politically the region is fragmented between APEC, ASEAM, the East Asia Summit (ASEAN plus three).
That is the analysis of Australian PM Kevin Rudd's speech on 4 June. It is powerful. And so is his response - regional cooperation learning from the European experience. As he says: "in the 1950s sceptics saw European integration as unrealistic. But most people would now agree that the goal of the visionaries in Europe who sat down in the 1950s and resolved to build prosperity and a common sense of a security community has been achieved. It is that spirit we need to capture in our hemisphere."
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