British prime minister calls for global `interdependence'

By: AP
By: AP

BOSTON (AP) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his first foreign policy address in the United States, called Friday on the U.S. and Europe to lead a new era of global "interdependence" aimed at solving international problems such as terrorism, poverty and climate change.

"We urgently need to step out of the mindset of competing interests and instead find our common interests, and we must summon up the best instincts and efforts of humanity in a cooperative effort to build new international rules and institutions for the new global era," Brown said to about 350 invited guests at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Brown cited Kennedy's Independence Day speech in 1962, when the president proposed a "new and global declaration of interdependence." Brown said Kennedy's call for public service "still reverberates around the world and always will."

Noting Kennedy's creation of the Peace Corps, Brown called for the creation of "a new kind of global peace and reconstruction corps," which he described as an organization of trained civilian experts available any time to rebuild states.

Brown also called on the World Bank to focus on reducing poverty and said the institution should become a bank for both development and the environment by transferring billions in loans and grants to encourage the poorest countries to adopt alternative sources of energy.

The British leader, who has set a mandatory target in the U.K. to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050, insisted that a new global pact on reducing carbon emission must be agreed on by the end of 2009.

He said the deal, which would replace the Kyoto Protocol, should be led by the United Nations and needs to set binding targets for all developed countries.

Brown praised President Bush for leading the world in an attempt to root out terrorism and "our common commitment that there be no safe haven for terrorists."

Brown said the United States and Europe should act as "hardheaded internationalists," and use "diplomatic, economic, and yes, when necessary military action - to prevent crimes against humanity when states can no longer do so."

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