Darling calls on G7 to unite against crisis

Chancellor Alistair Darling has called on the world\'s economic leaders to unite and take urgent action to stave off “the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression”.

In a speech in Washington today Darling says every government has one great aim – to maintain stability through the economic slowdown and promote global prosperity.

He says the need for international cooperation is even greater today than at the end of World War II when nations first realised that concerted economic action was necessary to prevent economic problems from spilling across international borders.

The chancellor acknowledged that the UK has suffered as have other economies but says that the nation’s strong fundamentals and the Bank of England’s anti-inflationary policies have left Britain well-placed to withstand the slowdown.

He says as a result of this the UK is the only G7 economy to have avoided a negative growth quarter.

He adds: “The critical point is that all long-standing and established organisations need to be ready to change. Because without change, without reform, and without the ability to demonstrate leadership and innovation, they will become marginalised and ineffective in supporting the co-operation needed to deal with global events and issues.

“People around the world expect no less. Just as I believe that working together at home we can make a difference, we need to show that to work together at a global level we can tackle global problems that affect us all.”