Let me also underscore my appreciation to Prime Minister Brown, his entire team, and all my colleagues from around the world who contributed to the summit’s success. You know, it’s hard for 20 heads of state to bridge their differences. We’ve all got our own national policies; we all have our own assumptions, our own political cultures. But our citizens are all hurting. They all need us to come together. So I’m pleased that the G20 has agreed to meet again this fall, because I believe that this is just the beginning. Our problems are not going to be solved in one meeting; they’re not going to be solved in two meetings. We’re going to have to be proactive in shaping events and persistent in monitoring our progress to determine whether further action is needed.
I also want to just make a few remarks about additional meetings I had outside of the G20 context. While here in London I had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of Russia, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and India, as well as Great Britain. And these discussions were extraordinarily valuable and productive. Of course, we spoke about additional steps to promote economic recovery and growth. But we also discussed coordinated actions on a range of issues: how we could reduce the nuclear threat; how we could forge a coordinated response to North Korea’s planned missile launch; how we can turn back terrorism and stabilize Afghanistan; how we can protect our planet from the scourge of climate change. I’m encouraged that we laid the groundwork for real and lasting progress on a host of these issues.
Ultimately, the challenges of the 21st century can’t be met without collective action. Agreement will almost never be easy, and results won’t always come quickly. But I am committed to respecting different points of view, and to forging a consensus instead of dictating our terms. That’s how we made progress in the last few days. And that’s how we will advance and uphold our ideals in the months and years to come.
You know, at home, I’ve often spoken about a new era of responsibility. And I believe strongly that this era must not end at our borders. In a world that’s more and more interconnected, we all have responsibilities to work together to solve common challenges. And although it will take time, I am confident that we will rebuild global prosperity if we act with a common sense of purpose, persistence, and the optimism that the moment demands.
So I appreciate your attention, and I’m going to take a few questions. I’ve got a list of a few people I’m going to call on and then I will intersperse some folks I’m calling on randomly.