Leaders from the world's major economies kicked off a summit here on Saturday to tackle the ongoing financial crisis and explore measures to prevent similar crisis in the future.
The summit, billed as the first in a series, is attended by leaders from the Group of 20 and heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as the UN secretary-general and the chairman of the Financial Stability Forum.
U.S. President George W. Bush greeted leaders in the National Building Museum in downtown Washington D.C.. Then they joined in a photo opportunity before huddling into the main hall of the museum to begin the formal summit which is expected to last for about five hours.
The leaders meet for two plenary sessions and each is expected to deliver a 15-minute speech.
Speaking to reporters earlier Saturday, Bush stressed that there's more work to be done to deal with the current global financial crisis.
"Obviously, you know, this crisis has not ended. There's some progress being made but there's still a lot of more work to be done," Bush said.
The U.S. president said he was pleased with discussions that he had with other leaders during the working dinner in the White House on Friday evening, saying that the discussions are "good" and "frank."
"I'm pleased with the progress we're making," he said. "I am pleased that we're discussing a way forward to make sure that such a crisis is unlikely to occur again. And I am pleased that leaders reaffirmed the principles behind open markets and free trade."
According to Daniel Price, Bush's assistant for international economic affairs, the summit will focus in a number of key areas.
First, the leaders will try to reach agreement on a common understanding of the root causes of the crisis.
Second, they will review what they have done and will need to do to address the present crisis, as well as identify several areas where immediate steps could be taken to address present challenges.
Third, based on that shared understanding of causes, the leaders will discuss common principles for reform to guide future work so as to minimize the possibility that a similar crisis could, in the future, occur.
The leaders are expected to wrap up the summit with a joint declaration and approve an action plan to implement principles for future financial reform.