Pittsburgh meeting must urgently deliver on the commitments agreed at the London Summit and maintain momentum towards tackling global poverty
Ahead of the meeting of G20 leaders in Pittsburgh today, Africa Progress Panel members, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, have joined forces with Nobel Prize Winning economist, Amartya Sen, to urge the world’s wealthiest nations to deliver on the commitments made to developing nations to help them through the economic crisis.
In a joint article published in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette today, they warn that the global financial crisis has added tens of millions to the already hundreds of millions of people already living below the poverty line. Calling on G20 leaders to deliver an inclusive and wide-ranging response to the crisis, they highlight four areas in particular in which the Summit can take decisive action:
- G20 leaders must follow through with the commitments they have made to a Global Plan for Recovery and Reform: “Having recognized its ‘collective responsibility to mitigate the social impact of the crisis and minimize long-lasting damage to global potential’, the group now need to review how much support has reached or become accessible to developing countries”.
- G20 leaders must ensure that developing countries, including least-developed countries, have a greater say in global financial institutions and strengthening regional bodies such as the African Development Bank: “An equitable and fair global architecture means not only giving a greater say to the major emerging economies. It also means systematically including other developing countries. The pace of change needs to be speeded up”.
- The G20 must agree a timetable for tackling the variety of biased trade rules, bloated subsidy regimes, intellectual property rules and other forms of market distortion which heavily disadvantage the developing world. “The G20 could play a particularly constructive role, especially when it comes to the revival of the Doha Trade Round, the reduction of duties, tariffs and quotas on exports from the least-developed countries, and the gradual elimination of domestic subsidies”.
- The G20 must help drive momentum on climate change. “Its members represent the vast majority of global greenhouse emissions: agreement among them at Pittsburgh would go a long way towards ensuring that December’s international climate change conference in Copenhagen does not end in hot air”.
Annan, Sen and Camdessus warn that a weak compromise that reflects divergent national interests rather than a sense of urgency about tackling climate change, chronic poverty and ineffective global governance must be avoided: “G20 skeptics need to manage difficult domestic pressures, overcome narrow agendas and resist populist temptations – and prove the sceptics wrong”.
The full article ‘This summit must continue the momentum set in London’ published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette can be read the following link: