London - ONE today welcomed the commitment in the G20 communiqué to put resilient growth at the heart of a new strategy for global development, but warned that this vision to promote growth in the lowest income countries must enhance, not supplant the existing aid promises which have contributed to human and economic development nor put aside key efforts to fight corruption.
The pillars of the Seoul consensus, including building infrastructure, encouraging private investment and providing financial inclusion, could effectively help African economies create the right conditions for growth. Africa has great potential to be a leader in green energy solutions and as a major new export market for G20 countries. But investments in agriculture, health and education, which were essential to South Korea's own economic miracle, should also be an integral part of a G20 strategy for inclusive growth. This new G20 agenda cannot be misused by traditional developed economies to go back on their development commitments.
Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of ONE, said:
"This Asian Tiger has put forward ideas which, if implemented right and in complementary fashion to existing development promises, could really help the African lions roar. South Korea should be applauded for putting the Seoul consensus forward, but this evolution mustn't be misunderstood: this isn't a false choice between aid on the one hand and growth and governance on the other - we need a joint agenda combining good aid, good growth and good governance.
"Smart assistance will be needed to help build infrastructure for growth and strengthen governance systems, as well as tackle the basic needs of health and hunger in the medium term, while sustainable equitable growth can create the long term prosperity to reduce and ultimately eliminate the need for any aid.
"Anti poverty campaigners have long argued that inclusive growth and beating corruption are key to accelerated development. It's exciting that this Seoul summit could be the moment that such a joint agenda comes more to the fore.
"Of course we must monitor closely to ensure this new strategic vision doesn't become a smokescreen to hide many donors failure to deliver existing development promises and to that end we shall be watching the G8 and G20 hosted by France, a traditional donor, very closely indeed. It would be deeply worrying if any development partners used this exciting agenda to try any tricks to duck existing development commitments. We must also engage to ensure this isn't the trickledown economics of the past, but a bottom up growth strategy that empowers the poorest to drive their own development."
ONE notes that there are some key items missing from the working group recommendations: for example there is insufficient detail about follow up on the L'Aquila food security pledges endorsed by the G20 and contributions to the multilateral trust fund to help finance this; and the working group on corruption doesn't cover extractives industry transparency. Both are issues we expect the French Presidency to take up forcefully.
ONE is a campaign and advocacy organisation backed by more than two million members worldwide dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and disease, especially in Africa. For more information see: www.one.org/about
To contact the ONE press office please call Katie Martin on 020 7434 7553 or Leah Kreitzman on 020 7434 7554.
The L’Aquila food security pledge: In 2009, the G20 committed $22 billion to the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative through bilateral and multilateral channels. The G20 members have yet to fully clarify the details of their financial commitments and outline how they will implement the qualitative principles: adopting a comprehensive approach, promoting country?led strategies, strengthening coordination, leveraging benefits from others and delivering on a sustained, accountable commitment.
Extractive industry transparency: On 21 July 2010 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed into law in the United States. The new law includes a provision obliging all SEC-listed companies engaged in oil, gas or mineral extraction anywhere in the world to report how much they pay to each government in their annual SEC filing. Therefore, to be able to access US capital markets, companies will have to publically disclose all royalties, taxes and payments, on a project- and country-specific basis. This information must be reported electronically and the SEC is required to make this publically available on its website. The G20 should adopt similar legislation in their stock exchanges.