World leaders have a unique opportunity to agree action on three fronts at the G20 Summit that could help transform the lives of the world’s poorest people. Concrete measures to promote transparency around natural resource revenues, tackle food insecurity and hunger, and improve poor people’s access to energy are all under consideration but it will require strong leadership to ensure they are not forgotten.
Transparency of revenues raised through the development of natural resources is vital to ensure that citizens can hold their governments to account so that the proceeds are spent on vital services. The G20 has already taken welcome steps to combat corruption and promote fiscal transparency through the Anti-Corruption Working Group. But the Working Group’s mandate expires in 2012. It is essential that leaders renew the mandate and build on the momentum it created by endorsing legally binding country-by-country and project-by-project financial reporting requirements for all extractive industry companies registered in G20 countries.
Michael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE, said:
“The G20 is having an identity crisis. Promises made on fighting poverty at previous summits have not been delivered. In Los Cabos leaders should hold themselves accountable for past promises, and ensure the G20 takes a truly global approach to tackling an economic crisis that knows no borders.
“It is essential that leaders commit to continuing the G20’s work on fighting corruption. The importance of transparent natural resource management and open government are central to this. By taking concrete steps to promote transparency leaders will help create an environment in which citizens can hold their governments to account, and build more stable economies. Open budgets and transparent financial flows – from foreign aid to natural resource revenues – will deliver real results for the poorest.
“That is why transparency and accountability must be the watchwords of this summit. Both are fundamental in the fight against extreme poverty. They are the foundations for economic growth and human development, and for a future in which aid is no longer needed.”
ONE is also calling on the G20 to focus on the need for investment in infrastructure in developing countries. Specifically, we are asking the G20 to work closely with African governments, multilateral development banks and the private sector to find innovative ways to remove barriers to infrastructure investment and leverage public and private resources to address the $30bn funding gap for infrastructure in Africa. This agenda must include a focus on increasing access to the more than 1.3 billion people without modern energy, crucial for both poverty reduction and economic growth.
On agriculture, nutrition and food security, ONE is calling on G20 leaders to build upon the Multi-Year Price Volatility and Agriculture Action Plan agreed at the Cannes G20 by outlining a road mapthat identifies a clear, measurable and transparent framework for delivering on all G20 commitments to address food insecurity.
Michael Elliott continued:
“Despite progress in many countries in tackling hunger and malnutrition, nearly 1 billion people still go to bed hungry every night. We must act to prevent millions more suffering the consequences of severe malnourishment. So while we are encouraged by the agreement at the Camp David G8 Summit last month to forge a new alliance on food security and nutrition, there is much more still to be done. The G20 set out its goals to fight the scourge of food insecurity in France last year. It should now identify a clear, measurable and transparent framework for achieving them.
“The G20 is in danger of getting a reputation for promising lots, but delivering little when it comes to improving the lives of people living in extreme poverty. Warm words at the Seoul and Cannes summits did not translate into delivery – the same cannot be allowed to happen in Los Cabos.”
Notes to Editors:
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org
ONE has spokespeople on the ground at the Summit in Los Cabos. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact Katherine Sladden, email@example.com / +44 7584 470 644