Overall, the Pittsburgh G20 Summit appears to have made some progress towards reshaping global power structures to make them more representative, but it still has some way to go before it becomes a truly representative global decision making body.
I spent the summit with our US Government Relations Director Tom Hart, who said:
“Moving from the G8 to the G20 is a seismic shift: it brings many more of the world’s people to the table, but the new expanded world body must now start addressing the needs of the poorest countries, especially in Africa. For nearly a decade now, Africa has been squarely on the G8’s agenda, even if delivery on their commitments has been mixed. During this transition time, African development must not fall through the cracks. One way to show the world will not forget Africa would be to hold an upcoming G20 summit on the African continent.”
As I posted earlier here, we passed our petition, in which 75,000 ONE members worldwide call for a G20 Summit to be held in Africa, to the US delegation at the summit.
Below are some key points in the summit’s communique that are relevant to Africa:
Agriculture – The G20 called on the World Bank to develop a new trust fund, as a way to implement the G8’s food security initiative announced at the L’Aquila Summit in Italy in July. This multilateral fund will support the set of principles championed by the White House to make aid for agriculture more effective, coordinated and geared towards the strategies developed by poor countries themselves.
Climate change – The G20 failed to call for resources to help the poorest countries adapt to the harmful impacts of climate change, and tackle its causes. It was disappointing that there was no mention of the urgency of addressing these needs.
African Development Bank – The G20 have reaffirmed the commitment to make sure the multilateral development banks have enough finance, especially the World soft loan arm, the International Development Association (IDA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The African bank has increased its lending to respond to the financial crisis by as much as US$4bn and now needs support to replenish its coffers. ONE welcomes Canada’s announcement of an extra US$2.8bn in loan guarantees for the Bank.
World Bank and IMF- Both International Financial Institutions took steps towards increasing representation of developing countries.
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