Monday, September 28, 2009

A summary of the G-20

Here is a look back as to what the G-20 agreed upon in regards to poverty at the meetings completed last week in Pittsburgh. Anti-poverty advocates like that the G-20 continued on the pledges to poor nations made earlier this year in London. However, the same advocates say the G-20 could have done more.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, writer Karamagi Rujumba tells us what happened.

The leaders of the world's largest economies at the G-20 summit yesterday took great steps to address some of the issues that affect the world's poorest.

They started from the moral and pragmatic premise that there can be no sustainable global economic recovery without strengthening the support systems of the most vulnerable.

But even as they commended the G-20 for its proclamation that "all parts of the globe participate in the [economic] recovery," the international advocates who lobbied the summit on behalf of the poor said the challenge of developing impoverished countries, particularly in Africa, remains the same.

Key among the challenges, they said, remains a need to infuse short-term capital and development aid toward agriculture and food security, access to clean and affordable energy and steps to slow the devastation caused by climate change.

"We were very encouraged that they reiterated their commitments from [the April G-20 summit in] London," said Tom Hart, director of U.S. government relations for the advocacy group ONE Campaign, which is committed to fighting extreme global poverty and disease.

The commitments include agreement on the need to help poor countries weather the tumultuous financial climate; reform the membership of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to include more of the poorest countries; carry forward the framework of the G-8 agreement on food security in Italy; and to deliver on the $100 billion the G-8 promised to loan developing countries.

In addition, the Canadian government also committed to provide $2.6 billion in capital to the African Development Bank to help it increase its lending by 75 percent.

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1 comment:

Live Climate said...

Environmental and anti-poverty groups hoping for concrete action were left disappointed by talks at the Group of 20 summit last Friday. Real action seemed to be deferred until the Copenhagen climate conference.

The chief climate concern for the G-20 was how to finance global carbon emission reductions and how to help developing nations with adapting to a warmer world. Many of the poorest countries stand to lose the most from climate change and they have been requesting funding to assist them in adapting. So far, industrialized countries have been slow to commit to the idea.

Similarly, with poverty, the G-20 failed to mention the $50 billion G-20 leaders pledged to poor countries in April. Less than half of this has been delivered. According to the End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign, the G-20 meetings were a disappointment because the “meetings ended with nothing more than vague commitments to the needs of the world’s poorest represented by the Millennium Development Goals.”

Want to take action on poverty and climate change yourself? Check out Live Climate,’s newest program that supports poor communities while fighting climate change.