End Poverty 2015 - G20 http://endpoverty2015.org/en/taxonomy/term/348/0 en G20 Wrap-up http://endpoverty2015.org/en/north-america/news/g20-wrap/30/sep/09 <p>Friday’s G20 summit was heralded as a great success by President Obama and other world leaders in attendance. During his radio address over the weekend, President Obama <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Weekly-Address-President-Affirms-Commitment-to-International-Cooperation-in-Strengthening-Economy-and-Stopping-Nuclear-Proliferation/">said</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>In Pittsburgh, the world’s major economies agreed to continue our effort to spur global demand to put our people back to work. We committed ourselves to economic growth that is balanced and sustained— so that we avoid the booms and busts of the past. We reached an historic agreement to reform the global financial system—to promote responsibility and prevent abuse so that we never face a crisis like this again. And we reformed our international economic architecture, so that we can better coordinate our effort to meet the challenges of the 21st century.</p> <p>&nbsp;We also established American leadership in the global pursuit of the clean energy of the 21st century. I am proud that the G-20 nations agreed to phase out $300 billion worth of fossil fuel subsidies. This will increase our energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat the threat of climate change, and help create the new jobs and industries of the future.</p> </blockquote> <p>Unfortunately anti-poverty and climate action groups bemoaned the fact that real action was deferred to sometime in the future, the Copenhagen Summit in the case of climate change (which begins in 72 days), and responsibility given to the International Financial Institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to support the world’s poorest. The full text of the G20 outcome statement is available <a href="http://www.endpoverty2015.org/global-partnership/news/g-20-leaders-remain-vague-commitments-world%E2%80%99s-poorest/25/sep/09">here</a>.</p> <p>The UN Millennium Campaign issued a press release at the conclusion of the summit <a href="http://www.endpoverty2015.org/global-partnership/news/g-20-leaders-remain-vague-commitments-world%E2%80%99s-poorest/25/sep/09">saying</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>G-20 leaders have focused on issues such as bonuses and compensation and not on the needs of the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day whose very lives are threatened by the economic crisis,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. “The G-20’s failure to address the needs of the world’s poorest is a worrying sign. Going forward it is critical that the G-20 focus its attention and resources on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.</p> </blockquote> <p>During the Secretary-General's remarks to the G-20 Summit, he <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=4104">called for</a> the developed world to deliver on promises of $50 billion in aid pledged at the last G20 meeting in London. "The picture it paints should alarm us all: The crisis is having a dramatic and potentially enduring effect on many of the world's poor and most vulnerable people. They are far from seeing any of the so-called green shoots of recovery.</p> North America English G20 Wed, 30 Sep 2009 19:53:56 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 606 at http://endpoverty2015.org G20 Update http://endpoverty2015.org/en/english/news/g20-update/25/sep/09 <p>Attention shifts from the United Nations to Pittsburgh as world leaders convene for the G-20 summit. The day-long meeting, hosted by US President Barack Obama, will assess progress toward ending the global economic and financial crises, with agenda items including further plans to regulate and stimulate the global economy, efforts to monitor and limit executive salaries, prioritizing jobs and training a new generation in green jobs, reforming the international financial institutions, strengthening recovery in the world&#8217;s poorest countries, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. </p> <p>The US Sherpa Michael Froman (in charge of bringing President Obama to the summit) recently told NGOs not to expect big dollar commitments at this summit and to focus more on implementation plans. While we would&#8217;ve liked to have seen more money allocated to help the 100 million people pushed into extreme poverty because of the economic crisis, many of the previous commitments made in April at the previous G-20 summit haven&#8217;t even been met. For instance, according to recent findings by Jubilee <span class="caps">USA</span>, world leaders have failed to make the grade in responding to the needs of the world&#8217;s poor. Its report card gives low marks to the G-20 for neglecting to keep their word &#8211; for instance Jubilee notes that of the $1.1 trillion promised for developing countries, only $344 billion or 31% has been delivered to date. And of the $50 billion in new resources promised to low income countries, less than half ($23.6 billion) has been delivered to date. </p> <p>UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon is attending the meeting and he recently sent a letter to G20 leaders ahead of the summit outlining how to advance lasting peace and security. Although the UN hasn&#8217;t released the contents, Ban discussed elements of the letter at a UN press conference, where he stressed the need to accelerate achievement of the MDGs, provide adequate financing for climate change provide greater voice for developing countries in economic governance, prevent trade protectionism and complete the Doha Round, and accelerate job creation while protecting workers and their families. </p> <p>The UN had been tasked by the G20 to monitor the impact of the crisis on the world&#8217;s poorest and earlier in the week, the Secretary-General unveiled the Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System, which will track and collate real-time data collection and analysis. Its new website is called Voices of the Vulnerable.</p> <p>So what to expect tomorrow? I don&#8217;t foresee any bombshells or big commitments. However, as noted in the recent UN Millennium Campaign press release, the recession is only just beginning for poor countries and we&#8217;ve been focusing our demands on G20 leaders to: <br /> <ul><br /> <li>Expedite the delivery of resources they have promised to poor countries.<br /> <li>Allocate resources to the poor countries which most need help achieving the MDGs. </li><br /> <li>Ensure that mechanisms to address the economic crisis do not leave poor countries in greater debt.</li><br /> <li>Resolve the deadlock on the Doha Trade talks by putting an end to trade distorting agricultural subsidies in rich countries.</li><br /> <li>Give poor countries a greater voice in the <span class="caps">IMF</span> and World Bank. The pace at which reforms are proceeding is unacceptable. </li><br /> </ul></p> <p>Stay tuned for more updates, including the communiqué once it&#8217;s released and our reactions to it.</p> English G20 Obama Pittsburgh Fri, 25 Sep 2009 14:25:11 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 602 at http://endpoverty2015.org AHEAD OF G-20, NEW FIGURES PREDICT LESS AID AND MORE DEBT FOR POOR COUNTRIES ALREADY HIT BY ECONOMIC CRISIS http://endpoverty2015.org/en/english/news/ahead-g-20-new-figures-predict-less-aid-and-more-debt-poor-countries-already-hit-economic-crisis/23/sep/09 <p>Ahead of Friday’s G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, the United Nations Millennium Campaign is releasing new figures which show that unless rich countries marshal additional resources at the summit, they are likely to deliver $33 billion less aid than promised to the poor countries which are hardest hit by the global economic crisis. At the same time, packages intended to help poor countries address the crisis might drive them deeper into debt. </p> <p>The figures show that aid to poor countries will decline by at least $15 billion through 2010 because aid values are mostly a percentage of the Gross National Income (<span class="caps">GNI</span>) of donor countries, which has declined. Additionally, donors are unlikely to meet their aid commitments – to provide 0.51 percent of <span class="caps">GNI</span> for aid in the case of EU countries and double aid in the case of G-8 countries – and this will result in an additional loss of $18 billion in aid through 2010.</p> <p>While at their last meeting G-20 leaders pledged $50 billion to poor countries to address the crisis, it is estimated that only $23.6 billion has actually been delivered. So far, assessments suggest that less than five percent of the resources promised by the G-20 for developing countries have been allocated for the 78 low-income countries which face the greatest obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).</p> <p>Furthermore, a large part of the resources being provided by the G-20 to poor countries take the form of loans, threatening to increase indebtedness for the poorest countries and lead to another debt crisis in the future. Already, the <span class="caps">IMF</span> reports that 33 low-income countries are at severe or moderate risk of debt distress. </p> <p>“While globally the economic situation may be improving, it is only getting worse for poor countries already bearing the brunt of the crisis created by some of the richest people in a few of the richest countries,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. “In Pittsburgh this Friday, G-20 leaders must actually deliver the resources they have been promising, ensure that the resources go to the countries which need the most help achieving the Millennium Development Goals and prevent a new cycle of indebtedness.”</p> <p>The UN Millennium Campaign is calling on G-20 leaders at the summit to urgently:<br /> <ul><br /> <li>Expedite the delivery of resources they have promised to poor countries.<br /> <li>Allocate resources to the poor countries which most need help achieving the MDGs. </li><br /> <li>Ensure that mechanisms to address the economic crisis do not leave poor countries in greater debt.</li><br /> <li>Resolve the deadlock on the Doha Trade talks by putting an end to trade distorting agricultural subsidies in rich countries.</li><br /> <li>Give poor countries a greater voice in the <span class="caps">IMF</span> and World Bank. The pace at which reforms are proceeding is unacceptable.</li><br /> </ul></p> English G20 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 16:03:45 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 597 at http://endpoverty2015.org A Wholly Different Perspective on the G-20 Meeting http://endpoverty2015.org/en/global-partnership/news/wholly-different-perspective-g-20-meeting/31/mar/09 <p><i>The Financial Times</i> published the <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f6f30eaa-1c88-11de-977c-00144feabdc0.html">leaked G20 draft communiqué</a> yesterday in advance of the summit’s Thursday meeting in London. <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/files/G20%20policy%20paper%20-%20UN%20Millennium%20Campaign.pdf">According</a> (pdf) the UN Millennium Campaign, “the global economic crisis threatens to reduce development assistance by at least $4.5 billion as a result of contractions in Gross National Income, force more than 50 million more people to live in poverty and set back the fight against poverty by up to three years. Already, more than 130 million people were pushed into extreme poverty as the result of soaring food and fuel prices in 2008. This is particularly cruel and unjust given that the crisis is of the rich world’s making.”</p> <p>As far as the developing world and the United Nations are concerned, the communiqué reconfirms the commitment of the G20 countries to the Millennium Development Goals and promises an unspecified amount of money for "social protection" for the poorest countries.</p> <p>On MDGs and food security:</p> <blockquote><p>“The worlds poorest are most at risk from the crisis and we are resolved to support them. We remain committed to meeting the millennium development goals and to achieving our ODA pledges including commitments on aid for trade. We are making available $[x] in social protection for the poorest countries, alongside investing in food security and we support the World Bank's vulnerability financing framework.” </p></blockquote> <p>On trade:</p> <blockquote><p>“World trade is falling for the first time in [25 years]. We need to sustain the benefits of globalization and open markets, and promote trade as a crucial driver of growth in the world economy. Therefore: • we reaffirm the commitment made in Washington not to raise new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, including within existing WTO limits, not to impose new trade restrictions, and not to create new subsidies to exports.”</p></blockquote> <p>On IMF assistance:</p> <blockquote><p> “We have agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF to $[x] through bilateral borrowing from members of $[x] subsequently replaced by an expanded New Arrangements to Borrow of $[x] and borrowing in the market of up to $[x] if necessary.”</p></blockquote> <p>United Nations:</p> <blockquote><p>“We call on the UN to establish an effective mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable. We have also asked the IMF to bring forward, by the Spring Meetings, proposals to use the proceeds of agreed gold sales to support low income countries.” </p></blockquote> <p>International Financial Institution voting rights and representation:</p> <blockquote><p>“We commit to implementing the package of World Bank voice reforms agreed in October 2008. We call on the World Bank to make concrete recommendations by the Annual Meetings on shareholding, voting, voice, and internal governance, taking account of the development mandate of the Bank, and guided by the principles of shared and common responsibility. These reforms should be completed by the Spring Meetings in 2010.</p></blockquote> <p>Although this doesn’t pertain directly to the plight of the worlds’ poor, you might be gratified to know that the G20 is tackling the issue of executive pay and bonuses:</p> <blockquote><p>“To endorse the [financial stability forum's] common principles on pay and compensation in financial institutions. These ensure compensation structures reward actual performance, support sustainable growth, and avoid excessive risk-taking. We have asked our supervisors to implement these principles.” </p></blockquote> <p>It is too early to give a full critique of the communiqué since the G20 leaders haven’t actually met yet and formally agreed to these points and hammered out actual figures, we can point to a few highlights and trouble spots:</p> <p>Supporting the Millennium Development Goals, working to achieve Official Development Assistance pledges including commitments on Aid for Trade, allocating for social protection programs and investing in food security are good signs but much more needs to be done to achieve the long-term goals.</p> <p>There will be significant resource inflows to the IMF and the Regional Development Banks which is welcome, but there is little to know discussion about restructuring International Financial Institution financing mechanisms to include more favorable conditions.</p> <p>In advance of the Thursday’s summit, the UN Millennium Campaign issued a <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/files/G20%20press%20release.pdf">press release</a> and <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/files/G20%20policy%20paper%20-%20UN%20Millennium%20Campaign.pdf">policy document</a> outlining recommendations for the G20 leaders. We’ll keep you informed on how they fare after the meeting.</p> <p>G20 leaders must:</p> <p>• Provide additional resources for poor countries deal with the crisis but caution not to let the solution become the problem; resources provided must come without harmful conditionalities and/or increase indebtedness</p> <p>• Restructured international financial institutions must be more representative with poor countries having a greater voice.</p> <p>• The economic crisis should not be used as an excuse for rich countries to renege on their aid commitments to poor countries, which are already bearing the brunt of the financial crisis. OECD member countries of the G20 must reaffirm their previous commitments to allocate 0.7% of their GNI for development assistance, establish transparent, time-bound calendars for the disbursement of funds.</p> <p>• G20 leaders are being reminded of their pledge for a moratorium on protectionism made on 15 November 2008 and are being called upon to develop structures for effective monitoring and supervision to prevent further protectionism.</p> <p>(Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoriah/3227510179/sizes/m/">Flickr</a>)</p> North America Global Partnership English G20 Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:46:50 +0000 Sebastian Majewski 493 at http://endpoverty2015.org