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UNDP Report: G20's Potential Impact on Global Development

UNDP by Victoria Cole, July 27, 2015 Adjust font size:

The United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with the CCIEE and the SIIS, published a report entitled, "Rebalancing Global Economic Governance – Opportunities for China and the G20 beyond 2015." The report highlights the importance of global governance and sustainable development to "add value to ongoing debates and inform the work of policy makers and practitioners in China as well as around the world."

A Potential G20 Response and Partnership for Sustainable Development (Chapter 4)

4.2.1 Coordinating a Pluralist Institutional Landscape towards a Unified Global Agenda

In the immediate aftermath of the global financial crises, the G20 was able to support a recovery. Though the debate is still open regarding the effectiveness of the G20 and how it could function more effectively, the G20’s format has demonstrated that it is well suited to forming coordinated economic policy for all countries, developed or developing alike.

Furthermore, the consensus rule in the G20 decision-making process provides an opportunity for all member countries to be equal, to use all of the G20's advantages and its format to incorporate national interests in final decision-making processes. This arrangement is unique and distinguishes the G20 from other cornerstone international organizations such as the IMF.

The G20 accounts for around 85% of the world’s economy, giving its members the right to ask for a more active role in decision-making processes within the global economy. Correspondingly, the G20 also includes more than half of the world's poor population, a factor that makes the Group particularly well-suited for discussing and finding solutions to global development issues.

Though, some concerns have arisen over the fact that the G20 excludes a priori the LDCs and LICs and therefore does not and cannot possibly represent all of their interests and needs. At regional level, it should be noted that the African continent is under-represented, as South Africa is the only African country member included on the platform.

In order to address these issues, each year the G20 President invites a selection of guest countries to attend the Leaders' Summit and to participate in the discussions on the agenda. With this mechanism, the group tries to give non-members an opportunity to bring their views to the discussion table.

Each year the G20's guests include Spain, the Chair of ASEAN, the Global Governance Group, two African countries (the chair of the African Union and a representative of the New Partnership for Africa's Development) and a country or countries invited by the presidency.

Turkey is particularly keen to engage with non-members to develop an international understanding of the G20, working especially closely with low-income developing countries (LIDCs). Development has also been elevated to a top priority in the agenda, marking a very important step towards the continued mainstreaming of development in the G20 agenda and paving the way for a unified global development agenda.

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