September 25, 2009 / 10:19 PM / 10 years ago

TEXT: G20 Final Communique - Fighting Poverty

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Group of 20 rich and developing nations released the following final statement at the conclusion of the two-day meeting on Friday.

In it, the G20 pledged to keep emergency economic supports in place until sustainable recovery is assured, launch a framework for acting together to rebalance economic growth, and establish tougher rules governing banks by 2012.

The statement was issued in two parts, the preamble and the longer communique. The section on fighting poverty follows:

Strengthening Support for the Most Vulnerable

34. Many emerging and developing economies have made great strides in raising living standards as their economies converge toward the productivity levels and living standards of advanced economies. This process was interrupted by the crisis and is still far from complete. The poorest countries have little economic cushion to protect vulnerable populations from calamity, particularly as the financial crisis followed close on the heels of a global spike in food prices. We note with concern the adverse impact of the global crisis on low income countries’ (LICs) capacity to protect critical core spending in areas such as health, education, safety nets, and infrastructure. The UN’s new Global Impact Vulnerability Alert System will help our efforts to monitor the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable. We share a collective responsibility to mitigate the social impact of the crisis and to assure that all parts of the globe participate in the recovery.

35. The MDBs play a key role in the fight against poverty. We recognize the need for accelerated and additional concessional financial support to LICs to cushion the impact of the crisis on the poorest, welcome the increase in MDB lending during the crisis and support the MDBs having the resources needed to avoid a disruption of concessional financing to the most vulnerable countries. The IMF also has increased its concessional lending to LICs during the crisis. Resources from the sale of IMF gold, consistent with the new income model, and funds from internal and other sources will double the Fund’s medium-term concessional lending capacity.

36. Several countries are considering creating, on a voluntary basis, mechanisms that could allow, consistent with their national circumstances, the mobilization of existing SDR resources to support the IMF’s lending to the poorest countries. Even as we work to mitigate the impact of the crisis, we must strengthen and reform the global development architecture for responding to the world’s long-term challenges. We ask our relevant ministers to explore the benefits of a new crisis support facility in IDA to protect LICs from future crises and the enhanced use of financial instruments in protecting the investment plans of middle income countries from interruption in times of crisis, including greater use of guarantees.

37. We reaffirm our historic commitment to meet the Millennium Development Goals and our respective Official Development Assistance (ODA) pledges, including commitments on Aid for Trade, debt relief, and those made at Gleneagles, especially to sub-Saharan Africa, to 2010 and beyond.

38. Even before the crisis, too many still suffered from hunger and poverty and even more people lack access to energy and finance. Recognizing that the crisis has exacerbated this situation, we pledge cooperation to improve access to food, fuel, and finance for the poor.

39. Sustained funding and targeted investments are urgently needed to improve long-term food security. We welcome and support the food security initiative announced in L’Aquila and efforts to further implement the Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security and to address excessive price volatility. We call on the World Bank to work with interested donors and organizations to develop a multilateral trust fund to scale-up agricultural assistance to low-income countries. This will help support innovative bilateral and multilateral efforts to improve global nutrition and build sustainable agricultural systems, including programs like those developed through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). It should be designed to ensure country ownership and rapid disbursement of funds, fully respecting the aid effectiveness principles agreed in Accra, and facilitate the participation of private foundations, businesses, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in this historic effort. These efforts should complement the UN Comprehensive Framework for Agriculture. We ask the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UN, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP) and other stakeholders to coordinate their efforts, including through country-led mechanisms, in order to complement and reinforce other existing multilateral and bilateral efforts to tackle food insecurity.

40. To increase access to energy, we will promote the deployment of clean, affordable energy resources to the developing world. We commit, on a voluntary basis, to funding programs that achieve this objective, such as the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program and the Energy for the Poor Initiative, and to increasing and more closely harmonizing our bilateral efforts.

41. We commit to improving access to financial services for the poor. We have agreed to support the safe and sound spread of new modes of financial service delivery capable of reaching the poor and, building on the example of micro finance, will scale up the successful models of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financing. Working with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other international organizations, we will launch a G-20 Financial Inclusion Experts Group. This group will identify lessons learned on innovative approaches to providing financial services to these groups, promote successful regulatory and policy approaches and elaborate standards on financial access, financial literacy, and consumer protection. We commit to launch a G-20 SME Finance Challenge, a call to the private sector to put forward its best proposals for how public finance can maximize the deployment of private finance on a sustainable and scalable basis.

42. As we increase the flow of capital to developing countries, we also need to prevent its illicit outflow. We will work with the World Bank’s Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) program to secure the return of stolen assets to developing countries, and support other efforts to stem illicit outflows. We ask the FATF to help detect and deter the proceeds of corruption by prioritizing work to strengthen standards on customer due diligence, beneficial ownership and transparency. We note the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action and will work to increase the transparency of international aid flows by 2010. We call for the adoption and enforcement of laws against transnational bribery, such as the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and the ratification by the G-20 of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the adoption during the third Conference of the Parties in Doha of an effective, transparent, and inclusive mechanism for the review of its implementation. We support voluntary participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which calls for regular public disclosure of payments by extractive industries to governments and reconciliation against recorded receipt of those funds by governments.

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