Turkey, as the G20 Presidency, together with some members of the G20 Development Working Group (DWG) held the fifth Annual Dialogue with members of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie (CF) in Washington DC on the 14th of April. Participants included Ministers and senior government officials from CF member states, the Turkish G20 Presidency and Development Working Group, as well as international and regional organisations.
Participants welcomed an update by Ambassador Emre Yunt, Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on behalf of the G20 Presidency, highlighting the key policy priorities for the 2015 G20 development agenda. In response to this update, CF delegates highlighted a range of development concerns related to food security, energy and infrastructure in particular. Other areas included the Blue Economy and the urgent need to strengthen responses to climate change. The need for an objective approach to defining countries’ priority needs was highlighted and the value of the Commonwealth’s Vulnerability and Resilience Framework was emphasized as a valuable tool for country classification. CF countries spoke about exploring very practical support from G20 countries in areas such as investment in infrastructure and technology transfer.
Turkish Presidency welcomed inputs from CF countries on their development challenges and priorities. Discussions explored ways in which G20 and CF members can collaborate on a joint agenda to address them. Suggestions emphasized the importance of more inclusive global value chains; reducing the global average cost of remittances as an important source of income for developing countries and working together to address the adverse impacts of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) on remittance flows; and supporting the mobilisation of domestic resources through levelling the playing field in areas of trade, investment and tax.
Many CF developing countries face significant structural barriers in their integration into GVCs due to the small size of their domestic markets and their unfavourable geographical location, resulting in their excessive trade costs. The CF countries underscored the need for these structural challenges to be recognised and responded through policies. G20 Presidency emphasized the G20’s priorities in this area which included work on participation of SMEs in GVCs.
Participants have agreed to continue deepening engagement and collaboration, through actively facilitating dialogue and the sharing of information, to highlight and to address the needs of the poorest, smallest and most vulnerable countries.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Deodat Maharaj thanked the Turkish G20 presidency for “recognising the importance of engaging with countries – many of whom are small, vulnerable and with limited resources, and who do not get to sit around the G20 table where global and critical decisions are made.”
He said: “The discussions at the CF-G20 meeting were substantive and forward looking. Developing countries were given the opportunity to table some very difficult issues. We sincerely hope that this important dialogue will help to shape the final agenda of the 2015 G20 summit.”
The Turkish Presidency committed to ensuring that the content of the discussion and ideas put forward would be fed into broader G20 discussions.
An Outcome Statement was adopted by the participants at the end of the meeting.