G20 Presidency Side Event organized during the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 July 2015 – On the margins of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, G20 Turkish Presidency held a side event titled “Priorities of the Turkish G20 Presidency with Particular Focus on Development” together with Civil-20, Think-20 and Network of Southern Think-Tanks (NeST).

Turkey’s G20 Sherpa Ambassador Ayşe Sinirlioğlu delivered the opening remarks. After the opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Ali Babacan, touched upon the importance of G20 in international economic cooperation and shared Turkey’s Presidency priorities with a particular focus on development in his keynote address.

In his address, Deputy Prime Minister Babacan emphasized that Turkey has placed development at the center of its G20 Presidency agenda in 2015. Furthermore, he summarized Turkey’s G20 Presidency Priorities around three “I”s: Inclusiveness, Investment and Implementation. After highlighting how G20 supports global development agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Babacan gave examples of concrete contributions of Turkey to G20 such as: World SME Forum which is founded through partnership of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to support SMEs as well as W20 which is established as a stand-alone outreach group of G20 to support women entrepreneurship and women’s participation to workforce.

Following Mr. Babacan’s address, the side event continued with a panel discussion on ‘Addressing Inequalities and Inclusive Growth within Financing for Development’ hosted by C20 Turkey and T20 Turkey in collaboration with the Network of Southern Think-Tanks (NeST). After the introductory remarks by Zeynep Bodur Okyay, C20 Chair, Amar Bhattacharya, senior fellow at the Global Economy and Development Programme at Brookings Institute, delivered the key-note speech. The panelists were:

Neissan Besharati—South African Institute of International Institute,
Dr. Fanwell K. Bokosi, Executive Director, African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD),
Ussal Sahbaz, T20 Turkey, Director of the TEPAV G20 Studies Centre

The objective was to discuss policy options that can promote a just and equitable growth at national, regional and international levels. The challenges encountered by developing countries were the main focus during the panel discussion. Special emphasis was given to infrastructure investments, food security, access to basic services, quality growth, the reform of the financial sector and information sharing.

Emphasizing the need to address inequality, the chair of C20 Ms. Zeynep Bodur Okyay brought forward issues of environmental sustainability, gender equality and inclusive growth as important components of policy agendas aiming to end inequality. Adverse effects of inequality on economic growth, social cohesion were discussed, and recommendations including the urgent need to reduce income inequality, focusing on the bottom 40% of the population were stated during the discussion.

The features of the international development agenda such as domestic resource mobilization, financial inclusion, tax justice, sustainable agriculture, infrastructure investment etc. were raised by Mr. Amar Bhattacharya.

The role the G20 could play in triggering quality growth and the inclusion of the low income countries in G20 were among issues raised during the panel discussions. The importance of South-South cooperation in the area of international development as well as triangular cooperation were emphasized by Mr. Neissan Besharati. Trade, investment, knowledge-sharing and capacity-building were discussed as important instruments that can promote inclusive growth. Dr. Fanwell K. Bokosi mostly focused on the inclusiveness of G20 and suggested options for increased representation of African countries within the G20.

To respond to the questions directly addressed to G20, Deputy Prime Minister Babacan had a second intervention, summarizing what G20 does, how it arrives at joint decisions and means to implement common decisions.

The second part of the panel discussion was moderated by Ussal Sahbaz where panelists were given the opportunity to finalize their discussions. A Q&A session also included additional comments from G20 Sherpa Ayşe Sinirlioğlu.

You can download the concept note, programme, speaker biographies and the flyer of the side event here.

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