The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has commended the decision to put development issues on the main agenda of the G-20 Summit in Seoul for the first time.
On the eve of this historic summit, AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka said: “The G-20 Summit is taking place in a country which has catapulted itself from a poor to an industrialised prosperous country in a generation. It offers a unique opportunity to draw lessons from such an experience and that of others in the economic South for a possible paradigm shift that unlocks Africa’s potential to contribute to global prosperity.”
He added: "I welcome the work done by the Working Group on Development issues created at the Toronto Summit and look forward to their consideration in Seoul; the moment is ripe and is now, when Africa is consolidating an unprecedented momentum despite risks and uncertainties in the global environment which issues are on the table for discussions at the Seoul Summit”
Mr. Kaberuka said Korea had already shown commendable leadership by putting development, for the first time, squarely on the G-20 agenda. This marks an important milestone in the evolution of the G-20, and raises hopes that the Seoul Summit will provide the basis for sustained G-20 engagement with development challenges and for the full participation of African and other lower income countries.
This is in line with the Joint Declaration of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KAOFEC) ministerial conference held in September 2010 in Seoul, enlisting G-20 cooperation and support to boost African Development.
The focus of the 11-12 November 2010 Seoul Summit on the theme, "G-20's Role in the Post-Crisis World," is on safeguarding the ongoing global economic recovery and restoring fiscal sustainability; ensuring strong, sustainable, and balanced global growth; building a stronger international financial regulatory system; and modernizing international financial institutions.
In its capacity as current G-20 President, Korea has brought new perspectives toward addressing the needs of the emerging and developing world as part of efforts to support sustainable growth globally.
"Narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to our broader objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth and ensuring a more robust and resilient global economy for all,” the G-20 said in a communiqué at the end of its 26 – 27 June 2010 Toronto Summit.
“In this regard, we agree to establish a Working Group on Development and mandate it to elaborate, consistent with the G-20’s focus on measures to promote economic growth and resilience, a development agenda and multi-year action plans to be adopted at the Seoul Summit," the communiqué added.
Korea is also fostering renewed discussions on development issues, considered essential to rebalancing the global economy that encompasses more than macroeconomic imbalances. It also includes addressing gaps in income and development.
This implies that G-20 leaders collectively recognize that narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to their broader objectives to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth, as well as to ensure a more robust and resilient global economy.
In Toronto, G-20 leaders agreed to establish a Working Group on Development, charged with exploring measures to promote economic growth and resilience, and outlining (i) a development agenda and ii) multi-year action plans to be adopted at the Seoul Summit.
Korea and South Africa will co-chair high-level G-20 Development Working Group meetings designed to facilitate the formulation of multi-year action plans, to be submitted to G-20 leaders for consideration.
Going forward, Korea will act as a bridge between the advanced, emerging and developing worlds by fully engaging all relevant stakeholders, focusing on the development needs of low-income countries; and drawing from its own development experiences.