Sector Leaders Head to Russia for C20
3 September 2013 at 10:25 am
ACOSS Chief Cassandra Goldie and World Vision CEO Tim Costello are heading to Russia to be part of the steering committee for the Australian Civil Society 20 (C20) as part of the program for Australia to host the G20 in Brisbane in November 2014.
The pair were selected as Australia's C20 delegates to the G20 Leaders' meeting in St Petersburg in Russia taking place on September 5 and 6.
Dr Goldie said they would use the trip to the C20 meeting this week to make sure the leaders put "people and improved social standards at the heart of economic policy and decision-making".
A 14-member committee – chaired by Rev Costello – was appointed in June to coordinate civil society engagement with G20 leaders.
The committee will identify key policy positions of non-government sector voices in Australia to feed into the G20 Leaders' Summit agenda.
“This is a good move by the Prime Minister and a major step forward in ensuring community voices are heard at the highest level," Dr Goldie said.
“As the national peak body for Australia's community welfare sector, ACOSS is delighted to be part of this group's steering committee that will go a long way to strengthen the role of civil society in public policy and decision making at the international level.
“This is recognition of the crucial community groups play in the fabric of Australian society and will leave an important legacy of formalising engagement of civil society in G20 proceedings, with past events held in Russia, South Korea, France and Canada.
“No longer are the big decisions that are made on the global stage solely the domain of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Finance chiefs. Civil society is now firmly part of this process to make sure decisions are more reflective of the community's wants, needs and aspirations.
“It is also an important opportunity for Australia to engage with global institutions and organisations on issues such as poverty and inequality, and the processes that are necessary to address these social issues that affect all countries.”
Dr Goldie said she was looking forward to working with chair Tim Costello and alongside the leaders of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, the Australian Council of International Development and others in ensuring the views of civil society was truly represented at this important forum.
ACOSS has set up a website page to follow developments from the Russian gathering at http://www.acoss.org.au/take_action/c20_-_australian_civil_society_20_brisbane_2014/