Global Leaders Must Be Bold – C20 Summit
Friday, 20th June 2014 at 11:51 am
Civil society experts from around the world meeting in Melbourne for the C20 summit say they will be urging global leaders to be bold in addressing issues of climate change, global unemployment, economic growth, equity, fairness and the alleviation of poverty.
The two-day C20 Summit, with representatives from 80 countries, will consider policy recommendations around inclusion, sustainable economic growth and improving income distribution, which will be delivered in a communique to the G20 leaders meeting in Brisbane in November.
The Australian Chair of the C20, World Vision CEO Tim Costello said at the opening of the Summit that in post-Budget Australia there was a need for a fair go.
"We will be making sharp recommendations about what the G20 should find consensus on," he said.
"Delegates to the C20 can describe in five minutes what they want but how to get there is difficult. We don't want the global leaders of the G20 to look inwardly. There' s a great danger in that for those leaders and the world.
"We want them to turn outward and be bold in addressing these pressing world issues."
Costello said he would be explaining the issues of fairness and inclusion with other global civil society leaders despite the post Budget pain being felt in Australia.
"…we raise 30 to 40 per cent GDP in tax and then in spending, expenditure is essentially about social justice. Income tax acts as the main intrument of social justice in Australia," he said.
"Many of the countries represented here are raising less than 15 per cent of GDP in tax, that's why they can't pay for health and education. We'll be explaining the debates that we have about taxing and expenditure.
"We are having this debate even though the Government would prefer not to have it because Australians have an innate sense of fairness.
"We're looking at this and thinking we might have our own problems, it's not catastrophic but we do have a problem. And we're all sharing the pain equally in what this debate is about.
"The fairness debates in Australia are right in the same vein as what the G20 has to look at when it aims for growth and each G20 nation has to think about," he said.
C20 Steering committee member and WWF CEO Dermot O'Gorman said one of the core economic issues for the G20 leaders would be climate change.
"If left unchecked it will take trillions of dollars from the global economy. The C20 will look at how it can add the climate change conversations that the G20 leaders need to hear," he said.
C20 Governance working group Co-Chair and Transparency International, Australia, Executive Director International Greg Thompson said the committee hoped that one of the outcomes to come out of the C20 summit was a further action plan to fight against corruption.
He said one of the issues that the committee had been working through was addressing was tax evasion and tax avoidance by multi-national corporations.
"Within the G20, C20 process we're been working closely with the anti-corruption working group for the G20," he said.
"This is a conversation that has been going on for the last four or five years…
"One of the hopes that we have from this summit for November is a further action plan to fight against corruption."
Thompson said that the reality was that beyond the C20 summit, after all the global leaders go home, they would continue to engage with their leaders in their home countries.
"So it's not just a matter of being in Melbourne and trying to communicate with G20 leaders from each of these countries but in each of these countries the advocacy will continue and this summit provides an opportunity for really cementing that voice of civil society," he said.
The final position papers for the four C20 working groups are
These position papers will form the basis for discussions at the C20 Summit and the key recommendations from civil society to the G20 in 2014.