Thursday, 18 November 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
37. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will give an outline of the development section of the recent G20 leaders’ talks which were recently held in Seoul; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43165/10]
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Peter Power): The G20 grouping brings together the 19 leading industrialised and emerging countries and the European Union. The fifth Summit meeting of the G20 was held in Seoul on 11-12 November. It was attended by the leaders of the G20, the IMF, the World Bank, the UN, the World Trade Organization, the OECD, the African Union and other regional groupings. On this occasion, the Heads of Government of Ethiopia, Malawi, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam were also invited to attend.
The Seoul Summit was very clearly focused on the global economic crisis. It agreed on the need to put jobs at the heart of the recovery, to provide social protection and decent work and to ensure accelerated growth in low income countries. It was the first G20 Summit to include development on the agenda, and the participants agreed the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth, to complement the commitments made in September at the UN Review Summit on the Millennium Development Goals.
The Development Consensus focuses on working in partnership with developing countries to help them build the capacity to achieve and maximise their growth potential. It includes a set of concrete measures in a Multi-Year Action Plan to promote key development outcomes in areas such as food security, economic growth and job creation. The action plan is based on the core principle that enduring and meaningful poverty reduction cannot be achieved without inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth. A high-level panel will monitor the implementation of the action plan and report back to future G20 Summits.
The G20 leaders also committed to bringing the Doha Development Round to a successful and balanced conclusion and to working towards a modernised International Monetary Fund with greater representation of dynamic emerging and developing countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to fight climate change and looked forward to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in South Korea in 2011.
I warmly welcome the inclusion of development issues on the agenda of a G20 summit and the establishment of a Multi-Year Action Plan to complement and strengthen international commitment to the achievement of the MDGs. I particularly welcome the strong focus on food security in the action plan. The acknowledgement of the need for increased investment and financial support for agriculture, the commitment to promoting better access to markets for smallholder producers and the endorsement of the Rome Principles for enhancing global policy coherence are wholly consistent with our priorities for hunger and the recommendations of the Government’s Hunger Task Force published in 2008. The Government has made the fight against hunger a cornerstone of our aid programme. We will continue to take an international leadership role on the global hunger crisis, and will work closely with our partners in Africa, our EU partners and the US and other G20 states in order to coordinate effective action to tackle the scandal of hunger in the world today.
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