Small, medium states welcome G-20 pledge on inclusive growth

Participants of the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 30, 2018.
Participants of the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 30, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Group also cheers commitment to boost rules-based global order

A group of small and medium-sized states, convened by Singapore, has welcomed the reiteration by the Group of 20 (G-20) of its commitment to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

Giving its views on the outcome of the G-20 Summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 30 and Dec 1 last year, the Global Governance Group (3G) also said it applauded the G-20's pledge to work together to improve a rules-based international order that is capable of effectively responding to a rapidly changing world.

The 3G also underlined the importance of strengthening the multilateral trading system, as well as the United Nations.

The 3G is an informal coalition of 30 states, which also include Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand. It seeks to promote more transparency and inclusivity in the G-20 process.

In a statement shared by Singapore's Foreign Ministry yesterday, the 3G said that it agrees with the G-20's assessment that while global economic growth is strong, some key risks have partially materialised, including financial vulnerabilities, geopolitical concerns and trade issues.

"The 3G thus welcomes the Buenos Aires Action Plan, which outlines the G-20's policy responses to the key risks to the global economy and actions to strengthen economic resilience as well as promote inclusive growth," it added.

The 3G joined the G-20 in welcoming the final report by a group of top economists and leaders, the G-20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance (EPG), tasked with reviewing issues of global financial governance.

In a statement shared by Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday, the group said that it agrees with the G-20's assessment that while global economic growth is strong, some key risks have partially materialised, including financial vulnerabilities, geopolitical concerns and trade issues.

The report calls for reforms to the international monetary and financial system to enable countries to reach their full growth and development potential and avert the damage caused by financial crises.

The 3G said it looks forward to the G-20 following up on the EPG's recommendations under Japan's G-20 presidency this year.

On tackling climate change, the group said it notes the "differing approaches" among G-20 members.

While G-20 leaders in Buenos Aires declared that the Paris Agreement was irreversible, the United States maintained its decision to withdraw from the agreement to combat climate change.

"The 3G reaffirms our commitment to the Paris Agreement, our Paris pledges and the need to advance their implementation, and stands ready to work with the G-20 to address this urgent challenge together," the group said.

The 3G said it looks forward to the G-20 following up on the EPG's recommendations under Japan's 2019 G-20 presidency.

 
 
 

On sustainable development, the 3G welcomed the Buenos Aires Update, which compiles new comprehensive and collective actions the G-20 decided on last year and that are framed around the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"It maintains the international momentum towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda for the benefit for all, especially developing countries", the group said.

The 3G also said it notes the G-20's recognition of the contribution made by the multilateral trading system in augmenting international trade and investments, which remain important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development.

The 3G welcomed the G-20's support of the necessary reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to improve its functioning.

"The 3G reiterates the importance of maintaining and strengthening an open, rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied by the WTO, to ensure that trade remains free and open," it said.

The 3G added that it appreciated Argentina's outreach efforts to the 3G during its G-20 presidency, and looked forward to continuing this engagement with Japan during its presidency this year.

"The 3G reiterates its position that the United Nations is the only global body with universal participation and clear legitimacy, and calls on the G-20 to ensure that its actions complement and strengthen the UN system," it said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2019, with the headline 'Small, medium states welcome G-20 pledge on inclusive growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe