Turkey will be hosting the G20 Leader’s Summit which is due to be held on November 15-16 in its southern city of Antalya.
Chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the summit will focus on the current state of the global economy, sustainable growth, development and climate change, investment, trade and energy.
Participating leaders are also expected to discuss political issues such as global terrorism and the refugee crisis in addition to the economic agenda.
Turkey, which took over the G20 term presidency from Australia on December 1, 2014, has set its term presidency theme as “Collective Action for Inclusive and Robust Growth”. In this context, the topics to be discussed at the summit have been collected under three priority titles: inclusiveness, implementation and investment.
|World leaders wrap up G20 summit in Australia|
A first: Woman-20
Turkish term presidency does not only aim at a robust, sustainable and balanced growth, but also an inclusive one. As part of this objective, Turkey underlines inclusiveness at national and international level such as eliminating income inequality, increasing women’s participation in the labour market, reducing youth unemployment, avoiding food waste and ensuring food security, and access to energy.
In this sense, the Turkish term presidency has formed a Women-20 (W20) engagement group – a first for the G20 summit – in an effort to address women’s issues and increase their participation in the global economy.
W20 will develop projects and advise leaders on addressing women’s issues on national and global platforms, preventing violence and discrimination against women, expanding equal opportunity, and fair and effective employment of the female workforce.
As an expression of the support given to global efforts towards reducing food waste, a G20 agriculture ministers meeting was held May 6-8, 2015, where the preparation of a G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems, to be presented to leaders at the Antalya summit, was called for.
The first energy ministers meeting in G20’s history was also held during Turkey’s term presidency on October 2 in Istanbul. This meeting is important as it emphasises the energy access problems arising from the fact that 1.1 billion people worldwide are deprived of energy and 650 million of them live in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Political conflicts and wars from Ukraine and Syria to Iraq and Libya cost the regional and world economies hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
With respect to decreasing youth unemployment, G20 countries committed to achieving a 15 percent reduction in the number of low-skilled or unemployed young people by 2025.
Another main agenda topic of the G20 Antalya summit is “implementation”. In order to reach the targets set and achieve a strong growth on national and global levels, decisions and commitments should be put into practice effectively.
G20 countries, including Turkey, pledged to increase the global economic growth by 2.1 percent in five years, which will contribute an additional $2bn to the global economy.
A tangible schedule showing how growth strategies are implemented will be presented at the Antalya summit and follow-up monitoring mechanisms have been developed to ensure the commitments are fulfilled.
Investments to increase global growth potential and create new jobs are among the priority topics of the Antalya summit.
Another matter, which was discussed in detail during our term presidency, was the integration of small-medium size enterprises (SMEs), which account for about 60-70 percent of jobs in world economy, to global economy as well as their empowerment and access to financial resources.
In this regard, Turkey broke new ground by establishing the Global SME Forum for the first time. The forum addressed the question of what kind of steps can be taken to support SME’s on national and international levels.
Leaders and Youth-20
The engagement groups to attend the Antalya summit also include Business-20, Labour-20, Civil Society-20, Think-Tank-20 and Youth-20 in addition to newly founded Women-20.
Youth-20, in particular, carried out important studies regarding youth issues in developed and emerging economies, increasing youth employment, education, and contributions of young people to world peace. The final reports of these engagement groups will be presented to leaders in Ankara.
The forum, which gathers developed countries and developing economies around the same table, provides a significant opportunity to discuss political matters too.
At the 2013 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, the leaders discussed the Syrian crisis and the measures to be taken to prevent the use of chemical weapons. Last year’s summit in Brisbane, Australia, focused on the Ukrainian crisis and the Crimean issue.
This year, the Syrian conflict and the accompanying refugee crisis will be addressed in a separate session as part of the Antalya summit. In a world where economic and political problems are intertwined, it is certainly not possible to think of war, terror, refugees, justice and economic depression separately.
Global issues require global answers. Based on this principle, we believe that the Antalya summit will make an important contribution to the efforts to achieve ‘common good’ for all humanity.
Besides, political conflicts and wars from Ukraine and Syria to Iraq and Libya cost the regional and world economies hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
Another important topic to be discussed at the Antalya summit is climate change. UN-supported studies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming will be addressed in a separate session in Antalya.
This session is also significant in terms of creating a fair and feasible action plan prior to the UN Climate Change Summit to be held at the end of this month in Paris. In a teleconference last week with the UN secretary-general, French president, German chancellor, Peruvian president and Maltese prime minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shared Turkey’s views on the topic.
Turkey is in a strong position to mitigate the effects of climate change thanks to the steps it has taken in recent years to make natural gas use widespread, fight against deforestation, and lessen air pollution.
G20 countries account for 85 percent of the world economy, 75 percent of world trade and a-third of the world’s population. This year’s summit in Antalya will also host Azerbaijan, Spain, Malaysia, Senegal, Singapore, and Zimbabwe as guest countries.
The aim of the summit is to pave the way for a road map on how to increase the global economy’s flexibility, support trade and investment, create new job opportunities, help low-income countries, fight all types of global terrorism, and look for a solution to the growing threat of climate change and the refugee crisis.
The steps that have been taken since 2008 have played an important role in eliminating the impact of the global financial crisis and especially in making the global finance system more resilient.
The mechanisms created to ensure the fulfilment of the commitments of the G20 summit are significant. Global issues require global answers. Based on this principle, we believe that the Antalya summit will make an important contribution to the efforts to achieve “common good” for all humanity.
Ibrahim Kalin is the spokesperson for the Turkish presidency.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.