A risk warning by the Group of 20 in Argentina
The G-20 summit, established as a risk management platform in 2008 in Washington, D.C. in response to the global financial crisis, marked its 10th anniversary this year. Its core mission is promoting dialogue while preserving diversity in the process of developing global policies that tackle major issues; it is an occasion to shape positive trade agenda and reduce trade strains.
In a phase of consensus scarcity in the political surroundings, with major setbacks facing globalization and multilateral-ism, fairness and sustainability are the highlights of the G-20 2018. The summit this year has selected “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development” as its theme reviewing consensus, a core value carried by the summit over the last decade, looking back through history to see what has been achieved and laying the foundations of consensus for the following years. This 10th anniversary is envisioned as the perfect time for reflecting upon all the shared values, accomplishments and effectiveness of the global forum and is a learning process on how to cooperate systematically. Mauricio Macri, president of Argentina, the host country of the summit, in a message of unity and shared responsibility in his remarks conveyed that the solution is “dialogue, dialogue and dialogue.”
Since its inception, the scope of the G-20 agenda has stretched to bring in a wider array of topics and challenges, including sustainable development, agriculture, trade, energy, climate change, gender equality and migration.
In this year’s summit which was held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, several of these challenges have been discussed stressing emerging priorities related to: the future of work, sustainable food future, gender mainstreaming, taxation and the infrastructure for development. This is in addition to supporting the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and delivering a people centered plan and a vision to the future advocating for free and fair access to justice.
Fairness and sustainability are placed at the forefront of the G-20 agenda 2018. Access to justice is essential for achieving Agenda 2030 and inclusive development. Growth has not been able to profit everybody, which undermined people’s trust in globalization. It is estimated by OECD that “4 billion people around the world live outside the protection of the law,” and over “4 billion people globally do not have access to justice.” As a result of lack of access to justice, vulnerable people are increasingly at risk which intensifies violence and effects negatively the human rights’ principles.
Ongoing concerns about inequality prevail every day, reflecting a need to act faster to ensure that growth is fairly shared.
Fairness has been always a request from people globally. One of the major lessons learned through history is that global agreements observed as unfair are unsustainable; thus, the G-20 must seek solutions that all members see as fair to live up to its theme of building consensus for fair and sustainable development and achieve the goals promised to achieve.
It is only through commitment to equality, communication, and creative solutions that a fair and sustainable society can be reached; achieving that, requires consensus, patience and dedication.
Societies have been changing in a never imagined way. Globalization, climate change, technology and growing inequalities are key factors of change. Jobs, for example, are changing like never before. Universities, thinkers and think tanks can support governments in building more inclusive societies. Think 20 (T-20), has been for several years one of the engagement groups including community stakeholders around G-20, and, this year, it has been carried to a different level increasing its activities to provide international solutions to global challenges. “What is dialogue without consensus? What is power without fairness? What is development without sustainability?” These all-encompassing questions presented in the T-20 open a global conversation about how to achieve goals.
In an era of widening inequalities in income and opportunities, the world faces many challenges, but fairness is the only value which holds them all.
The fight for fairness and parity has been a continuous force of conflict and violence.
It is important to understand the meaning of fairness in the 21st century. Its synergies with human rights, human dignity and respect need to be re-examined today; these inquiries have been posed for several decades now and still can promote hot debates and in depth discussions.
How can we promote prosperity in a just and equitable way? What type of consensus the G-20 concluded to? Multilateral-ism, illustrated by the G-20, is a “deal maker or a deal breaker?”
Some of the overarching questions to be addressed.