Civil 20 Summit: The World We Want

Photo by: Stephanie von Becker

Over the past six months, the German organized C20 (Civil 20) created and facilitated six thematic working groups tasked with the development of the C20 policy recommendations. These recommendations, shared with G20 governments and sherpas, encompassed seven priority areas: Agriculture and Food SecurityEnvironment and WaterGlobal HealthInequality, Gender and Social ProtectionReform of the International Financial SystemResponsible Investment and the Role of the Private Sector; and  Sustainability (climate and energy). With just over two weeks until the G20 Summit, this process culminated in the two-day Hamburg C20 Summit from June 18-19.

The C20 Summit offered the opportunity for over 200 NGO representatives from 45 countries to present and discuss their recommendations and endorsed communiqué with members of the G20 presidency. In an era of huge (and widening) disparities between the world’s richest and poorest, the communiqué called for a number of actions in order to reduce these inequalities and ensure achievement of Agenda 2030. Amongst these was the need for major policy adjustments (including tax and labor market policy) and large scale, long-term investment to strengthen health and education systems. The communiqué was presented to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and was followed by an hour-long dialogue with four representatives: Winnie Byanyima (Oxfam International), Lori Wallach (Global Trade Watch), Bernd Bornhorst (VENRO), and Ernst-Christoph Stolper (NGO Forum on Environment and Development).

In her speech to the representatives of international NGOs, Merkel highlighted the importance of progress through joint action, how civil society commitment engenders debate and critical dialogue, and the role of a free civil society in guaranteeing prosperous nations.

Global civil society has come together to identify and share with the G20 representatives their priorities to ensure globalization works for everyone. Now only time will tell if the G20 nations heed the C20 recommendations: both in framing their discussions during the July 7-8 Summit and in defining their future commitments. 

This blog post was written by John Ruthrauff, Director of International Advocacy at InterAction, and Elizabeth Cadwallader, InterAction’s Global Development Policy and Learning Intern.