Report from the C20

By Lorena Vázquez, Country Director THP-México

On June 20 and 21, the C20 Summit in Melbourne, Australia took place at the University of Melbourne’s law school. This is the second year that a summit is formally held where Global Civil Society gets together to discuss the issues that have been set as a priority by the countries and the G20 agenda. In 2009, the G20 adopted the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth with the purpose of avoiding future crisis, by restoring confidence and global growth. In order to successfully accomplish this, the G20 leaders must work together with all development actors to address the problem through a comprehensive approach.   Therefore, there are different formal groups such as Private sector (B20), Labor (L20), Youth (Y20), Civil Society (C20) and Think Tanks (T20) to influence the agenda.

The Civil Society has been addressing the importance of tackling inequality, food security, governance and anti-corruption, inclusive development and climate change. In this Summit it was highlighted the lack of political will from Australian presidency to prioritize Climate Change. Civil Society raised the critical importance of climate change being a stand-alone agenda and was stated that G20 decisions need to be citizen focused, advance transparency and tax reform, and that country action plans should have clear targets and achievements monitored. Finally, it was addressed the importance  that civil society is at the table to help ensure that the G20 acts in accordance with good governance, upholding  international law and standards in its decision-making.

The Hunger Project in the C20

For The Hunger Project this is a strategic platform to shape the international agenda and keep promoting that food security is guaranteed from a holistic approach rather than just only from an economical perspective and gender equality as a key success factor. This is our third year in a row participating influencing the agenda. While in Los Cabos Summit we achieved that Food Security and Nutrition (especially in the first 1,000 days) was put in the agenda, this year in particular, we highlighted the critical role of the small scale farming in food security and the impact of climate change.  Small-scale food farmers can play a key role in food security as well as sustainable agricultural production, as agro-ecological farming systems can provide the locally-tailored, knowledge-intensive environmental services required to build vibrant, sustainable food systems and restore the degraded natural environment. G20 nations must invest in long-term, landscape-level strategies that restore the environment while empowering small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change.

G20 Leadership for Post-2015

Note – THP will be represented at the June 2014 C20: the Civil Society Forum of the G20 Summit. THP is an NGO registered in 9 members of the G20. 

G20-Extended-Master-logo_CMYKUnder Australia’s presidency, the G20 will focus on economic growth and resilience, and the C20 is addressing four key issues. In partnering with women and men as they overcome hunger and extreme poverty, THP has learned key lessons relevant to these issues.

Inclusive Growth and Employment. Reducing inequality means increasing the incomes of those living in poverty, the vast majority of whom are small-scale food farmers – mostly women. Research shows that extremely poor women only succeed in moving out of poverty when they have access to a comprehensive package of community services, including health, education, safe water and sanitation, simple technology that reduces drudgery and real voice in the decisions that affect their lives. The fastest path to reducing inequality is the empowerment of women food farmers, and this must be a G20 priority.

Infrastructure. C20 organizers have identified the need to couple investments in social infrastructure with physical infrastructure. Indeed, our experience is that better social infrastructure can lead to better physical infrastructure. Empowered communities can mobilize local efforts to build key local infrastructure, such as feeder roads, markets, schools and clinics in ways that optimally meet local priorities. Studies shows that infrastructure is not gender neutral – women must have a key voice in the design of infrastructure projects to ensure they meet the needs of women.

Climate and Sustainability. Small-scale food farmers can play the key role, as agro-ecological farming systems can provide the locally-tailored, knowledge-intensive environmental services required to build vibrant, sustainable food systems and restore the degraded natural environment. G20 nations must invest in long-term, landscape-level strategies that restore the environment while empowering small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change.

Governance.  “All politics is local” when it comes to meeting the G20 agenda. Strong, decentralization – participatory local governance – is key to improving governance in ways that reduce corruption, poverty and inequality; improve health and education; deepen democratic values; and increase the voices of women and marginalized groups. Studies show that people are more willing to pay taxes to local government, where they can directly see the benefits of their money.

Overall, G20 Leadership is Key to the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The 2014 G20 priorities must be addressed in this larger context. G20 countries must stand unified for the adoption and implementation of bold goals and targets that focus on the empowerment of people – particularly women – as the pathway to an equitable, resilient and vibrant future.