Ambassador Selçuk Ünal’s Message To The Opening Ceremony Of Model G20 Conference, Waterloo University, 20 November 2015 , 27.11.2015
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for the kind invitation of the distinguished University.
It is a pleasure for me to address the esteemed participants of University of Waterloo Model G20 Conference.
I sincerely wished to join you this afternoon in this opening ceremony personally. However, an unexpected development has brought the necessity of being at the Halifax Security Forum today.
I would like to thank the leadership of University of Waterloo, Balsillie School of International Affairs, CIGI and all members of the Secretariat for the organization of this event, especially to Secretary General Ana Kristanovic.
Turkey’s G20 Presidency have pursued an ambitious agenda and an intense work plan which has paved the way towards achieving the overarching aim of the G20:
- sustainable and
- balanced growth. As such, Turkish G20 Presidency’s theme was “Collective Action for Inclusive and Robust Growth”.
Turkey’s G20 priorities were formulated as the three I’s:
- Implementation and
Turkey´s Presidency also promoted support to low income developing countries (LIDCs) and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as cross cutting themes taken up under various G20 work streams.
Rising inequalities is a major problem for G20 countries.
As the 2015 G20 President, Turkey aimed to develop and implement policies to better integrate disadvantaged groups. These are: women and youth into the labour markets, reduce inequality and promote integration of SMEs and LIDCs into the global economy.
G20 Labour and Employment Ministers convened in September 2015 in Ankara. They also held a joint meeting with Finance Ministers
in which discussions were focused on the issues of inequalities and the growth-employment relationship.
G20 work on development was central to our inclusiveness theme. Because the G20 is actually home to half of the world´s poor. We worked to prioritize food security in our development agenda as well. We included efforts to tackle the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted each year.
On energy, we made the G20’s work more inclusive by focusing on energy access for all, specifically the challenges of sub-Saharan Africa.
We have a clear plan going forward.
G20 members have committed to lifting G20 collective economic growth by an additional 2 % over the next 5 years. It will bring an additional 2 trillion Dollars to the world economy.
Turkish Presidency proposal for G20 countries to prepare concrete and ambitious national investment strategies to support growth received broad support.
We decided that investment strategies should be country-owned and country-led. We included measures to enhance public-private partnerships, promote improved access to finance by SMEs and support alternative sources of infrastructure investment such as asset-based financing.
We worked hard to capture the most relevant aspects of the global economic conjuncture and provide a fruitful discussion environment.
We have successfully concluded the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya a few days ago.
In the end, the Leaders of G20 countries has made important commitments. I would now like to highlight some of the results of the G20 Antalya Leaders Summit.
Leaders acknowledged the importance of inclusive and job-rich growth which benefits all segments of our societies.
Rising inequalities in many countries is seen as a risk to social cohesion.
- underemployment and
- informal jobs have been identified as factors contributing to the inequality.
Leaders have taken important decisions to tackle inequality with a comprehensive and balanced set of
- education and
- social policies, including better integration of our young people into the labour market and the promotion of entrepreneurship.
2015 is a crucial year for sustainable development.
G20 Leaders underlined their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Turkey’s Presidency organized the G20 Energy Ministers first meeting ever It recognized that globally over 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity. G20 Energy Access Action Plan was one of the critical documents endorsed by the G20 Leaders in Antalya.
Climate change remains as one of the greatest challenges of our time.
2015 is also a critical year in this respect that requires effective, strong and collective action on climate change and its effects.
G20 Leaders reaffirmed the below 2 centigrade Celsius goal. They expressed determination to adopt a
- a legal instrument or
- an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all. We believe that G20 Antalya Summit will contribute to the successful outcome of the Paris Climate Summit which will be convened next month.
Needless to say, we were pleased to host Prime Minister Trudeau since it was his first foreign visit as the Prime Minister.
Turkey’s G20 Presidency highlighted various topics which are actually directly related with growth and development, but were generally undermined.
- We aimed to bring a strong LIDCs perspective into the various G20 work streams.
- Turkey highlighted the importance of food security during the G20 Agriculture Ministers meeting held in Istanbul in May 2015.
- We looked for ways to better integrate SMEs into the global economy. The World SME Forum was officially launched by the Turkish Presidency as a global initiative.
Activities of the G20 Engagement Groups has been another important aspect.
Under the Turkish Presidency, G20 established a new G20 engagement group, the Women-20 (W20), to promote gender inclusive economic growth. The W20 held its first ever Summit in October 2015 in Istanbul with the participation of more than 500 participants and delegates from G20 as well as non-G20 countries.
Business-20, Civil-20, Labour-20, Youth-20 and Think-20 have been very active and working to support our G20 agenda.
As a country which has been fighting against terrorism both at national and international level for decades, Turkish Presidency has put the fight against terrorism at the global level on the agenda of the G20 Antalya Summit even before the terror attacks in Ankara on 10 October followed by the attacks in Paris on 13 November.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of G20 countries and the Leaders discussed in length various policies to combat terrorism, financing of terrorism and radicalization.
Also as the biggest refugee-hosting country in the world with 2.3 millions of people from Iraq and Syria, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis was another agenda item which was proposed by the Turkish Presidency.
Leaders acknowledged the crisis as a global concern with major humanitarian, political, social and economic consequences. However, the burden of this crisis is left on the shoulders of Turkey, which spent almost 8 billion US Dollars for Syrian and Iraqi refugees since the beginning of the conflict. International community contributed with 400 million US Dollars to the efforts in Turkey. Leaders called upon all states to contribute to responding to this crisis, and share in the burdens associated with it, including through refugee resettlement, other forms of humanitarian admission and humanitarian aid.
But of course the most important solution is a political solution to this crisis.
I would like to thank once again to all organizers for this meeting.