High-level Consultation on the G20 Mexico Summit: Perspectives from Asia-Pacific
organized by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
23 May 2012, Bangkok, Thailand
As a special event of the 68th session of the Commission, ESCAP will convene a high-level consultation for countries in Asia and the Pacific to provide their perspectives on issues of global reform to be addressed at the G20 summit in Mexico on 18-19 June 2012. The high-level consultation, organized for the third time as per the request of the Commission, will be held in the morning of 23 May 2012 at the UNCC, Bangkok, with the participation of ministers, senior government officials and central bankers, and senior experts from international organi--zations. In light of the global financial and economic crisis, the Commission underlined the need to effectively integrate the region’s priorities at the global level, and requested the Secretariat to provide a platform for developing a strong and coordinated regional voice in international forums including the G20. The high-level consultation will therefore focus on the areas of mutual interest to ESCAP and the G20, including those highlighted by the Mexican Presidency of the G20 in 2012 as priorities of the upcoming summit:
Economic stabilization and structural reforms as foundations for growth and employment. While economic stability is critical for sustainable growth, structural reforms will enable countries to increase their competitiveness and strengthen their productivity, thereby creating a more enabling environment for employment growth. Increased domestic consumption and infrastruc-ture investment in developing countries could also help revive world economic growth. Strengthening the financial system and fostering financial inclusion. Financial regulation needs to be strengthened, including in shadow banking, to ensure that the risks which triggered the financial crisis do not return. Careful consideration is needed, however, so that developing countries are not adversely affected by stringent mea-sures and that their institutional capacities are strengthened. Deeper financial inclusion should also be encouraged as an important tool for inclusive development. Improving the international financial architecture in an interconnected world.The international financial architecture needs to reflect more adequately the dynamism of developing countries and their growing importance in global economic activity. While ensuring that significant resources are available for IFIs to cope with liquidity problems,the institutions should also be made more representative and equitable, not least by the timely implementation of pending governance reforms of the IMF and a transparent and merit-based process for selecting the President of the World Bank. Enhancing food security and addressing commodity price volatility. High and volatile commodity prices in food and fuel markets are driving up inflation, threatening the food security of millions of poor and vulnerable, and dampening growth prospects. This presents a major challenge for combating poverty, and calls for comprehensive measures ranging from boosting agricultural produc-tivity to addressing the issue of financialization of commodity mar-kets. Promoting sustainable development, green growth and the fight against climate change. Developing regions are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Environmentally-sustainable economic progress that fosters low carbon, socially inclusive development is an important element to protect against cur-rent and future consequences of environmental and climate change.
In addressing these issues from the region’s perspective, the high-level consultation will seek to ensure that the voices of developing countries including the least developed countries are heard in global policy discussions. The consultation will also seek to ensure that inclusive and sustainable development priorities are not overlooked but rather closely integrated into global macroeconomic, financial and regulatory policy initiatives put forth by the G20. The outcome of the consultation will then be communicated to the United Nations Secretary-General and the Sherpas (senior representatives) of the eight countries from the region represented in the G20, as well as to the G20 chair.
The high-level consultation will benefit from up-to-date presentations by senior officials and/or experts closely involved in the G20 process, as well as a secretariat note to provide the background for the deliberations. Analyses and policy recommendations contained in the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012 and the theme study on regional economic integration made available ahead of the Commission session will also serve as useful references. In addition, the consultation will build on the outcomes of previous consultations5 and key policy dialogues organized by ESCAP since the onset of the global financial and economic crisis.