Oxfam International Blogs - G20 Summit http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/g20-summit en A verdict on the G20: Some progress on inequality, little new on Ebola http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-11-27-verdict-g20-some-progress-inequality-little-new-ebola <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Last week I travelled to Brisbane, Australia to take the voice of poor people to the powerful – the summit of the leaders of the Group of 20 most powerful economies. </p> <p>Oxfam’s verdict on the Summit? Mixed. The G20’s promise to pursue inclusive and sustainable growth is welcome, but their response to the Ebola crisis is dangerously inadequate. </p> <h3>The G20 reaction was disappointing</h3> <p>First, the bad news. The Summit was a key opportunity for world leaders to coordinate their efforts on funds, resources and people required to contain the Ebola outbreak. </p> <p><strong>There was <a href="https://www.g20.org/sites/default/files/g20_resources/library/g20_leaders_brisbane_statement_ebola.pdf" rel="nofollow">good will and concern</a>: Leaders said they were saddened by the suffering and loss of life Ebola is inflicting</strong>, and mindful of the serious humanitarian, social and economic impacts on affected countries. </p> <p>But overall, the G20 reaction was hugely disappointing. Leaders did not offer urgent or specific commitments to deliver medical support, funding and military assistance needed to bring the crisis under control, or to build robust public health infrastructure to prevent future pandemics. </p> <p>There is now a real risk that the UN target of 70 per cent of cases being treated and 70 per cent of burials being conducted safely by 1 December, will not be met. I am concerned that the G20’s warms words will do little for those fearing for their lives in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. </p> <p><strong>The G20 represent some 85 per cent of global gross national product and 75 per cent of world trade.</strong> This gives them unrivalled policy influence over their own countries and others. Their decisions directly affect the poorest countries.</p> <p>That’s why the G20 have a responsibility, and why they cannot afford to ignore the problems of the inequality threatening to undermine the efforts of millions of people to escape poverty and hunger. </p> <h3>Commitments to address extreme inequality</h3> <p>This brings me to a more hopeful note: Contrary to all expectations, G20 leaders made a commitment in Brisbane to inclusive growth and to address inequality. </p> <p>Extreme inequality is growing globally, including within G20 countries. Oxfam has argued that reducing inequality needs to be front and center of the G20’s plan to lift GDP – not least because <strong>the global consensus is now that inequality is bad for growth itself</strong>.</p> <p>In terms of tangible steps towards tackling that inequality: The G20 has made welcome <strong>commitments to and progress on cracking down on tax dodging by multinational companies</strong>. </p> <p>But what’s on the table currently is not enough to stop poor countries being bled dry. </p> <p>Despite the best efforts of the OECD, working with the G20 to reform global tax rules, <strong>most developing countries are still excluded from those negotiations</strong>. Luxembourg, a tax haven, has a seat at the decision-making table. Yet Sierra Leone – where Ebola is raging and tax incentives for six multinational companies are the equivalent of eight times the health budget – does not. This is not fair. </p> <h3>A World Tax Summit</h3> <p>It is time to for the G20 to accept that <strong>a more ambitious, far-reaching and inclusive process is needed to fix the broken international tax system</strong> once and for all. </p> <p>That’s why Oxfam is calling for a World Tax Summit in 2015 - to set the basis for what should become a more permanent body to set, implement and arbitrate on the international tax rules in a fairer way. </p> <p>Next year, the G20 will be chaired by Turkey. <strong>The Turkish government has said it will put inequality and inclusivity on the agenda</strong> for its G20 presidency in 2015. Oxfam will be there, holding all to account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/action/governments-must-tackle-inequality-now" rel="nofollow"><strong>Join Oxfam's Even It Up Campaign to end extreme inequality</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A verdict on the G20: Some progress on inequality, little new on Ebola</h2></div> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:19:59 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 23999 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-11-27-verdict-g20-some-progress-inequality-little-new-ebola#comments G20 leaders must set a date for Peace Talks on Syria http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-09-06-g20-leaders-must-set-date-peace-talks-syria <div class="field field-name-body"><p>There is no doubt that the hot topic here in St. Petersburg is the <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10284503/Tens-of-thousands-of-Syrian-refugees-stranded-on-Jordanian-border.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>escalating crisis in Syria</strong></a>. But whether leaders are able to agree on a way forward is far less certain. It's fair to say that there is nervousness in the air that leaders will leave without anything new to offer to ordinary Syrians.</p> <p>The humanitarian suffering in Syria is staggering. <a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/223702306463867253/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>More than 100,000 lives</strong></a> have been lost already and the <a href="http://www.unhcr.org/522495669.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>UN announced this week</strong></a> that the number of refugees who have fled to neighboring countries has just reached two million. That's the equivalent of twice the population of the city of Birmingham (UK) having to leave their homes not knowing when they will be able to return. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/syria" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam staff</strong> </a>are working with thousands of refugees in the region, with families who have been transported out of their daily lives into a new terrible reality. An end to the crisis is all they hope for.</p> <p>During the summit, leaders of the 20 largest economies have a golden opportunity to work together and find a political solution to the crisis. <strong><a href="http://theelders.org/article/syria-there-no-military-solution-conflict" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Military intervention is not the answer</a></strong>, and risks making the lives of ordinary Syrian families worse and failing to stop the bloodshed. If the G20 is serious about giving these families a hopeful future, they should be focused on bringing all the parties in Syria to the table to find a peaceful solution. And don't just take Oxfam's word for this. Last week <a href="http://wardnews.net/innernews/en?ID=None&amp;art=None&amp;cat=Jordanian+Organizations+&amp;news=107&amp;polls=None&amp;search=None&amp;study=None" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>265 Arab civil society organisations</strong></a> from 19 countries wrote to G20 leaders calling on them to back an immediate ceasefire and urgently get parties to attend a peace conference in Geneva. Setting a date for peace talks is the very least that the G20 should do in the face of such a shocking and unprecedented crisis.</p> <p>So many humanitarian appeals have been made in my lifetime, and the fact that this is the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/un-biggest-syria-aid-appeal_n_3401746.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>UN's biggest appeal ever</strong></a> is hard for me to get my head around. With the number of people affected growing daily, it is critical that the appeal is fully funded. But so far it is not even half way there. G20 countries represent more than 80% of the global economy. If anyone can muster enough to meet the rapidly growing needs, they can.</p> <p>As 20 of the world's most powerful leaders spend hours in intensive talks, there is no way that they can avoid the topic of Syria. Everyone is waiting to see whether there will be an official discussion on the agenda, or whether the biggest business of the day will be tackled through more informal corridor talks and bilateral meetings. We are all watching and waiting.</p> <p>Extending the debate on military intervention is a dangerous delay, and risks derailing a more simple and obvious next step. Oxfam's call is simple. Less hot air and more elbow grease. Peace will not be easy, but it will remain beyond our reach until every effort is made to make peace talks work very soon.</p> <p><em>Originally published on the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emma-seery/syria-peace-talks_b_3875481.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Huffington Post</strong></a>.</em></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/ticktock-en-globalheadline-OI-V2.png"></a></p> <h3>You may also like<em></em></h3> <p><strong>Please sign the joint agency petition for #SyriaPeaceTalks.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-let-syria-down" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <p><em></em></p> <p><em></em></p> <p><strong>Read</strong>: <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-09-04-what-oxfam-calling-g20-summit-st-petersburg">What is Oxfam calling for at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-08-23-one-million-children-refugees-four-reasons-we-need-syria-peace-talks-now">1 million child refugees?! 4 reasons we need Syria Peace Talks now</a></strong></p> <p>You can also <strong>donate to <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/syria-appeal" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>G20 leaders must set a date for Peace Talks on Syria</h2></div> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 13:14:03 +0000 Emma Seery 10423 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-09-06-g20-leaders-must-set-date-peace-talks-syria#comments