The European Union and African Development Bank have lauded South Korea’s efforts to include development issues on the main agenda of this week’s G-20 summit held in the Asian nation.
“On development, we are very glad that development figures on the G-20 agenda for the first time. In fact we have welcomed and supported this idea of the Korean presidency,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at the start of the summit, slated for Nov. 11-12. “I believe indeed the G20 should look beyond its confines and see what it can do for the wider world.”
Barroso said the EU’s development strategy links development with growth, trade and investment, noting that emerging nations have now become “major drivers” of growth.
“If we are serious about boosting growth and development, we have to be serious about stimulating world trade and rolling back trade restrictive measures. We should continue to fight all forms of protectionism. And we should all commit to a rapid conclusion of the Doha Trade and Development talks,” Barroso said.
AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said South Korea’s development agenda represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the G-20. The move raises hopes that the Seoul summit will support sustained G-20 engagement with development concerns, he added.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon also urged the G-20 to tackle development issues particularly the Millennium Development Goals, which he described as a “blueprint” for decent jobs, education, health care, women’s empowerment, clean water and a clean environment.
Ban is set to address the summit today (Nov. 12), where he is expected to underscore the idea that investments in development contribute to global recovery.