The G20: Initiatives to face global challenges

©Government of Mexico

We live in a globalised world where a significant event occurring today in a given place has direct and immediate consequences in the rest of the world. Hunger in Africa and the political turmoil in the Maghreb have translated into new migration flows towards countries of greater relative development. 

Unemployment in the latter means fewer imports and, in consequence, diminished growth outlooks in emerging economies. The current energy trends contribute to global warming, which not only affects our economies but also our health and even threatens our survival as a species.

Undoubtedly, we must either accept our shared future, or we will have none. In the wise words of Gro Harlem Brundtland, a quarter of a century ago: “We live in an era in the history of nations when there is greater need than ever for co-ordinated political action and responsibility”. This is what Mexico has been referring to as coresponsibility in international relations.

In accordance with this sense of co-responsibility, Mexico has been a committed participant in some of the most important global forums, such as the UN Security Council or the Conferences on Climate Change, the 16th edition of which was celebrated in Cancun, Mexico, towards the end of 2010. For this very reason, Mexico now chairs the work of the Group of 20, or G20, aiming to set the stage for a new global economic order through the coordination of macroeconomic policies that provide stability to the markets, guarantee liquidity flows, strengthen the recovery of the global economy and ensure economic growth and well-being in every country of the world.

Mexico has sought to balance the G20 agenda to make sure that addressing urgent matters does not detract from other equally, if not more, important issues in the medium and long term. The five priorities that Mexico has established this year for the work of the G20 are:

1. Economic stabilisation and structural reforms for growth and employment. We believe that the recovery of confidence in the markets is essential to restore sustainable growth, and it must be complemented by a joint commitment to carry out the necessary structural reforms.

2. Strengthening the financial systems and fostering financial inclusion to promote economic growth. Current instability of the markets in developing countries shows the need to improve the current regulatory framework. At the same time, we must further inclusion, financial education and consumer protection as effective ways of promoting growth, reducing poverty and fostering the responsible use of banking services.

3. Improving the international financial architecture. It is imperative to continue strengthening and reforming the international financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Financial Stability Board.

4. Enhancing food security and addressing commodity price volatility. The fluctuations in the food prices affect the most impoverished families. Therefore, Mexico promotes food security through the strengthening of production and productivity of the food and agriculture sector at the global level in a sustainable and inclusive way.

5. Promoting green growth–a type of economic growth based on strategies to improve productivity, foster innovation and research, and create new business opportunities and markets that are sustainable in nature. This is a horizontal theme in the G20 agenda, present in other areas such as energy, food security, employment opportunities and training, infrastructure, international co-operation for development and climate change financing.

Mexico aims for the G20 to face some of the most pressing challenges in terms of global governance more efficiently, and for it to be able to adopt measures not only to face the current crises, but also to address structural challenges and thus prevent new crises such as the one experienced in 2008. In order to accomplish this task, we are working with governments not currently represented in the G20, as well as with representatives of civil society, the private sector, labour unions, academia, youth, parliamentarians and global and regional international organisations.

I am convinced that the next G20 summit that will take place in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June will contribute to shape a new global economic order that will stimulate the economic growth of our nations, while promoting the greater well-being of each and every sector in our societies.


©OECD Observer No 290-291, Q1-Q2 2012

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