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C20 Kick off meeting

First meeting of the Engagement Group that brings together the global civil society. The group addressed the political priorities to be submitted to the G20 and started the discussions with the institutions.

January 29th, 2021

C20 Kick off meeting

Three days of online discussions, more than 200 participants from all over the world attending various events: the Kick-off Meeting of the C20 (Civil 20), the G20 Engagement Group that brings together global civil society, ended yesterday.

From the Fiji Islands to America and from China to Europe, the C20 is a sign of a growing interest in voicing economic, environmental and social issues that concern everyone, everywhere.

The representatives of civil society discussed the political priorities to be submitted to the G20 and initiated discussions with the institutions. The first dialogue took place with Minister Plenipotentiary Leonardo Bencini, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for a general debate on the Italian priorities and the role of the G20. Three thematic insights followed. The first was dedicated to the role of the G20 on acting for sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda, with the participation of Minister Plenipotentiary Marco Ricci (Chair of the G20 Development Working Group), Francesco Rampa (G20 Sherpa Office) and Federico Bonaglia (OECD). The second panel discussed commitments to action against climate change, energy transformation and the protection of biodiversity, with the participation of Diplomatic Advisor Marco Rusconi (Ministry of the Environment), Couns. Nicola Bazzani (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and Ottavio Di Bella, Benedetta Dell’Anno and Federica Fricano from the Ministry of the Environment. Finally, a round table on the financial agenda of the G20 with Gelsomina Vigliotti (Ministry of Economy and Finance) and the two co-chairs of the G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group, Byungsik Jung (South Korea) and Christophe Bories (France).

The joint discussions highlighted the complex moment for the planet and its people, which requires an effective venue to coordinate the global commitments and our shared solidarity. The G20 plays a fundamental role in strengthening multilateralism, and Italy, with its presidency, bears a significant responsibility this year. Similarly, the country is the United Kingdom’s partner for COP 26, dedicated to supervising and implementing the commitments of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The international civil society calls on the G20 to use its economic strength in multilateral processes to aim at promoting the protection of rights for all, starting from the most vulnerable communities.

The C20 has ambitious goals on the agenda: debt cancellation and financial instruments to support a just and fair recovery; achieve real commitments to eliminate fuels fossils; ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is a global public good; increase public investment in building stronger and more resilient health systems; ensure that human rights are respected in every area; strengthen the advancement of the 2030 Agenda to achieve the goals of sustainable development. Topics, all of them, which need to take into account the cross-cutting issue of gender. The C20 asks the G20 to keep women and girls’ emancipation, leadership and contributions in future policies at the top of the agenda, while calling to act on the commitments already made to eliminate all forms of inequality and discrimination, tackling gender violence and bridging gender gap in all areas.

From a financial point of view, it is necessary to create the conditions for low and middle-income countries to increase their fiscal space, that is the spending capacity to protect people, relaunch the economy and implement the 2030 Agenda. The G20 can make a decisive contribution to the promotion of systemic reforms of global finance and to the definition of innovative financial instruments for a fair transition towards a truly sustainable economy. For all this to be possible, democratic participation in the G20 process must be strengthened, so that the communities and social groups mainly affected by the development challenges to which the G20 intends to respond are involved.