Experts to consider development role for G20

A potential role for the G20 in the development of the world’s poorest countries will be explored at a Brisbane conference on May 5.

Griffith University and the Lowy Institute for International Policy have organised The G20 and Development Conference, bringing leading academics and international experts from high profile organisations including the World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Vision and the OECD. Government policy makers will take part in the discussion too.

Professor Fabrizio Carmignani, Griffith Business School, says the one-day event is also an opportunity for the wider community to learn more about the G20 and how it operates.

“This kind of activity informs people about what the G20 can do,” he said. “Many are unaware about how the G20 works, so this type of event puts people in touch with the G20 and its potential impact and influence.”

The G20 Leaders Summit in November is a timely backdrop for a discussion of the challenges facing the international community as the 2015 deadline for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches.

Eight MDGs were put in place at the turn of the millennium as a global strategy to address world poverty and challenges faced by developing economies.

“A post-MDG framework is now required to maintain the momentum and inject new strength into global development efforts,” Professor Carmignani said.

“The G20 may be in an ideal position to take a leadership role in steering this debate beyond 2015. It has the reputation and credibility to engage in policy dialogue with international organisations, national governments, the private sector and civil society.

“However, the conference debate will also have to take into consideration not overloading the G20 agenda to ensure that it continues to be effective.”

The G20 and Development Conference at Rydges Hotel, South Bank, will draw on the international expertise of Griffith University and the Lowy Institute, with 20 high-profile speakers addressing four themed sessions.

Zia Qureshi (World Bank), Emmanuel NNadozie (UN Economic Commission for Africa) and Nancy Waites (World Vision) are among the speakers, which will also include representatives of the OECD, IMF and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Professor Carmignani said the conference is an outreach activity held in preparation for the Leaders Summit and intended to inform the G20 discussion.

“While areas like Brisbane and Queensland are not in need of development assistance, it is important that the Brisbane and wider Queensland community understand how Australia’s efforts to support developing countries worldwide can be made more effective through the G20.

“This year’s G20 is an opportunity to do something big in terms of development, and if that were to happen, it would always be associated with Australia’s presidency.”