Media Release: Reaction to G20 Communique
REACTION TO G20 COMMUNIQUE
San José del Cabo, Mexico 19 June 2012
For the Media Release in PDF form click here.
Background: The G20 is launching a coordinated Los Cabos Growth and Jobs Action Plan. It is pledging to “foster the creation of decent work and quality jobs, particularly for youth and other vulnerable groups”.
“Decent work for youth and vulnerable communities is key to promoting development and fighting poverty and inequality,” says Michael Switow of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. “But it's important that actions match the rhetoric. You don't need to travel far from the G20 Summit to find maquiladoras where companies do not pay a living wage, women's rights are not respected and working conditions are unsafe.”
Additional resources about maquiladoras: “Mexico's 'maquiladora' labor system keeps workers in poverty” (Miami Herald, 17 June 2012); “Mexico's Squid Sweatshops” (The Progressive, May 2010)
The G20 has expressed a firm commitment to advance gender equality 'in all areas' including skills training, wages, workplace treatment and care-giving and it recognises that women need better access to financial services. The Mexican ambassador has indicated that a portion of G20 support for nutrition programmes will specifically target pregnant women.
"Gender equality is critical to developing communities and eradicating poverty," says Michael Switow of the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. "G20 commitments to advance gender equality and financial inclusion are promising, but they need to be followed up by action."
"We welcome G20 support for nutrition programmes, particularly as they affect pregnant women," notes Rosa Lizarde of the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. “But women need access to proper nutrition whether they are pregnant or not. We need a holistic approach in which women's sexual and reproductive health and rights are respected. Social inclusion, gender equality and the empowerment of women must be an integral component of child and maternal health programmes if they are to succeed.”
MISSING ISSUES & DROPPED COMMITMENTS
Aid commitments and innovative forms of financing like a Financial Transactions Tax took a back seat in Los Cabos, despite the prominence given to them at previous summits.
“The G20 has dropped the ball on financing for development.” says Michael Switow of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. “But they have a chance to fix this at the Rio+20 summit this week.”
The G20 is pledging to become more accountable, particularly on jobs and growth commitments. It is not making a similar pledge though for its development promises. The Mexican government also announced that the B20 will help the G20 develop an accountability framework.
"There's no need to reinvent the wheel," notes Luca De Fraia of GCAP Italy. "Other global organisations like the UN Development Cooperation Forum already have best practices for being accountable. Asking the business sector to assist the G20 to be more accountable is a bit odd because, unlike governments, companies are really just responsible to their shareholders not to the entire community."
ABOUT GCAP & THE FTF
The Global Call to Action Against Poverty challenges the structures and institutions that perpetuate poverty. More information at www.whiteband.org. The Feminist Task Force is a coalition of grassroots, rural and urban women's rights activists who advocate for gender equality as central to poverty eradication. Read more at feministtaskforce.org