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Seoul 11 November 2010 – Representatives of more than fifty organisations, who participated in a dialogue session last month with G20 negotiators, have offered twenty ways for the G20 to ensure that impoverished communities benefit from the financial and economic policies that will be endorsed in Seoul this week. Recommendations include a focus on decent work for the tens of millions of people who lost their jobs as the result of an economic crisis.

“Korea has placed the issue of development at the centre of the G20 agenda, but its definition of development – based largely on economic indicators and private sector investment – is worrisome,” says Jinho Song of GCAP Korea. “The G20 needs to place people - in particular women, children and marginalised communities – at the heart of all development plans.”

“There is a concern among civil society groups that the G20 is really just trying to drum up business for companies in their own countries,” says Michael Switow of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.

“Construction firms in Korea, China and India stand to profit from overseas development projects and they may not even engage local engineers in the countries where they work. That's a reason why greater transparency at all levels of G20 deliberations and decision-making is so important.” A focus on infrastructure development could also adversely affect women, who already comprise 70% of the world's poor and are less likely to be employed by infrastructure companies.

“The G20 must address the gender gap. When women have equal rights and are offered equal opportunities, they drive economic and social progress,” says Rosa Lizarde of GCAP’s Feminist Task Force. “Development can't be focused solely on economic growth; it needs to address social issues and have a human face as well.”

“Quality education and health care, clean water and food security -- these are investments in human capital,” adds Jasmine Burnley of Oxfam. “The G20 needs to realise that investing in people is the best path to a healthy economy." Other civil society recommendations to the G20 include calls for a financial transactions tax, greater participation in international financial institutions by developing countries, the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and full implementation of a United Nations convention against corruption.

"One of the main causes of increasing instability in the global financial system is that banks have abandoned their role of supporting the real economy by meeting the need for credit and are, instead, engaging in financial speculation." adds Taeho Lee, the Deputy Secretary-General of PSPD, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy.

“The G20 has a responsibility to assist under-privileged communities who are suffering from the financial crisis,“ says Hyun-bong Yoon, Secretary General of the Korea NGO Council for Overseas Cooperation (KCOC). “And these 20 recommendations, which reflect the expertise of grassroots campaigners and development workers, should be fully reflected in the G20 process.“

The complete list of recommendations can be downloaded here


Nehmi Klaassen
GCAP Media & Communications Officer
cell: + 82 010 5784 0396 (Korea)
email: nehmi.klassen(at)whiteband.org

Anselmo Lee
GCAP Korea
tel: 010-4293-0707 (Korea)
email: alee7080(at)gmail.com

Michael Switow
GCAP Global Council
cell: 010-8659-6508 (Korea)
cell: +65 9070 1724 (Singapore)
email: switow(at)gmail.com