The first Development Working Group Meeting opened in Moscow. Ksenia Yudaeva, Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate and the Russian G20 Sherpa addressed the delegates with welcoming remarks.
She admitted that the G20 objective to achieve steady and balanced growth globally cannot be reached without assisting developing and least-developed countries in strengthening their own capacities for growth and establishing solid foundation to make such growth sustainable. Narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty can facilitate a more robust global economy for all. That is why the development agenda is one of the priorities of the Russian Presidency in the G20, and the work of the Development Working Group is central in delivering specific actions in this area.
"The role of the G20 in boosting development around the world is difficult to over-estimate. There are several reasons for that. First the G20 is the unique combination of developed countries and emerging economies. Many G20 members in recent decades have made significant progress and reached higher level of development. Therefore the G20 has a unique collective knowledge in designing and implementing of development assistance programs," - Yudaeva remarked.
According to Ms. Yudaeva, Russian Presidency considers the development assistance not as a complementary activity but as part of core efforts of the G20 aimed to reduce an impact of the crisis, especially on the poorest, and to build sustainable and resilient systems in the future.
"Russia took over the Presidency in the G20 in a very interesting moment when from the one hand risks to the global economy have receded and market conditions have improved, however important risks remain and global growth is still too weak, with unemployment remaining unacceptably high in many countries," - Russian Sherpa noted.
She also stressed direct linkage between development and investments. One of the top priorities of Russia's agenda is financing for investment as a basis for economic growth and job creation. However, long-term and predictable financing for investment requires reliable systems that inspire confidence like seeds require fertile land.
Finally, Ksenia Yudaeva admitted the importance of collaboration of the G20 with social partners - Civil 20, Business 20 and Labour 20, in the area of development. Especially she emphasized the role of civil society organizations.
"We encourage Development Working Group to work closely with civil society and consider their recommendations. At the end it is NGOs and community based organizations that work in this field and implement development assistance programs," - Russian Sherpa concluded.