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  • Civil 20 sums up results of its work during Russia’s G20 Presidency

Civil 20 sums up results of its work during Russia’s G20 Presidency

At a briefing in the International Media Centre, Civil 20 representatives discussed the results of their work during Russia's G20 Presidency and the recommendations of civil society to the G20 Leaders.

Head of the Civil 20 Secretariat Alena Peryshkina recalled the history of civil society's participation in the G20 process. The first meeting was organized in London in 2009. "Since then every successive presidency has made its contribution, but it was during Russia's Presidency that dialogue between civil society and G20 Leaders was organized in an effective way."

Peryshkina said crowdsourcing discussions made it possible to involve all interested parties in this dialogue. "Russia managed to provide a structured format of interaction between civil society and G20 Leaders," she said, adding that this format will be also used during Australia's Presidency. "We hope it will become part of the G20 official program in the future," she said.

Civil 20 Coordinator Irina Kostetskaya summed up the main results of the group's work and discussed its recommendations to G20 Leaders in such areas as labour and employment, financial inclusion and education, the global financial architecture, anti-corruption measures, the post-2015 development agenda and food security.

She emphasized that Civil 20 welcomes the initiative of Russia's Presidency to incorporate civil society into the G20 consultation process and believes this format makes it possible to set up a constructive dialogue between civil society and government agencies. "This experience should be developed in the future, during subsequent presidencies," she added.

Marina Larionova, Head of the International Organizations Research Institute, Co-Chair of the Russian G8/G20-NGO Working Group, spoke about the St.Petersburg initiative to ensure steady, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. The document contains four groups of recommendations: ensuring inclusive growth by reducing pretax income inequality; creating opportunities for the greatest number of people by making income distribution fairer; ensuring accountability and the effective operation of government bodies; overcoming so-called horizontal inequality by giving different strata equal access to social opportunities.

"Inequality is growing in G20 countries," Larionova observed. "Recent studies show that inequality is impeding economic growth, curtailing investment activity and undermining political and social stability."

Speaking about the work of the Civil 20 Environmental Sustainability and Energy Working Group, its Co-Chair Vladimir Chuprov said: "Our recommendations are based on the idea that the entire planet and human race are facing a challenge caused by global climate change. The overwhelming majority of scientists attribute it to the current economic and energy models, which we need to move away from." The group's recommendations involve infrastructure projects, the formation of a network of protected basins in the world's oceans, the green energy industry, the green economy, and ending subsidies for fossil fuels.

"We hope the current G20 Leaders' Summit in St.Petersburg and subsequent summits will speed up our movement to the point where we won't be ashamed to hand over our planet to our grandchildren," Chuprov said.

World Vision Australia's CEO and Chair of the next Civil 20 Summit in Australia Tim Costello spoke highly of Civil 20's activities during Russia's G20 Presidency. He said Australia will pursue open decision-making, use Russia's experience with crowdsourcing and focus on the implementing decisions that have been made.

Costello added that the concept of inclusive economic growth suggested by the Russian Presidency is an important source of support for G20 activities.