Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Photo: Adolfo Jasso
14 May 2012
Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on 14 May discussed the top priorities of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable states that will not be present at the G20 summit from 18 to 19 June.
President Calderón, who will host the Los Cabos G20 Summit in June as Chair of the group of leading world economies, met with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in Mexico City, Mexico.
“Ninety per cent of global GDP may be represented at the G20 table, but ninety per cent of the world’s countries are not represented around that table. The G20’s solutions to today’s global crises and economic challenges can only be truly global solutions if they take into account the priorities and concerns of poor and vulnerable states who are the majority. This is a question of strengthening the legitimacy and relevance of the G20’s work to the wider world,” said Mr Sharma.
"We welcome Mexico’s outstanding efforts as G20 Chair this year to promote outreach to the majority of countries that are not at the G20 table. These efforts are helping to promote an inclusive discussion of key policies for the world economy that will affect developing countries."
The Commonwealth Secretary-General called on Mr Calderón to convey the perspectives and priority development challenges of the developing members of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie. He was accompanied by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Abdou Diouf. Mr Sharma’s meeting with the G20 Chair is the continuation of an on-going pattern of consultations by the incumbent G20 Chair with the Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, as representatives of half of the world's poorest, smallest and most vulnerable developing countries. The first of such consultations with the G20 Chair was held at the initiative of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010, followed by talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011.
Mr Sharma said: "The Commonwealth and La Francophonie are working with the G20 on two fronts. First, our consultations with incumbent G20 Chairs ensure that strong political messages about the priorities of non-G20 members are taken into account. The G20 also needs to be a ‘T20’ – acting as Trustees for the concerns and needs of the wider global community. Second, we are making practical policy contributions to the G20’s Development Working Group at the technical level, to ensure that the needs of non-G20 countries are factored into the policy options and solutions that are being developed. One of the Commonwealth’s fundamental principles, agreed by our 54 member governments, is a commitment to inclusiveness. Our G20 efforts – political and technical – are aimed at promoting an inclusive G20 approach to developing policies for the world economy."
In his discussions with Mr Calderón, the Commonwealth Secretary-General outlined four priority challenges faced by developing countries:
The Commonwealth Secretary-General wished President Calderón success with the Los Cabos G20 Summit. He expressed satisfaction with their consultations, and appreciation at being received. Mr Sharma said there was much to be achieved at the summit, as well as through the opportunities presented by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) from 20 to 22 June in addition to other ongoing international opportunities.
Note to Editors
The Commonwealth comprises 54 member countries, while La Francophonie comprises 56 countries, 10 of which are also members of the Commonwealth. They are: Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, St Lucia, Seychelles and Vanuatu.
Media Contact: Richard Uku, Director, Communications and Public Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, email: email@example.com, mobile: +44 7711 187 784