Davutoğlu reveals plans for G-20 chair
AFP photoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called for a more inclusive Group of 20 forum on Nov. 14, saying it would give lower-income nations a stronger voice when Turkey takes over the presidency for 2015.
Davutoğlu also indicated that Turkey would expand the G-20’s role beyond economic cooperation and decision-making to issues such as the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and terrorism in the Middle East.
“During our presidency we want to be the voice of everybody,” Davutoğlu said at a conference in Brisbane where he is due to attend the weekend G-20 Leaders Summit.
He also criticized the U.N. Security Council’s structure, terming it exclusivist.
“What we need today in the international system and international governance is inclusivity in every aspect; without inclusivity, there will be no legitimacy. The problem of the U.N. today is [that while the] U.N. General Assembly is inclusive, the U.N. Security Council is exclusivist in the sense of the special status of certain nations,” he said.
The premier stressed the G-20 agenda should in turn represent a global agenda and not just that of 20 countries.
Turkey’s more inclusive agenda contrasts with that of current host Australia, which has attempted to impose a tight focus on the disparate grouping with a pledge to increase collective global economic growth by an extra 2 percent over five years to 2017.
Davutoğlu said Turkey would continue to press that goal, but underscored the importance of talking about geopolitical issues at the group’s gathering.
“If the G-20 agenda is only limited to financial issues, the G-20 cannot function, it cannot have international legitimacy,” he said.
The prime minister also diverged from Australia on the issue of climate change, saying it was imperative to agree to a U.N.-mandated goal to curb carbon emissions. Australia has attempted to keep climate change issues off the G-20 agenda.
Ankara takes over the presidency in December.
Reuters noted that Turkey has the opportunity to be the first country to effectively lead the grouping from an emerging market point of view, recalling that Russia’s chairmanship last year was viewed by many analysts as a failure, while both Mexico and South Korea were too caught up in a necessary focus on world crises to set a defining agenda.
Davutoğlu said trade and infrastructure would also be high on the agenda next year, linking these financial issues to a range of geopolitical issues such as the influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey and terrorism.
“We have spent $4.5 billion for those refugees in three years,” he said.