What the G20 countries should negotiate at the end of the month
The Global Solutions Initiative presents an appeal with six recommendations for international cooperation, wealth measurement, climate change, health protection, digital rights and equal opportunities. The paper is based on the research and analysis of internationally renowned institutions and individuals.
Berlin, 21.10.2021 – Looking ahead to the G20 Summit taking place in Rome later this month, the Global Solutions Initiative is calling on the Group of 20 largest industrialized countries to make progress in six key areas of action: Tackling the climate crisis and social inequality, improvements in international cooperation and health protection, and steps to introduce basic digital rights and measure the prosperity of nations beyond established economic metrics. The proposals are inspired by the ideas of renowned international scientists, heads of international organizations, politicians and representatives of civil society who participated in the Global Solutions Summit earlier this year. They include the secretaries-general of the OECD, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization, Nobel laureates, and the former prime ministers of Australia and Canada. The Global Solutions Initiative is a non-profit organization that connects a worldwide network of think tanks to draw from them solutions to global problems within the framework of the G20 and G7. The appeal, entitled “Revitalizing Multilateralism”, has now been presented to the G20 countries.
On the recommendations in detail:
- In order to make the development of the well-being of people and nature visible and comparable, the Global Solutions Initiative proposes that the G20 countries develop uniform and robust indicators for these fields. They should complement the indicator of gross domestic product. “It’s not enough to just measure economic development,” says Dennis Snower, President of the Global Solutions Initiative. “If we really want to know how a country is doing, we need other indicators. These should indicate how cohesive societies are, how empowered people in a country are to take control of their own destiny, and how much effort a country is making to preserve natural livelihoods.”
- To combat the climate crisis, the Global Solutions Initiative urges that G20 countries increase their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to climate change mitigation and become carbon neutral sooner than planned. G7 and G20 countries need to end their fossil fuel subsidies quickly, fulfilling commitments made years ago, urges John Kirton, founder and head of the G7 and G20 Research Groups and co-chair of the Working Group on Climate Change and Energy of the main G20 think tanks (T20). In addition, the Global Solutions Initiative recommends putting a price on CO2 emissions from international travel.
- In the area of health policy, the Global Solutions Initiative urges that preventive health care be strengthened and prioritized over disease treatment. To achieve this, it recommends, among other things, the establishment of an international task force to develop preventive measures, for example to protect against epidemics or to improve general health for greater resilience. In addition, the G20 should support global production and equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide. “The COVID-19 pandemic has given us irrefutable evidence that health is a global public good. Health cannot be a luxury for some. It’s a fundamental human right, and the foundation of social, economic and political stability,” the appeal quotes from WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ speech at the Global Solutions Summit.
- In order to regulate the digital transformation, the Global Solutions Initiative appeals to the G20 to organize the control of personal data on the Internet in a similar way as in the offline world. It should be put back into the hands of the users to liberate them from control by digital corporations. It is up to the G20 to develop international principles on the collection and use of personal data. To this end, the appeal also proposes the introduction of data trustees to ensure that personal data is used in the interests of users and not those of monopolies.
- In order to improve equal opportunities for workers worldwide, the G20 countries should invest more in education and continuous training in the workplace, as well as in infrastructure that is necessary for the performance of work – such as fast access to the Internet. In addition, measures are needed to enable workers to contribute appropriately in a rapidly changing world of work – for example, support for modern family policies and the creation of equal educational opportunities for members of all genders.
- In order to enable the G20 countries to solve global problems, the paper proposes to formalize the G20 more strongly and to strengthen existing institutions as well as to establish new ones. Civil society should be more involved in this process. Paul Martin, the former Canadian prime minister, called for the G20, in which the finance ministers of the leading industrialized countries first worked in 2008 to tackle the financial crisis, to follow this example and now unite the environment and health ministers to combat the climate crisis and the covid pandemic.
“With our appeal, we are proposing solutions to some of the most pressing problems on earth. They are concrete so that the countries of the G20 can immediately start negotiating their implementation. The members of our network stand ready to do this with their extensive work on scientific policy advice,” says Dr Markus Engels, Secretary General of the Global Solutions Initiative.
The appeal “Revitalizing Multilateralism” has been published on the website www.global-solutions-initiative.org. In addition to the specific recommendations, it contains the underlying sources for the recommendations as well as links to relevant video excerpts from the Global Solutions Summit 2021.
Christoph Podewils, Director of Communications and Spokesperson
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About the Global Solutions Initiative
The Global Solutions Initiative is a global think tank network that develops policy recommendations for action on the most pressing issues of our time, as addressed by the G20, G7 and other global governance forums. The policy recommendations and strategic visions are developed through a disciplined research program by leading think tanks and science organizations and discussed and refined in policy dialogues among decision-makers from academia, politics, business, and civil society.
More information at www.global-solutions-initiative.org