Introduction sectionFirst G20 Finance Track meeting discusses development finance

First G20 Finance Track meeting discusses development finance

On December 1, Italy took over the Presidency of the G20 from Saudi Arabia. Today, Thursday December 3, the Italian Presidency dedicated the first G20 Finance Track official event to discuss ways to maximize the impact of development finance.

 

Senior officials from G20 countries, multilateral development banks, international organizations and pilot countries’ governments met to assess lessons learned from past donor-coordination efforts and discuss possible ways forward for making aid financing more efficient and effective through Country Platforms. The event, co-hosted by Her Majesty’s Treasury of the UK, and the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia, took place in virtual mode.

 

Continuing on the G20 work led by Saudi Arabia in 2020, the G20 sets out to advance the definition of policies to foster a strong, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery, especially for the low-income countries that are particularly burdened by the current crisis. Hence, development issues remain on top of the agenda of the G20’s Italian Presidency.

 

To respond to the many challenges lying ahead and promote an effective recovery able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, countries need to step up coordination. Developing countries should be in the driving seat, and Country Platforms can help all development partners align with national priorities and unlock further investments, maximizing their contributions as a cohesive group, including through convergence around core standards.

 

The concept of Country Platforms - firstly introduced in 2018 by the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance - could provide a forum for development partners to discuss, coordinate and align support to country priorities. Country Platforms could represent a vehicle for more collaborative, resilient, adaptive and scalable approaches, improving collaboration and co-operation between development partners and attracting private sector investments.

 

In February 2020, the G20 endorsed the “G20 Reference Framework for effective Country Platforms”, recognising country platforms as a tool to support sustainable development. The G20 Reference Framework welcomes and encourages Multilateral Development Banks to continue to implement existing Country Platforms as well as to develop new ones, where applicable.

 

Today’s workshop was an opportunity to picture the state of play and learn from recent country experiences in setting up platforms. In particular, interventions by representatives from Indonesia, Jordan and Somalia shed some light on success stories from the crucial perspectives of the ultimate beneficiaries of development efforts.

 

The group also discussed how convergence towards a set of ‘core standards’ in development finance could help ensure projects are of high quality. Participants agreed that Country Platforms should be molded according to country-specific capacities, needs and priorities and that strengthened cooperation among local and international actors, beneficiary governments, International Financial Institutions and bilateral donors is needed. Potential links between country platforms with similar initiatives currently discussed at G20 level, such as the Compact with Africa and those developed under the Development Working Group framework were also debated.

 

Finally, participants reflected on what successful outcomes might look like, in order to frame possible ways forward to build more effective platforms and coordination mechanisms, including by discussing other G20 initiatives.

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