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The G20 summit that was convened in Russia is the eighth meeting of the G-20 heads-of-government.
The summit was held in the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg on the 5th and 6th of September.
To promote Africa’s interest during the course of the summit, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union. Ethiopia’s late leader Meles Zenawi had been a regular at both the G20 and G8 summits for several years.
Hailemariam separately met with Vladmir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Friday. He also held talks with Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and extended an invitation for Canadian investors to come to Ethiopia
According to reliable sources, in his meeting with the Canadian PM, the two leaders held talks on bilateral relations and on various African issues.
Reports indicate that the two sides have agreed to work together to enable Canadian companies’ engagement in the infrastructure and mining sectors in Ethiopia.
They also agreed to work towards strengthening the cooperation between Ethiopian Airlines and Canadian Carriers. The two exchanged views regarding the current situation in Mali and on ways to consolidate the relative peace and stability in Somalia. Harper underlined Somalia’s need for a military training center to build up the capacity of its security forces and affirmed that Canada would support such an initiative.
The G20 issued its most detailed communiqué in its five-year history. It includes commitments to work together on a wide range of issues including strong, sustainable economic growth; unemployment and underemployment, particularly among young people; long term financing for investment; international trade; cross-border tax evasion and avoidance; financial reforms and reform of financial institutions; development; corruption; energy and climate change; and fiscal sustainability.
It also contains the St. Petersburg Action Plan, which is designed to boost world economic activities and create jobs through strong, sustainable and balanced growth; the St. Petersburg Development Outlook, intended to improve food security, financial inclusion, infrastructure, development and domestic resources mobilization; and the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, focused on combating domestic and foreign bribery, tackling corruption in high-risk sectors, and strengthening international cooperation and transparency in the fight against corruption.
Building on the G20 principles and precedents, the Russian Presidency decided to invite non-member countries including Spain (permanent invitee), Ethiopia (Chair of the African Union in 2013), Senegal (Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development), Kazakhstan (member of the EurAsEC Customs Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)), Brunei Darussalam (Chair of ASEAN in 2013), and Singapore (Chair of the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Chair of Global Governance Group).
In addition, international organizations like the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) attended the event.
The summit was dominated by questions on the Syrian Civil War and any potential international reaction to the chemical attacks. The Summit came after US-led efforts to obtain a UN Security Council resolution authorizing military strikes against the Assad government had failed due to Russian and Chinese opposition.
As a result, the media billed the Summit as a showdown between US President Barack Obama, who is trying to gain support for military action, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who opposes any such action.
Finally, leaders decided to resort to long-term development support instead of short-term relief aid, in the resolution.
Each member country will deliver its employment strategy (dubbed Petersburg Development Strategy) to the G20 summit to be held next year in Australia.
The resolution urges member states to strive to speed up development in their respective countries as this would contribute to economic recovery and financial stability at the global level.
The leaders reflected a common stance on job creation and accelerating development.
34 world leaders and representatives of international organizations were in attendance at the two-day Summit.