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South Africa: All Eyes on G20 Summit
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Sep 12, 2013

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders’ are expected to meet on the margins of the G20 to discuss economic issues of their interest and update each other on the progress made in establishing the so-called BRICS development bank. BRICS leaders agreed in Durban earlier this year to establish the bank mainly to provide funds for infrastructure project within the bloc.

Later at the G20 leaders’ meeting, Russia, which chairs the gathering, believes discussions should centre on three overarching priorities, aimed at starting the new cycle of economic growth. These include growth through quality jobs and investment, growth through trust and transparency, and growth through effective regulation.

Ahead of the summit, finance ministers had prepared the St Petersburg Action Plan document for the development of the global economy and creation of new jobs. South Africa will be advocating the interests of the African continent and those of the southern hemisphere. Pretoria has said the G20 presents meaningful opportunities for advancing much-needed global governance reforms and orienting the international development agenda.

Many of those gathering in St Petersburg agree that the meeting will be deemed successful if consensus is reached in the areas of inclusive growth, global trade and agreements signed on the elimination of tax evasion. Several countries, including South Africa, are tightening their tax rules but feel there is still a need to beef up regulations on a global scale.

Although the G20 meeting is mainly about economic issues, discussions are highly likely also to centre on the crisis in Syria.

But this year’s summit comes amid a raging debate about how to respond to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus last month.

Bearing in mind that the situation in Syria remains acute and disputed, and that there has been no overall agreement on the issue, the leaders of the 20 major economies of the world could definitely use the opportunity to spend some time discussing Syria.


South Africa has voiced its sharp opposition to any military intervention in Syria, particularly if such an intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations. President Jacob Zuma, who arrived in Russia on Wednesday, has said any foreign attack on Syria that does not have UN approval will not be supported by Pretoria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview this week that although the G20 summit has certain rules and an agreed agenda, he will invite his counterparts to discuss this issue.
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