Buenos Aires Times

opinion and analysis EXCLUSIVE COLUMN

Building consensus for fair and sustainable development

President Mauricio Macri discusses his G20 vision and hopes in this new column for the Buenos Aires Times.

Thursday 29 November, 2018
President Mauricio Macri penned a column for our 40-page special edition of the Buenos Aires Times.
President Mauricio Macri penned a column for our 40-page special edition of the Buenos Aires Times. Foto:G20 ARGENTINA

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Argentina is honoured to be leading the G20 this year. November 30 and December 1 will be the first time a G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in South America, and it is why we, in our G20 presidency, are seeking to convey the expression not only of the people of Argentina, but also of our neighbours in the region and the developing world. We are steering the G20 in the spirit of an honest broker, looking for balanced discussions with input from member countries, civil society, key international organisations and guest countries.

Throughout our presidency, we have looked to bring to the G20 the aspirations and concerns of this developing part of the world and the future generations eager to be part of the global dialogue. Our goal is to build consensus and drive action around fair and sustainable development, with an agenda focused on the future of work, infrastructure for development, and a sustainable food future. Interwoven into our agenda is a strong gender perspective that ensures that men and women benefit equally from the actions and commitments taken at this and future summits.

Laying a foundation for fair and sustainable development requires us to look at the challenges posed by the future of work. While technology has been able to unleash potential among workforces, its continued adoption and evolution must not engender exclusion or social disintegration, but rather create more and better employment opportunities going forward. Today we have to prepare our children for jobs that do not even exist, and all of us need to continue developing skills throughout our lives. Education systems in every country need to expand, to innovate, to be ready for change.

Infrastructure is crucial for development: it provides the physical and digital access necessary for us to fully take advantage of the opportunities of the future. While there is a pressing need for infrastructure in many countries, developing the right financial instruments can boost investment in infrastructure and ensure better returns for those who today save and invest. A new asset class has huge potential to help close the global infrastructure gap and this is why we have made important steps over the course of our presidency towards its development. 

A sustainable food future is an important link in the process of achieving stability and peace. Meeting the dietary needs of future populations requires healthy, fertile and productive soils to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable way. Harnessing our experience as global agricultural leaders, we are encouraging commitments to sustainable soil management through strengthened public-private collaboration between industries, governments, international agencies, farmers’ associations and civil society. In so doing, we can increase crop productivity, food security and sustainability while improving health and nutrition globally.

We know that the only way to achieve truly fair and sustainable development is by ensuring that women and men benefit equally from the actions and commitments taken at this and future summits. That is why we adopted a gender mainstreaming strategy across the whole G20 agenda, in order to take active steps to boost women’s empowerment, eliminate gender disparities in employment, science, technology and education, and promote robust protection from all forms of gender-based violence.

Leading the G20 is the most challenging experience in our recent history. As a multicultural, developing country, Argentina is uniquely positioned to serve as a bridge between the developed and developing world, and we are confident in our ability to build consensus and drive action for future generations. We are working hard to strengthen the foundations upon which a reliable and productive country is built, and we strongly believe that a promising future lies in growing integration and partnership across the globe.

Consensus is not always assured, but that is what the G20 was created for. When we meet in Buenos Aires, 10 years will have passed since the first Leaders’ Summit. Since then this global forum has proven its value by fostering constructive dialogue and bolstering the global economy in times of need. 

Now is our time to show it is worth it.

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