Brisbane (dpa) – A forum of NGOs at the G20 summit in Brisbane says the world’s economic leaders should take into account social justice when seeking to boost economic growth.
“The two per cent additional growth also has to flow the poorest households in the G20,” Tim Costello, who chairs the so-called C20 alliance of civil society groups, told dpa.
The G20 members were to commit to boosting their combined economies by two percentage points more than the currently forecast growth by 2018.
“If the benefits only go into profits for the top five per cent, it is not real growth but entrenches the inequality. Then the G20 would have failed,” he said.
The C20 wants the G20 to commit to developing health and education systems and social networks, Costello said, arguing that social infrastructure is as important as hard infrastructure.
He criticised the Australian G20 presidency for placing the emphasis on economic growth without due consideration of global social imbalances.
“Those with the power to change the world have to take into account the most vulnerable, especially children and people living in extreme poverty,” said Costello, also the chief of development aid group World Vision.
More than half the world’s poor live in G20 countries. “Six hundred million young people are unemployed worldwide. Why don’t we have targets in addressing youth unemployment?” Costello told reporters in Brisbane.