The G20’s second decade challenge
G20 Summit

The G20’s second decade challenge

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President, Turkey


We launch a new decade in G20 history with the Osaka Summit. The G20 has emerged as the premier forum for cooperation in responding to several challenges. The G20’s critical steps in strengthening the global financial safety net and increasing the resilience of the financial system have reaffirmed this role. At present, the world needs the G20’s contribution for strengthening cooperation more than ever.

Going beyond ongoing critical issues, the G20 should act as a guide in addressing future challenges, which undoubtedly necessitates an open-minded, different and more collaborative understanding. Digitisation is one of the main pillars of our efforts in shaping the future. We made our Digital Transformation Roadmap public in 2018. We also contribute to the capacity building of the least-developed countries by facilitating the transfer of technology through the United Nations  Technology Bank, recently established in our country.

Labour markets are among the most prominent sectors affected by digitalisation. As the leader of a country that has generated eight million additional jobs in the last decade, I would like to emphasise the importance of devising dynamic strategies to keep up with digital transformation. We should strengthen policies that enable youth and women to manifest their true potential.

Infrastructure investment is critical to continued economic success. We have realised mega projects that serve both our region and our country. We exhibit the best examples of public-private partnerships, such as the newly opened Istanbul airport and city hospitals. We utilise technology and apply the highest environmental standards in our projects. We are open to sharing our experiences with all interested parties.

As the G20, we are confronted with challenges that directly or indirectly affect our economies. Our common resolution is to overcome the potential negative effects of these challenges. We believe that practices that are not in line with the principles and rules of the World Trade Organization pose a significant threat to the international trade system. We support the development of a multilateral and rules-based trading system that has the WTO at its centre. It is highly necessary that improvements be made in a transparent and participatory manner for the WTO to work more effectively.

Climate change is one of the major concerns threatening the welfare of present and future generations. All countries should take joint steps in line with their historical responsibilities and level of development. Polluting countries should take substantial and progressively ambitious responsibilities, while financing opportunities for developing countries should be enabled without any discrimination.

Forced displacement has reached a global scale. The G20 should not ignore this reality and the accompanying responsibility. Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees – more than four million people. Responsibility sharing with host countries and a fair burden-sharing mechanism should be ensured. These increasing unfortunate tensions should be prevented and permanent solutions should be supported to reinstate peace and stability in areas that refugees have been forced to leave. More effective support should be provided in these places for preventing violence and improving humanitarian conditions.

As Turkey, we resolutely continue to combat terrorism in all its forms for both managing the effects of forced displacement and securing the safety and well-being of our citizens. We expect all G20 members to cooperate at the highest level in fighting terrorism in an indiscriminate manner.

I think ageing is one of the important items on the G20 agenda this year. In Turkey, we declared 2019 as the ‘Year of Older Persons’ and organised the first Council of Ageing. We should continue to develop our policies to ensure that elderly people maintain a healthy, productive, independent and respectful life through the full protection of their rights.

I hope that the G20 platform will continue to strengthen cooperation among our countries and I wish the Osaka Summit all success in generating prosperous outcomes for the multilateral global system.