Call On G20 Leaders To Tackle The Refugee Crisis

Call On G20 Leaders To Tackle The Refugee Crisis

Last week, China handed over responsibility for hosting the annual G20 Summit to Germany, where 20 of the world's most influential economies will gather in Hamburg next July.

As a concept born out of the need for multilateral cohesion in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, it's fitting that the Summit returns to Europe's economic powerhouse - and from an international development perspective, the initial outlook on Germany's presidency of the G20 is a positive one.

Alongside the traditional focus on the global economy, Chancellor Merkel announced this weekend an expanded focus on development issues. That focus includes implementation of the Global Goals, women's economic empowerment, effective responses to global pandemics and improving the conditions for investment in Africa. There are ambitious plans to use the G20 presidency to help reshape globalisation to work better for everyone, by strengthening the stability of the world economy, investing in sustainability and innovation and increasing the G20's responsibility on issues like poverty eradication.

The German government is also calling on the G20 to take on more responsibility on issues like the refugee crisis and migration. That said, in a year when Germany faces a Federal Election alongside its G20 presidency, the extent to which the divisive issue of the refugee crisis will feature as a core focus of the summit remains to be seen.

There are more than 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide - a crisis of proportions that have not been seen since the Second World War. Having lost homes, livelihoods and all sense of stability, refugees are amongst the most vulnerable people in the world. Over half of the refugee population is under the age of 18.

G20 nations represent 85% of the world's GDP and yet roughly the same percentage of the world's refugees are currently seeking shelter in developing countries. There are notable exceptions to the rule, but there can be no doubt that G20 nations could and should be doing more to unify behind a commitment to scale up support for refugees.

However divisive the headlines may be, this is an issue that deserves its place at the summit. If you'd like to lend your voice to helping ensure that it does, please take the time to sign our petition.


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