The Making of a Seoul Development Consensus

The essential development agenda for the G20

Published: 7 October 2010

When the G20 meets in Seoul in November 2010, it has a big choice to make. It can either retreat into a narrow focus on its own interests, or it can prove it is capable of genuine global leadership in the face of the interlinked economic, food, and climate change crises. The G20 must adopt a Seoul ‘development consensus’ that confronts the challenges of the 21st century: reducing inequality and tackling global poverty through sustainable, equitable growth that gives poor women and men, and their governments, the tools they need to overcome poverty.

Key recommendations from the report:

A Seoul development consensus can establish a foundation for decisive action in South Korea and in future G20 summits in France, Mexico, and beyond. The Seoul Summit must commit the G20 to a long-term development agenda that

  • puts the interests of the poorest people and countries at the center of its work, delivering sustainable and equitable growth, reducing inequality, and tackling poverty and hunger head-on;
  • is genuinely transparent, with wider representation, and engages with civil society;
  • commits to investigating new sources of sustainable financing for reducing inequality and poverty and tackling climate change, including a tax on the financial sector.

It would mark a turning point for the G20’s role, from crisis response to that of providing long-term leadership to overcome the biggest challenges facing the global community.