Symposium discusses expansion of G20 roles

World-renowned scholars, business leaders, and high-ranking officials from international organizations and the Korean government gathered to attend the G20 Seoul International Symposium, which took place on September 28-29, at a hotel in southern Seoul. There has been strong interest both domestically and internationally in the symposium, which was co-hosted by the state-run Korea Development Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Dong-A Ilbo. Speakers took part in in-depth discussions on the issues of regularization of the G20 summit meeting and the issue of development in developing countries.

Scholars, business leaders, and high-ranking officials of international organizations and governments attended the G20 Seoul International Symposium, which took place on September 28-29, at a hotel in southern Seoul.

One of the most prominent speakers at the symposium was former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. He pointed out the limitations of the G8, while strongly advocating the expansion of the roles of G20.

The former Canadian Prime Minister has been widely regarded as a major supporter of the G20 since 1999, when he chaired the first G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting during his tenure as Canadian Finance Minister. In 2005, as Prime Minister, he suggested that the G20 meeting should be upgraded to summit status.

Professor Victor Murinde of the University of Birmingham, (left) addresses at the G20 Seoul International Symposium on Sep. 28 in Seoul. (Photo: Yonhap News)

Since the G8 does not include several key economic players like China, India, Brazil or Russia, he said the G8 cannot function as a global steering committee. He said the G20 system is more desirable, because more countries can participate in the decision-making process, in cooperation with a growing number of emerging economies.

The symposium’s agenda also addressed issues on the agendas of the upcoming G20 Seoul Summit, such as managing global financial safety networks. Martin said the financial safety network is a good example of why the G20 is needed. Since Korea has first-hand experiences of financial crisis, the need for a financial safety network was reflected in the agendas of the G20 Seoul Summit.

Regularizing the role of the G20 was also discussed at the meeting, including the potential for executive offices. SaKong Il, Chief of the Presidential Committee for the G20 Seoul Summit, said building offices for the G20 was one of three ways to regularize the G20 suggested by the United Kingdom and Korea before the fourth G20 summit. He also said the role of the G20 as a global steering committee will be strengthened if the G20 Seoul Summit concludes successfully.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin (center) and SaKong Il, Chief of the Presidential Committee for the G20 Seoul Summit, (right) give interviews on Sep. 28 at the G20 Seoul International Symposium, which was held in Seoul.

At the conclusion of the first day, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-Chon held a luncheon for speakers at a hotel in southern Seoul. The luncheon attendees enjoyed watching performances of talchum, a traditional Korean mask dance, and geomungo, a six-stringed traditional Korean zither, arranged by the Korean Overseas Culture and Information Service of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. In his celebratory speech, Minister Yu expressed his hope that the G20 Seoul Summit will be as fruitful as the harvest season itself.

On the second day, SaKong Il led a roundtable discussion on “The G20 as a Global Steering Committee beyond the Crisis?”

Source : http://korea.net

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