One of the most important initiatives during Germany’s presidency of the G20 in the year 2017 has been that of launching a special partnership with African countries. While the G20 is more inclusive than the G7, countries from the Global South do not necessarily have the same influence as developed countries in the Global North. In this regard, Germany’s step to initiate a Partnership with Africa has been very much welcomed by the Mexican government.
The G20-Africa partnership could make important contributions to strengthen multilateralism and global governance through continuous dialogue and compromise with the 2030 Agenda/2063 Agenda. Leaving the finance track aside, there are two issues that stand out in discussions with diplomats and high-level officials at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the issue of migration and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Freedom of movement as a fundamental right
The G20 countries host more than 50% of the world’s migrants today, according to the International Organization for Migration. Some 80% of the world’s remittances are channeled through the G20 countries, who in 2010 agreed to seek to reduce the costs of transferring them. Migration is a phenomenon that Mexico knows very well. In the context of designing the Sustainable Development Goals, Mexican diplomats advocated that freedom of movement is a fundamental right, and human rights can never be detached from the individual, no matter his/her circumstances as a migrant or non-migrant person. It is essential to keep in mind that a partnership with Africa with the main goal of fostering sustainable development and inclusive growth has to be with Africa, not just for Africa, or seeking to achieve certain economic or political motives on the part of G20 countries in relation to the unprecedented migration situation involving not only the African and European continents. In other words, it has to be based on listening and learning with People of Africa, as the UN Secretary-General expressed a few days ahead of the Africa Day, observed on May 25.
2030 Agenda: risk of duplication of platforms
Generally speaking, Mexico supports exchanges of best practices when it comes to implementation of the 2030 Agenda/2063 Agenda, but the AMEXCID cautions against duplication of platforms for sharing best practices with regard to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. This, in order to facilitate policy coherence, and to ensure that shared knowledge and learning processes could have cumulative effects and not lead to fragmentation of efforts. Here, the role of the Development Working Group is key as an interlocutor and facilitator to the G20 governments to keep focus clear.
In conjunction with the conference “Think 20: Global Solutions” in Berlin, 29-30 May 2017, on May 28 was held the constitutive meeting of the T20-Africa Standing Group, comprising think tanks/research centers from several African countries and the G20 countries. Mexico views positively this initiative and recognizes its potential for fostering durable intellectual exchanges across continents regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda/2063 Agenda.
Promoting G20-Africa cooperation to advance global multilateralism
Finally, Mexico is a strong advocate of multilateralism and initiatives to strengthen global governance, the most recent example being precisely Germany’s launch of the G20-Africa Partnership. This partnership is more needed than ever in these times of economic and political uncertainties, coupled with growing divides within societies, and increasing distrust in domestic economic and political institutions, and the benefits of international cooperation. Growing nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiments and calls for protectionism in many G20 countries are in stark contrast with the hopes of the economic and political elites to bring solutions to global problems through more cooperation, engagement and compliance. Mexico is in favor of working together in the G20 to make global institutions more effective and accountable so as to better address global governance challenges, advance the rule of law and promote civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.