G20 should close gap between rich, poor: Zuma

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa will work tirelessly to ensure that the agenda of the G20 helps close the development gap between the rich and the poor, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

He was speaking at a United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Forum taking place on the sidelines of the G20 summit, underway in Seoul, South Korea.

"South Africa needs to continue putting pressure on developed countries to mobilise resources to support growth and development. Developing countries should be recognised as equal partners in the development of their economies," he said.

He said with only five short years left before the UN 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, countries needed "a far greater sense of urgency" if the targets are to be met.

Working together with other member countries, South Africa's participation in the G20 would seek to ensure that the work of the forum retains a central focus on sustainable development.

The development focus should enable the forum to take the undertakings of previous Summits forward, he added.

"The G20 should play an active role in addressing critical development issues. This G20 summit should take us forward in narrowing the development gap to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth and to ensure a more robust and resilient global economy for all."

Zuma said South Africa was honored to have been invited to join South Korea as Co-chair of the Development Working Group of the G20, adding that the group had identified a set of key interventions that will help to improve the economic growth of developing countries in the long run.

These interventions, he said, will be submitted to the Summit for consideration.

"The G20 should play an active role in addressing critical development issues. This G20 summit should take us forward in narrowing the development gap to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth and to ensure a more robust and resilient global economy for all," said Zuma.

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