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Bringing the voice of the Least Developed Countries into the G20 policy agenda


This report is divided into four sections: Chapter 1 addresses the role of African countries within the G20 decision making processes. Starting with a reflection on the impact of COVID-19 for Africa, the section then focuses on the role and agency of LDCs and African countries in the G20 policy mechanisms. It outlines key themes (e.g. trade, green transition, fair financial architecture) and new actors (e.g. the African Standing Group within the T20) that could be brought to the table to ensure a more decisive and impactful role for LDCs and African countries in the G20 decision making processes.
Chapter 2 analyses the role of quality and climate-resilient infrastructure to boost sustainable and long-term recovery and development for LDCs. The section first addresses why these investments are crucial for sustainable development, showing the impact and costs that inaction could cause. In addition, it discusses the current gaps and obstacles (e.g. financial, technical, institutional) that still hamper the development of new infrastructural models that aim to shift from a “do not harm” to a “net benefits” principle. Finally, it draws some policy recommendations from the T20.
Chapter 3 focuses on development finance with the aim to reflect on how the G20 can support and identify innovative mechanisms to mobilize financial resources for the LDCs. The section begins with assessing the financial needs of LDCs, showing how COVID-19 has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities; and then focuses on three main areas where the G20 could play a key role in bringing forward a more effective architecture for development finance: blended finance, special drawing rights (SDRs) reallocation, and sustainable bonds. The section concludes with a series of proposals and conclusions for G20 decision makers.
Finally, the report presents some conclusions, summarizes the main proposals addressed by the different sections, and identifies key priorities of immediate interest to African and LDC countries, on which current and future G20 Presidencies should continue working on in the next years.

Report prepared as part of the ongoing work programme of the Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and produced as part of a collaboration between UNCTAD and IAI as national Co-Chair of the Think 20 (T20).