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Civil Task Force on Equity

In the run up to the St. Petersburg G20 summit the Civil 20 initiated preparing a report focused on the issue of surmounting the risks originating from growing income inequality.

For two years running (2012 and 2013) severe income disparity has been rated as the highest global risk by the WEF Global Risks Reports experts. Rising income inequality had negative impact on aggregate demand. Alongside with financial innovations and lax monetary policies, which partly helped offset its negative impact, income inequality had important consequences for the evolution and eruption of the crisis.

The G20 documents and decisions address the issues of overcoming income inequality in the context of structural reforms, promotion of employment, social protection, and financial inclusion. However, the G20 capability to overcome the growing inequality within countries and between them has been underutilized. The background paper “To Growing Together from Growing Apart:  G20 Governance for More Equitable Economic Growth” presents a brief review of the G20 commitments on these issues.

A special Task Force has been established to draft the report. The Task Force members met in the Civil G20 conference on December 12, 2012 to discuss the methodology, key messages to the leaders and report outline. It was agreed that the message of the paper should be that readdressing inequality is essential to address the problem of financial instability and lack of growth, especially within the G20 countries themselves – and consequently stability and growth for the entire world.

Experts agreed that the analysis should be based on the existing data. Consultations will be held to reflect the multiple perspectives. The G20 member’ perspectives will be highlighted by country reports. Following the conference the report tentative structure was outlined (see below) and sent out to the Task Force members inviting comments and encouraging them to commit to doing some sections, or a section, or a part of a section or a country perspective paper.

Possible Report Structure

Here is the report structure which is emerging:

  1. A Brief Overview of the Trends in Income Inequality in the world and in the G20 (about 2 pages, or 1000 words)
  2. Key Causes of Growing Inequality (about 2 pages, or 1000 words)
  3. How Inequality Affects Growth? (about 1 pages, or 500 words)
  4. Key Policy Options to Tackle Inequality (What are the Cures for Ensuring Equitable Growth?) (about 2 pages, or 1000 words, or possible longer given that it has to look at both national and global actions)
  5. Has G20 Improved Equity for its Members and the World? (about 2 pages, or 1000 words on the G20 agenda, key decisions and their impact (both positive and negative) on economic inequality) in the members’ societies and globally)
  6. What can G20 do to make globalization work for all? (Recommendations for G20 Future Agenda explicitly falling into two priority areas: Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and Action Plan on Development. Hopefully, a very focused list of really well targeted recommendations which would merit not only the attention of the respective WGs, but the leaders attention, about 2 to 4 pages).

G20 Members' perspectives

Country papers will be of the same or similar structure. They would help highlight and take into account countries individual circumstances and policy preferences, reveal those which are the most likely "candidates" for the recommendations and may prove consensus building. Suggested questions to respond to could be:

  1. What are the inequality trends in my country?
  2. What are the causes?
  3. What are the consequences?
  4. What are the proposed cures?
  5. Is inequality a government priority? How is it addressed? Are its approaches effective?

The country case studies, which will probably appear as the second part, should be two to five pages each.

Timeline for the preparation of the Report «Sustained and Balanced Growth Requires Equitable Policies»

Activity Date
Preparing the draft report and country papers. January -  March 31, 2013
Synthesizing recommendations and preparation of the first draft for consultations. April 2013
Sending the draft report to the Task Force members for feedback and consultations. April 22, 2013
Consultations on the report with the Task Force on Equity members, receipt of feedback and organization of conference calls. April 22 - May 20, 2013
Reflection of the proposals in the draft report. May 20 - June 12, 2013
Presentation of the report for discussion with participants of the Civil 20 Summit. June 13-14, 2013
Finalizing the report for publication and presentation to the G20 Sherpas' meeting to be held on July 25 and 26th June 14 - July 24,  2013
Publication of the final report. August 2013
Presentation of the report to the G20 Sherpas and Leaders September 2-6, 2013


Co-Chair:John Kirton, Founder and Co-director, G20 Research Group, the University of Toronto |
Co-Chair: Marina Larionova, Head, HSE International Organizations Research Institute, Co-chair of G8&G20 NGOs Working Group