Looking ahead to tomorrow’s full day of sessions here in Seoul, it is useful to keep in mind Korea’s priorities for the G20 Seoul Summit, as presented by President Lee Myung-bak at the Davos Forum in January:

  • 1. The implementation of previous commitments.
  • 2. Bringing new perspective to the work of the G20.
  • 3. Inclusive outreach activites.

Previous Commitments

At a media briefing today, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ambassador at Large for G20, Korea, Ho-Young Ahn, stressed that Korea’s first priority will be to follow up on previous commitments.  Such commitments include:

  • Maintaining economic support measures until recovery is fully assured
  • Ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced global growth
  • Building a stronger international financial regulatory system
  • Encouraging the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade.

New Perspectives

Korea also intends to bring new perspectives to the G20 tomorrow on development issues and on global financial safety nets.

Outreach Activities

The Korean Government has conducted proactive outreach activities toward non-G20 actors in order to share information on the G20 process and gather opinions from the broader international community.  Consultations were had with government officials of non-G20 countries, the UN, OECD, WTO and other IOs.

Non-G20 countries invited to the Seoul Summit include: Ethiopia, Malawi, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam.

Too Ambitious?

Past 'G' summits have been criticized for promising too much and delivering too little. With many ambitious priorites and even more challenges, will Korea's term as G20 Chair end on a high note tomorrow evening? However it ends, ongoing outreach and communication with non-G20 actors must continue to be a significant part of the G20 process to gather a wide range of views and opinions.

Stay tuned and share your thoughts below.


Deanne Leifso is a research officer at The Centre for International Governance Innovation. She has her MA in political science from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.

Image credit: G20 Seoul Summit. President Lee, IMF Director discuss cooperation for G20 Seoul Summit.)

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