Turkey Prime Minister makes development a G20 priority

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the Pre G20 Summit Conference. Griffith Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor is pictured in the background.
Turkish Prime Minister Professor Ahmet Davutoglu at the Pre G20 Summit Conference in Brisbane.

Global inter-connectedness and an integrated approach to economic politics set the tone when the Turkish Prime Minister addressed a Pre G20 Summit Conference in Brisbane.

Professor Ahmet Davutoglu’s speech closed the two-day event hosted by Griffith University with the G20 Research Group, University of Toronto.

The 26th head of Turkey also placed the spotlight firmly on climate change, development and the Ebola crisis in a far-reaching 40-minute delivery.

“Countries should be working shoulder to shoulder to address the crises of humanity,” he said.

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He outlined his view of a global economy now connected by technology rather than geography as in the past.

“Financially, nobody is safe and secure. No nation is an island. Money flows and recognises no borders in this global age,” he said.

He described issues of climate change as “ontological rather than political”pointing to its potential impact on human existence.

The Ebola outbreak from Africa provided an example of modern global connectedness. “Everything is spreading faster. This is not just a health issue. But if the G20 agenda is only limited to financial issues, the G20 can’t have global legitimacy in addressing challenges like Ebola.”

G20 Presidency

Professor Davutoglu also looked ahead to Turkey’s upcoming term as president of the G20, and put development at the top of his list of priorities. The list also covered employment, energy, inclusivity, climate change and the refugee crisis.

He explained that integrating low income countries into the international economic system would be crucial to development, and efficient mechanisms of trade would be important in this context.

“History has shown us that inter-connected and interdependent economies are the best way to achieve peace.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor described the Turkish Prime Minister’s address as extraordinary. “We can think of no better person to address this group today,” he said.