G20 leaders agree to co-operate on tackling terror financing

17 Nov 15

Leaders of the world’s major economies have agreed to co-operate to face down the global terrorist threat, including how it is financed.

The summit saw the heads of the world’s 20 major economies, including US president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin descend on Antalya in Turkey. Talks were dominated by the fallout of Islamic State’s attacks on Paris on Friday and in addition to the usual final communiqué, the summit’s close saw the release of an additional joint-statement on the fight against terrorism.

In this, leaders condemned the Paris attacks as “heinous” and said they are concerned by the threat the “acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters” poses to all states.

They vowed to increase international cooperation and information sharing, to step up border controls and aviation security and to work together to tackle the financing of terrorism.

Commentators noted that some new, much-needed themes have finally entered the G20 lexicon this year, such as counter-terrorism, the refugee crisis and issues surrounding sovereign debt crisis.

Domenico Lombardi, director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Global Economy Programme, said the G20 had “significantly broadened the contours of their conversation” and reinterpreted their remit beyond “narrowly-defined economic and financial terms.

On the global economy, however, he said leaders had “fallen short” in efforts to address increasing economic risk and uncertainty.

His colleague Thomas Bernes, a CIGI distinguished fellow, agreed that the economic results of the summit were “lacking in ambition and disappointing”.

Leaders committed to measures that would encourage more inclusive growth, increased investment as a driver of growth and decisive implementation of policies to ensure this.

But Bernes noted that, when leaders reaffirmed their commitments made during last year’s summit in Brisbane to grow the economy by 2% by 2018, they failed to take into account the fact that the economy has since been downgraded by 2%.

This means a total of 4% additional growth is needed to meet the Brisbane targets but this was not acknowledged by leaders and no additional measures were proposed, marking a “failure in policy and accountability”, Bernes said.

On the issue of climate, world leaders committed to an expectation that something legally binding should come out of the COP21 climate discussions that commence in Paris on 30 November.

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