Argentina – host of the 2018 G20 global forum – is to face a general strike as the G20 Interfaith Forum is set to begin. The 5th annual G20 Interfaith Forum (a side event in advance of the official G20 meetings) comes at a critical time for the Argentinian economy as unions in the country announced a general strike for 24-25 September in opposition to expected sweeping austerity measures being developed by the government and the International Monetary Fund.
Protesters took to the streets in Buenos Aires this week, warning of extreme hardship for families already hit by spiralling inflation, prior to the return of an IMF mission to negotiate a possible rescheduling of disbursements from the Fund’s $50 billion loan.
Does faith have a role in addressing the crisis?
G20 Interfaith Forum — Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future
The G20 Interfaith Forum will identify and showcase the policy and societal contributions of faith traditions and philosophies on leading global issues. It will create opportunities for communication and relationship building, and raises the profile of participating communities, groups, and organizations.
Particular attention is paid to ways that religious communities can contribute to the host country’s priorities. Thus, the agenda of this year’s Forum reflects topics that the Argentine government has identified for this year’s G20 Summit and broader objectives of the continuing G20 Summit process. The long-term objective is to enhance the capacity of different groups to work together to strengthen human development, understood in the broadest sense. Dialogue and networking facilitated by the Forum aim to raise the level and effectiveness of religious input on major global policy issues with recommendations and action geared to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a key outcome.
Previous Interfaith Forums have been held in Gold Coast, Australia (2014); Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Beijing, China (2016); and Potsdam, Germany (2017). The 2018 Interfaith Forum will be held in connection with the thirteenth G20 Summit, which takes place in Buenos Aires 30 November – 1 December 2018. (Summary videos and programs of previous events can be viewed here.)
The 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum will take place 26-28 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Meetings will be held in the Auditorio Manuel Belgrano in the historic Palacio San Martín of Argentina’s Cancillería, the Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs, and in the nearby Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center. This is the fifth annual event in a series of G20 Interfaith Forums held in relation to the meetings of the international “Group of Twenty” (G20) Economic Summit. The G20 Interfaith Forum is pleased this year to partner with meetings of the Argentinian project Ética y Economía, an ongoing dialogue on religiously– and ethically–informed dimensions of the economy, development, and society.
What is the G20?
A leading global forum
The Group of Twenty (G20) is a leading forum of the world’s major economies that seeks to develop global policies to address today’s most pressing challenges. The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The G20 was born out of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999 who saw a need for a more inclusive body with broader representation to have a stronger impact on addressing the world’s financial challenges. The G7 invited leading markets – both developed and emerging – to form a new ministerial-level forum: the G20. In 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, the world saw a need for new consensus-building at the highest political level. Since then, the G20 summits have been attended by heads of State or Government, and the G20 was instrumental in stabilizing the world economy. Since then, its agenda has expanded to include additional issues affecting financial markets, trade and development.
Collectively, G20 members represent all inhabited continents, 85% of global economic output, two-thirds of the world’s population and 75% of international trade. G20 policy-making is enriched by the participation of key international organizations regularly invited to G20 meetings, guest countries invited at the president’s discretion and engagement groups composed of different sectors and the civil society.