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Commonwealth, la Francophonie and Mexico to convene G20 outreach meeting in Washington DC

16 April 2012

The Commonwealth, the International Organisation of La Francophonie and Mexico, the 2012 chair of the G20, will convene an outreach event in Washington DC this week to bring the concerns of the smallest, poorest and most vulnerable countries to the G20 agenda.

The meeting, on the margins of the World Bank and IMF spring meetings, will take place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, on 19 April 2012.

It will bring together developing countries of the Commonwealth for discussion of key development pillars of the G20 -- particularly food security and promoting green growth.

The G20 comprises the world’s twenty most developed economies.

Commonwealth advocacy for consideration of the development concerns of the smallest, poorest and most vulnerable economies in G20 discussions has been growing. 

The forthcoming meeting in Washington follows on from a successful similar meeting held last year with the G20 Development Group in Cape Town, South Africa.

“The advent of G20 in the past decade as a platform for addressing global economic issues has presented opportunities for the Commonwealth’s large number of developing countries and small states to share with the G20 their development experiences, best practices, research and analysis of the challenges of its poorest members - and bring these issues to the attention of the G20,” said Dr Cyrus Rustomjee, the Director of Economic Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Dr Rustomjee said that the Washington DC outreach meeting will share the experiences, challenges and responses of Commonwealth developing countries in addressing food insecurity and in promoting green growth, with the G20 Development Working Group; and highlight some issues of priority concerns for these developing countries.

“With five key members in the G20, but also 49 non-G20 members - about a third of the non-G20 world, and representing 32 of the world’s small states, the Commonwealth is an important repository of global knowledge on the experiences, challenges vulnerability and lack of resilience in developing countries and  small states” Dr Rustomjee added.

The strengthening Commonwealth-G20 relationship has simultaneously been complemented by close and growing cooperation on G20 related issues between the Commonwealth and the International Organisation of La Francophonie. There have been regular formal and informal meetings of the two organisations to plan joint activities’, consider new opportunities and reflect on how better to deliver for their two memberships.


Over many years, the Commonwealth has sought to influence global economic, financial, social and environmental developments and policy. In the past three decades there have been decisive collective Commonwealth actions to identify and raise global focus and interest on issues such as climate change, multilateral debt, small states’ unique disadvantages, the vulnerability and resilience and growth challenges of small states, aid and aid effectiveness and poverty reduction among others.