Let’s catch you up on what happened on Day 1 of the 2020 C20 Summit.
The C20 Summit was inaugurated by a welcoming message by the C20 Chair Nouf Mohammed.
Day one of the C20 Summit brought together a diverse and empowering group of women committed to the idea of reconceptualizing what it means to be an empowered woman. The significance of intersectionality was emphasized by speakers in that building policy aimed at empowering women can only be done by way of critically understanding the nuances of every woman’s context, journey, and reality. Justice for women will always mean many different things and as such cannot be addressed by blanket policies.
Today’s sessions also brought together speakers that emphasized the significance of bridging the digital divide and what this truly means in the midst of a crisis that has taught us the hard way. For many, this has not been about technology as much as it has been about the people who educate and how education systems have failed to prepare our teachers. Participants stressed that resolutions to crisis must include a fundamental change in global financing provisions for education, and that resilience in the face of crisis can never be realized without global leaders’ commitment to equity and efficiency in education financing.
The C20 Summit convened speakers from civil society, academia, and multilateral development banks to identify the core problems underpinning lack of universal access to water. Water insecurity has become evident as a pressing concern in a post- COVID 19 world, where inequalities of water access have become glaringly apparent. The speakers converged around the need to view water management from an integrated multi-sectoral perspective, the importance of assuring water security for WASH activities, enshrining the right to water for people and the planet in legislation and acknowledging the sociocultural dimension of the importance of water. The common theme that emerged was to recognize water as a social and political issue and the need to pose an integrated political solution that recognizes the need for urgent collective action.
The C20 was pleased to provide a platform for working children to express their views on their circumstances. They provided a personal account of their experiences and included their views of how their lives could be improved to provide them with a better future. The panel discussed the choices families living in poverty must make that lead children into working at a young age while attempting to balance this with meeting the needs of their education. Many children must work to fund their education and so they expressed their desire to have jobs to ensure their development. Covid-19 has impacted families by forcing children to do jobs in the place of their parents, since they receive lower wages for the same roles. This forces children to become the breadwinners for their families and pushes responsibilities on them that are reserved for adults in more developed societies.
The C20 Summit convened global leaders who are advancing the collective and critical fight for a peoples’ vaccine. The global pandemic has demonstrated that we’re all exposed, our economies are at risk, our health and dignity on the line. The only way to combat this pandemic is through a multilateral effort and a global commitment to a peoples’ vaccine. The esteemed panelists called for countries to take their responsibilities at a multilateral level more seriously. However, distressingly we have seen the return to a siloed approach to development and availability of a vaccine, where we are experiencing a ‘wild west’ race to first discovery and therefore control of market. This will not serve the world in the fight of the pandemic. This is resulting in clinical trial chaos, where we could achieve with multilateral efforts a coordinated trial. To achieve a peoples’ vaccine we need IP and technology transfer and not to have it monopolized by pharma companies. Panelists emphasized that breaking the strong hold of IP in the form of patents is a start but it won’t be enough. We also need access to knowledge, data and materials. Proactive technology transfer needs to happen. For this to occur, political will and support is required. We were reminded that preventing people from accessing vaccines is not a new problem. We need to put at the center what matters most, the people we serve. We require citizen agency. The C20 and civil society have a very important role to play in holding governments to account for a peoples’ vaccine. We need to mobilize; we need to make demands and emphasize the need for global solidarity.
Additionally, the C20 issues its political declaration to G20 Leaders today, asking for:
- Just Response for Inclusive Recovery
- Restore trust in multilateralism
- Immediate action to address the ecological & climate crisis
Watch our demands first hand from C20 members here.
Tune in tomorrow for more calls to action by civil society leaders!
You can watch all of today’s C20 Summit sessions, look at resources and slides, along with visiting our e-gallery, by simply registering for free to the C20 Virtual Summit Platform. Click here to register.