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Communiqué of Civil Society 20 China 2016

Qingdao, China, July 6, 2016

1. We, representatives from 54 countries and regions attending the Civil Society 20 (C20) China 2016, gathered in Qingdao, China on 5 and 6 July 2016 for candid and in-depth discussions on the theme of "Poverty Eradication, Green Development, and Innovation: Role of Civil Society". We share the view that, the world economy currently remains sluggish and growth lackluster´╝ŤMajor economies lack sufficient coordination in policies and develop on different tracks; in some countries, inequality and imbalance in all their forms are increasingly prominent as unemployment rates remain high. Poverty eradication, green development and innovation are essential to the achievement of a strong, inclusive and balanced growth of the world economy and that of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There is no development to talk about without the eradication of poverty. There is no guarantee for sustainability without green development. Yet, both poverty eradication and green development need innovation as the driving force. We urge the G20 Summit and governments of all countries to take speedy and concrete actions in the above-mentioned fields, including the formulation of national "action plans" to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. International cooperation shall be carried out in an active manner with the supportive role of multilateral financial institutions brought into fuller play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Civil society organizations shall, in this process, make their contribution by offering advice and suggestions. We set great store by the long-term trend of the Chinese economy, in anticipation of its success development and its leading role in injecting new momentum and propelling a stable recovery and sustainable development of the world economy through the implementation of the "Belt and Road" Initiative.

2. We commend the positive contribution of the previous three C20 meetings in the above-mentioned fields. By focusing on green development and presenting a series of valuable insights on poverty alleviation and innovation, the previous three C20 meetings thus serve as the basis for deliberations at C20 China 2016.

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Poverty Eradication and Shared Development

3. To end poverty, the impoverished population must be empowered to expand their knowledge, learn new skills, build up physical strength, be informed of their rights and interests and be guaranteed of such rights and interests. We need to further eliminate gender discrimination and improve both the quantity and quality of jobs available to the whole society. We call upon all governments to approach poverty eradication from broader perspectives of safeguarding world peace and social stability and improving the well-being of each and every individual, share experiences of poverty reduction, intensify international development cooperation and extend stronger support for developing countries in poverty eradication.

4. Criteria for poverty reduction shall be further refined and a multi-pronged assessment system shall be established. Besides economic indicators, social indicators shall also be incorporated. In addition to meeting the minimal needs of the low-income population for food and clothing, the most basic security shall be provided in their education, healthcare and housing.

5. The advocacy of equality and sharing shall be promoted through the creation of a generally enabling social and policy environment for poverty reduction. Basic means of production and livelihood shall not be concentrated in the hands of a few. To mobilize adequate resources, governments shall create a level playing field through taxation and investment, launch anti-corruption campaign and narrow the income gap by expanding such public services as education and healthcare. There is a need to establish fair tax systems and intensify international cooperation in cracking down illicit capital outflows and tax havens and regulating and stopping the spread of tax evasion and avoidance. Developed countries shall, by means of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), reinforce the developing countries' efforts in seeking growth.

6. A development-oriented approach shall be advocated in poverty alleviation. Various causes of poverty shall be addressed by stepping up supporting infrastructure construction, increasing input, reforming tax systems, improving public services and providing basic social security. Special emphasis shall be laid on tackling the lack of capacity to shake off poverty on the side of the impoverished and make them more incentivized and capable. There shall be precision poverty alleviation initiatives for the implementation of programs tailored to the specific circumstances of underdeveloped localities including the development of specialty industries.

7. Efforts shall be made to put in place a multi-actor system built and shared across the entire society to encourage participatory poverty alleviation. In this regard, governments shall create favorable policy environment to support and encourage the private sector and the civil society to play a greater role in poverty alleviation. The civil society shall strengthen cooperation and make joint efforts to eradicate poverty.

8. Given that the impoverished population in developing and the least developed countries disproportionately concentrate in rural areas, efforts shall be made to improve agricultural productivity and food security. Concrete steps shall be taken to develop a more inclusive approach to protect agricultural interests, smallholder farmers in particular, support agricultural innovation, promote investment accountability in agriculture, improve social services in the agricultural sector, and encourage integrated development of agriculture and other industries. Access to financial services, loans and credits shall be expanded for smallholder farmers and women. Investment in rural infrastructure shall be scaled up. Stronger measures shall be taken to stabilize global food prices. Urban poverty shall be brought into focus. Measures shall be taken to balance urban and rural development, promote a new-type of urbanization system, enhance rational and effective allocation of public service resources and help migrant workers integrate into their host society and enjoy equal social services as city residents.

9. Efforts shall be made to provide equal access to education, achieve inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. More education resources shall be allocated to less developed regions to eliminate illiteracy and enroll a greater proportion of students from low-income families in higher education, particularly women and girls. Vocational education with more useful majors of distinctive features shall be set up to equip the impoverished, particularly refugees, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, with professional skills. Life-long learning education programmes shall be developed for the elderly and so shall programmes relevant with the aging population and the "silver economy".

10. High attention shall be placed on child development and rights. We call for all governments to reinforce assistance for families and children living in poverty, increase investment in early childhood development and primary education, protect each and every child from all forms of violence and abuse, oppose child marriage and encourage children to participate in related public affairs and policy-making.

11. Medical security system shall be improved. Insurance schemes against critical illnesses shall be instituted and improved to ensure that nobody falls into poverty because of illness. Closer international communicable disease-response cooperation programs shall be developed for the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS infection and other common diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The overall quality and accessibility of public healthcare shall be upgraded. The global system of development and pricing of medicine shall be improved to make appropriate and affordable drugs available to each and every individual.

12. Greater efforts shall be made to promote gender equality, facilitate employment and entrepreneurship for women, conscientiously eliminate gender discrimination and ensure equal pay for equal work between men and women. Women's federations, specialized organizations and women's grass-roots organizations shall be developed and more opportunities shall be made available for women to engage in government policy-making process and the supervision thereof.

13. Intergovernmental agreements on economic cooperation projects need to take into account the immediate interests of the local people with tangible improvement of their living standards in mind. Cooperation projects shall prioritize medical and health care, labour and employment as well as education and training.

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Unity of Knowing and Doing in Green Development

14. Today, there is an increasingly serious conflict between the pace of development and constraints in population, resources and environment. We need to bring about changes in real terms, both conceptually and practically. The philosophy of ecological civilization shall be fostered. Following the principle of "respecting, adapting to and protecting the nature" and taking into account both development and protection, there shall come about an ecological pattern that calls for green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable development in which man coexists harmoniously and shares destiny with the nature, one another and the society.

15. We call on governments of countries across the world, in particular G20 members, to take effective actions in response to climate change and strive for earliest possible ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement. As is stipulated in the Paris Agreement, each government shall formulate and communicate at the earliest possible date its national long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategies, regularly renew its ambition for nationally determined contribution (NDC) and strive for the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial level and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

16. The efforts to address climate change shall follow a fair and reasonable path of win-win cooperation and common development and conform to the principle of "equity" "common but differentiated responsibilities", and "respective capabilities". Developed countries shall shoulder greater responsibility and make bigger contribution by providing the developing countries with strong support in finance, technology and capacity building. Developed countries shall meet the commitment to mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries and providing additional sources for climate finance, ensuring that at least 50% of the Green Climate Fund is devoted to enhancing the adaptive capacity of the groups particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

17. Efforts shall be intensified to protect ecological environment with environment quality improvement at the core and tackling environmental threat to public health as the priority. Measures highlighting prevention and drawing on comprehensive management shall be taken to strengthen the prevention and control , as appropriate, of air, water and soil pollution, implement the strictest environmental protection system, and set up an environment management system to engage governments, business enterprises and the civil society.

18. Overall energy consumption shall be managed by gradually phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and increasing the share of the renewables in the energy mix and higher global energy efficiency. Energy conservation technologies and products shall be developed and popularized. A clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient modern energy system shall take shape to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable clean energy for all.

19. Efforts shall be made to develop energy conservation and environment-protecting industries, hasten their development in clusters, and build a system of circular industries. Green and low-carbon cities, green designs, green supply chain, green infrastructure, green consumption, green families and green traveling shall be promoted and green education shall be included in school curriculums. The civil society shall be encouraged to take actions in long-term low-carbon, climate-adaptive and sustainable social transformation and to engage further in exchanges and cooperation with governments, financial institutions and enterprises in a joint effort to promote social change in this regard.

20. We support the G20 in its actions and initiatives for green finance and call for the upgrading of G20 Green Finance Study Group into a Working Group. Green finance shall be integrated into national development strategies. Active efforts shall be made to deliver green financial products and services, channel public fund and social capital into green projects, promote green PPP projects and increase investment in nature. Green taxation shall be taken into consideration and "green" bonds issued. We support development of third-party verification and international standards for issuing green bonds, building up the carbon market and enhancing international cooperation in this regard. In carrying out domestic and international economic projects, impacts on the environmental and social dimensions shall be taken into account and be assessed. Laws and regulations shall be formulated to enforce financial institutions and enterprises to disclose information on environmental and social impacts and protect the public's rights to know and supervise.

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Championing the Future through Innovation

21. Innovation has always been the driving force behind human progress. Under the current circumstances of sluggish recovery in the global economy, invigorating vitality for innovation across the society appears to be particularly crucial. Inclusive innovation shall be advocated, creating a cultural and social atmosphere which boosts exploration, encourages innovation and allows failures and removing all timidity and institutional barriers that constrain innovation, so as to effectuate innovation by the people and for the people. Vulnerable groups shall participate in and benefit from innovation. A comprehensive approach shall be taken to integrate innovation in mindset, ideas, business, technology, society and institutions.

22. Innovation shall be conducive to sustainable development. More input shall be directed to innovation while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of labor, information, knowledge, technology, environmental sustainability, management and capital. An integrated approach shall be adopted with regard to the development of industry, education and research, helping to drive cost-effective solutions.

23. People with talents shall be regarded as the primary factor for innovation. Intensified efforts shall be devoted to attracting and training and optimally utilizing talents. Mobility of talents shall be encouraged. New programs shall be developed to train innovative talents.

24. Innovation in science and technology shall honor the scientific spirit, ethics and moral standards. On the basis of fully understanding the features of scientific and technological programmes, favorable conditions and tolerant environment shall be created to facilitate research, invention and technological breakthrough by scientists.

25. More emphasis shall be laid on enterprises as an important player in innovation and non-governmental scientific and technological institutions and organizations as a player and intermediary in conducting and promoting scientific research. Governments shall, by means of fiscal subsidy, taxation and indirect investment, extend support to enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized ones (SMEs) in carrying out scientific research and development.

26. Intellectual property rights shall be protected with improved legislation and strict law enforcement. Meanwhile, more enterprises and individuals shall be encouraged to rationally use their patents and copyrights for widespread sharing of information and data.

27. Support shall be directed towards enterprises, individuals and other organizations in their efforts to create new Internet-based industries and business models. We support the construction of the Internet infrastructure for the migration to the next generation Internet (IPv6) and the green and sustainable development of cyberspace. We encourage the broader advocacy of "mass entrepreneurship and pool of wisdom" as well as the new business model of "maker". The SME innovation service system shall be improved by offering greater support for their cross-border economic activities.

28. Financial innovation shall serve the real economy by expanding venture capital availability and capital market, providing flexible and easily accessible credit, broadening indirect financing for technological innovation and directing investment into innovation projects. Efforts shall be made to tackle the challenge by containing the rapid increase in potentially destabilizing financial products and speculative financial flows. New financial products shall be subject to approval in a mandatory procedure and risky financial products shall be strictly regulated and managed.

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Government and the Civil Society Joining Hands for Common Progress

29. In addressing poverty eradication, green development and innovation, governments bear important responsibilities, while the civil society has a role to play as forerunner, communicator, supervisor and facilitator. In this regard, the two stakeholders shall make concerted efforts to forge ahead in tandem. We call on the G20 Summit, through policy, fiscal input and institutional deliverables, to place greater emphasis on and bring into fuller play the role of the civil society in promoting the development of world economy, global economic governance and garnering stronger popular support for international relations.

30. We hope that, as the current C20 concludes, more civil society organizations are encouraged to focus their attention on major global development issues supposedly in the realm of government responsibilities and state agendas. Furthermore, when mutual understanding increases as a result of interactions, a comparatively well-linked network could be formed and a common action plan might take shape. Meanwhile, our relevance to the G20 needs to be further improved. As an engagement group of the G20 Summit, We expect equal and sufficient attention from each and every G20 Presidency in the years to come. To ensure continuity and implementation of our initiatives, we intend to follow the G20 format of "troika" for closer communication and coordination among the host parties of the immediate past, present and future C20's in pursuit of a stable functioning mechanism of cooperation.

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Source: Official website of the 2016 G20 presidency


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