For a long time, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries struggled with serious socio-economic challenges and dysfunctional economic systems and policies. In the 2010s their macroeconomic performance further deteriorated due to the global and European financial crises, decline of commodity prices, and the failure of the Arab Spring, which triggered a new wave of intra-regional conflicts and added to the already high geopolitical and security risks. Finally, the badly needed economic and governance reforms progress at slow pace.
The chapter presents new tendencies in Africa South of the Sahara in the first 15 years of the 21st century. Among these tendencies are the fall of many authocaratic regimes, attempts at economic reform and a new willingness to rid African societies of corruption. The chapter also speaks of the problems which hapmper the develoment of African countries today.
The paper explores the outcomes of Russian Federation G20 Presidency in 2013. The analysis is based on the model of balancing external conditions and national priorities for developing an agenda in informal institutions (supply-demand model). This analytical paradigm allows to reveal to what extent the Presidency has managed to ensure: 1) a high level of response to the key global governance challenges in the agenda and summit decisions; 2) a balance between national and other members’ interests in the Presidency priorities; 3) utilizing the institution’s capabilities; 4) conformity of the role chosen by the Presidency (organizer, mediator, political leader, national representative) to the combination of external and internal conditions.
Russia took over the responsibility for coordinating the G20 work from Mexico, accepting the rotating presidency of this premier forum for economic cooperation on December 1, 2012. The G20 met the fifth year of its work under conditions of a two speed recovery which by March 2013 transformed into a three speed recovery. Unsteady and sluggish growth, persisting imbalances and downside global economy risks demanded that this forum of the world largest economies concentrate the efforts on developing a set of measures aimed at boosting sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and jobs creation around the world. These priorities constituted the core of the Russian G20 presidency concept, aimed at ensuring sustainable global growth and rebuilding of trust between the world economy different agents in accordance with the G20 mission and capability.
Consolidating efforts on its core economic and financial priorities, the G20 also launched collaboration to overcome such risks as increasing income disparities, chronic underinvestment into development of safe, secure and modern infrastructure, unforeseen consequences of regulation.
The analysis findings reveal that the Russian presidency managed to ensure a good balance of national interests and the partners’ prioritiesin the G20 agenda; utilizing the G20 capabilities to respond to the key global governance challenges. The choice of the presidency role depended on the nature of the issues and was defined by a combination of internal and external conditions. Thus, the acuteness of the problem for all summit participants determined demand for leadership in including into the economic forum agenda the debate on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria. On employment and social policies the Russian presidency combining the roles of an organizer and a political leader helped upgrade the G20 dialogue to a new quality level.
A major success factor in deliberation and adoption of the comprehensive action plan on base erosion and profit shifting was the OECD capability to take responsibility for the plan development. With the OECD leadership, solid experts’ foundation, and a high level of relevance of the problem for all members, the presidency supported the process as the organizer.
On the topic of stimulating long-term investment, a priority for Russia as well as most of the G20 partners, the presidency managed to consolidate the efforts of several international institutions over a short period. On this priority, as well as on the financial regulation reform, the presidency acted as a representative of the national interests and an organizer. In developing the new development strategy the choice in favor of a combination of a mediator and an organizer proved most productive. As a result the G20 agreed a new cooperation for development outlook.
The presidency active collaboration with the international organizations and engagement with social partners was instrumental in harnessing their experts’ potential and enhancing the G20 transparency, legitimacy and effectiveness. The G20 institutions consolidation continued through development of new coordination mechanisms and strengthening accountability.
Under the Russian presidency the G20 reaffirmed its value as the premier economic cooperation forum. Emphasizing restoring strong and inclusive growth and employment while ensuring fiscal sustainability, the leaders for the first time in the history of the G20 stressed that the well-being of individual people should be at the center of the growth agenda. This consequential outcome of the five years collaboration might be a start of a new G20 agenda where inclusiveness is one of the pillars of growth.