As part of the greater G20 effort to reach out to different sectors in civil society, the Think 20 (T20) launched yesterday with representatives from 149 think tanks from 45 countries gathering in Buenos Aires to discuss global issues.
The two Argentine organizations in charge of the T20 are the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI) and the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). The meetings are set to continue into today, with Argentine Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña addressing the group.
During opening remarks, CARI President Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini stated that the inauguration of the T20 meeting was a “first step in the solid rock of the Argentine tradition of producing knowledge and theories from the South” and that these meeting are “a remarkable opportunity” to recreate that tradition.
CIPPEC President Jorge Mendelbaum added that one objective of the T20 meetings is to “show our foreign friends the actual Argentina and its enormous potential going forward.” Mendelbaum also expressed a desire to unify a network of think-tanks which by meeting periodically, can establish a common agenda.
Argentine Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne recognized yesterday the importance of the T20, stating that “think-tanks and academia provide a significant contribution to the G20.” Dujovne also noted that the G20’s role to “promote coordination of international public policies” and to “address major global challenges” is more important than ever, and that the G20 strives to promote inclusive growth.
Today’s activities include sessions titled “The challenges of social cohesion in uncertain political scenarios and their implications for global governance”, “Climate action and infrastructure for development”, and “What can the G20 achieve during 2018? Challenges and expectations” – which certainly will be light and breezy topics of conversation.
It’s good to note the T20’s realistic expectations, specially when thinking about this last topic, as these people are in the heads of their fields and know truly how to measure a year. The lead-up to December’s WTO meetings in Argentina included pep and enthusiasm for an event that ultimately ended in a whimper, so it will be great to see what comes out of these discussions about the remaining months before the summit.