World leaders are currently meeting in China as the G20 Summit gets underway in the idyllic Chinese city of Hangzhou. The G20 summit won’t solve all the problems of the world and there have been a number of diplomatic rows, snubs, and protocol jostlingthat threaten talks in the summit. Despite the differences in ideologies between member nations and the conflict of interest on trade and world peace, G20 leaders seem to agree that the world has not done enough to end income inequality.
There are too many people in South America, Asia, and Africa living a little above or right below the poverty line. More so, the gap between the “haves” in the developed world and the “have nots” in the developing world seems to grow wider with each passing day. However, world leaders meeting in China seem to agree that the world will be better place if the global economy is designed to put an end to income inequality.
Here’s what G20 stakeholders think about income inequality
World leaders understand that the widening gap between the rich and the poor is not good for world peace and stability. Hence, global leaders have been unanimous in their conviction that income inequality and poverty is a global problem that must be tackled heads on.
U.S. President, Barrack Obama while expressing his support for an end to the plague of income inequality says, “We have to do more to grow wages faster, to shrink inequality faster, to give everybody a shot at opportunity and security in a changing economy.” He also noted that G20 member nations should “make sure that the benefits of trends like globalization and technological progress are shared broadly by more workers” in the broader human family.
Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May says world leaders must put an end to populism and protectionism. In her words, G20 member nations must go out of their ways to “boost free trade and build a fairer economy that truly works for all.”
More so, Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF supports the fight to end income inequality. In her words, “Countries should deploy proven tools to reduce excessive inequality and raise economic prospects, particularly for low income groups and workers.”
Words without actions won’t end war on income inequality
Africa is not adequately represented in the G20 Summit – unless you think that South Africa represents the diversity of Africa. Hence, it is easy to world leaders to talk about ending poverty in Africa with a detached third-person view that doesn’t have a full grasp of the depth of the problems. An analyst at Stern Options observes that “issues of global income inequality are quite evident in imbalances in global trade; mere rhetoric won’t bring the poorest nations on par with the richest nations”.
Interestingly, China’s President, Xi Jinping agrees that world leaders represented in the G20 summit should not get busy with empty talk and zero action. President Xi noted that the global economy is at a “crucial juncture” and “Against risks and challenges facing the world economy, the international community has high expectations of the G20 in the Hangzhou summit.”