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GWL Voices participated in the Think20 Summit (T-20 Summit) in Mysuru, India, between July 31st and August 2nd. The T20 is an official Engagement Group of the G20 and serves as its “idea bank” to discuss policy issues relevant to the G20 among think tanks and high-level experts.  GWL Voices’ Executive Director, María Fernanda Espinosa, represented the organization on two panels, one focused on gender equality and women’s political representation, and the other on the opportunities for Latin America. In addition, GWL Voices’ member and Club de Madrid Secretary General María Elena Agüero participated in a panel discussing the critical need for reforms in multilateralism. Below are some of the insights:

1. Women are vital to achieving and driving development

Women are crucial in achieving progress and envisioning a new social, economic, and political transformation narrative. As a priority for the Indian G20 Presidency, the Think20 Summit held a special session called “Women-Led Development: Scripting New Narratives.” The panel in which GWL Voices’ Executive Director, María Fernanda Espinosa, participated and discussed current gender gaps, the importance of women’s leadership, and how women’s participation in the digital economy could unlock talent while increasing the global GDP by US$5 billion.

However, achieving these goals is a complex task. “We are experiencing a gender and women’s rights backlash, and we have seen this in the international and development scene,” GWL Voices Executive Director, María Fernanda Espinosa, explained. “It is not only about having the numbers right; it is an issue of quality. It is about true power-sharing and equal opportunity. That’s why it’s not easy as it sounds,” Espinosa concluded when addressing political representation issues as a source of achieving equality.

2. Flexible and transnational frameworks for a better multilateral system:

Political, economic, and societal changes are constant and fast-paced. Multilateral development banks are challenged to reflect those realities and adjust accordingly to support development better. However, multilateralism 2.0 requires an urgent reform that includes more flexibility, a transnational approach, and an inclusive multi-stakeholder governance system able to respond to contemporary challenges.  To address these issues, the Think20 Summit held a special session called “Urgent Measures: Reforming Global Institutions and Frameworks.”

On this panel, GWL Voices’ member, María Elena Agüero, shared her thoughts on reforms for multilateral institutions and much-needed innovations to achieve global governance and move away from state-centric multilateral institutions. “The G20 cannot just show but lead the way for consensus building on several issues. However, when it comes to the heart of reformed multilateralism, the reform of the UNSC, there is a lot of ground to be covered,” she said.

3. The opportunities ahead to drive equality and development from Latin America and the Caribbean

The Think20 Summit works on recommendations synthesized into policy briefs and presented to G20 working groups, ministerial meetings, and leaders’ summit to help the G20 deliver concrete policy measures. The next edition will be held in Brazil. For this reason, the final special session was called “Brazil Calling: The Road to Rio.”

This panel discussed the need to build on the priorities identified by Indonesia and India – during the previous and present editions – to ensure continuity and cohesion between emerging economies. At the panel, GWL Voices Executive Director, María Fernanda Espinosa, highlighted the opportunity that hosting the next T20 in Brazil opens for the entire Latin American and Caribbean region. “Narratives and words matter. The Global South is not a monolithic entity.  While the overall narrative has been highlighted, Indonesia, India, and now Brazil have the opportunity to bring out the underlying nuances,” said María Fernanda.

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