Press Statement from Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, at the end of Group of 20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia

September 6, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, September 6, 2013 – The following statement was issued by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at the end of the Group of 20 Summit.

“At the Group of 20 Summit, world leaders discussed at length the situation in Syria, including the pressing political challenges as well as the humanitarian crisis created by the exodus of 2 million Syrians to neighboring countries, with so many deaths and lives destroyed.

“The leaders were united in their shared outrage at the immense tragedy in the recent deaths of more than 1,400 men, women, and children. As a medical doctor, I was horrified to see the images of the killings.

“G20 gatherings often rightly focus on the immediate challenges and crises. These occasions, however, also provide the leaders with opportunities to set in motion plans to address longer-term problems. In the Middle East, for instance, an important cause of the current crises across the region is the legacy of economic growth that benefited a small minority. Even as we respond to humanitarian crises embroiling the region, we need to lay the groundwork for more widely shared prosperity and development in the future. 

“The same is true for other regions in the world. We need to support governments to develop economic plans that place much stronger emphasis on inclusive development, particularly on creating jobs for women and young people. Around the world, in a number of middle income countries, the emerging middle class has taken to the streets. They are not just calling for economic growth – growth isn’t enough anymore. What people want now is higher-quality public service delivery, including better education, more efficient health care, and infrastructure that actually works.

“The G20 has pledged to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and creating more and higher-quality jobs. This April, the World Bank Group adopted the ambitious goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity by increasing income growth among the bottom 40 percent in every developing country.

“These two sets of goals are linked: we can’t end poverty and boost shared prosperity tomorrow without accelerating growth and the creation of quality jobs today.”


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