The G20s strong response to the Syrian refugees and the globalizing DAESH terror was a critical signal that it wants to remain as a relevant international forum. The strong message for anti-terror struggle and support for solution of the humanitarian crisis of the refugees underlines this decisive will. The G20 members in Antalya made progress in terms of the future role of this global forum. They bridged the gap between economy and politics, which will empower G20 with a new agency for addressing international problems.
The G20 lacks institutional framework for active agency or implementation of the agendas. However, it has a leading role with capacities of the members to act independently and ability to influence international organizations, i.e. IMF, UN, et cetera, to pursue its agenda. A unified position in the G20 meeting in Turkey raised hope to generate a forum agenda to overrule individual positions. It would also bear a stronger impact on the implementation agencies.
It is for sure that the G20's message would be taken into serious consideration and would guide policies for inclusive and sustainable growth, addressing issues of economic and social justice, and climate change, among others. The G20's strong emphasis on the fight against terror would make sense if these agendas correspond to the implementation of the policies, among others, for creating a greater security with a widest possible reach on the globe. In other words, to put words into action - considering this new emphasis on security - would require to fill the dots between the agendas of growth, development and justice on the one hand and security on the other.
Turkey's experience in mediation, development/humanitarian aid and security provision would constitute a landmark example for implementing the G20 agenda of inclusive growth and anti-terrorist measures. The Turkish version of humanitarian diplomacy tackles the issues of security and instability through state and NGO capabilities for infrastructure building, provision of basic services like health and education, working for employment creation and poverty reduction in parallel to the attempts to bring conflicting parties together.
The scholarly pieces underline the unique model of peace-building which combines high-level state engagement with grassroots level of NGO involvement. The main peculiarity of this multi-level intervention is to have a positive impact on the normalization of life and creating a perspective for ordinary people that there is a way out of the security dilemma.
The landmark example of Turkey's practice of security provision is the Somalia engagement, which gained momentum since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Moghadishu in 2011. Mr. Erdoğan then, was the first prime minister to visit Somalia with a high number of delegations consisting of officials, businessmen, NGO representatives and even celebrities. The idea was to draw raise nationwide attention and sensitivity on the situation, in particular on famine in Somalia. Mr. Erdoğan's perspective is a constructive one since it is capacity-generating and future oriented, and a breakthrough for Somalia considering the security situation. The diplomatic engagement for the resolution of disputes, engagement of state institutions for infrastructure and NGO activity to normalize daily lives decreases room for insecurity and minimizes the opportunities for terrorist activities.
Another exemplary situation is the Syrian refugees in Turkey. Their numbers are around 2.2 million and they are in Turkey as guests. A far less number of Syrians seeking refuge in EU countries almost paralyzed some administrations, and put the EU in a desperate situation. On the positive side, Turkey is taking good care of Syrian refugees, having a moderating impact on them, working to provide a future perspective for them. Turkey's NGOs take active roles in addressing the needs of Syrian guests. There is recognition in the EU and beyond, as observed during the G20 in Antalya, that international cooperation and coordination with Turkey is necessary for preventing the securitization of the Syrian refugee issue.
The Antalya summit was a strong signal that the G20 wants to remain as a relevant global political forum with promotion of an active agenda for economic growth and international security. This is now time to put a follow-up agenda into action. There is much need to think outside of box and bring fore new ideas and perspectives. The issue of implementing a post-Antalya G20 agenda also requires innovation and novelty, for which - what I suggest - the Turkish model may give some ideas.
The first step should be linking development and security in dialogue to enhance each other. Turkey's development/humanitarian approach provides an alternative vision for bridging the gaps in this realm. The G20's commitment and further pledge to help end the suffering and humanitarian crisis in Syria and beyond, and promise for inclusive growth and social justice increases hope for future global governance. The G20 deliveries would to a large extent depend on incorporation of different experiences and to initiate follow-up mechanisms for implementation. Although the result is yet to be seen, once the G20 appropriates such an agenda, there would be a fair reason to be optimistic after the Antalya summit.
* President of the Prime Ministry's Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency