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Civil 20 proposals for the Russian presidency in the G20

The three-day Civil G20 Conference in Moscow, where the G20 members' civil society vision for the Russian G20 presidency was formulated, came to an end on December 13.

The conference, organized by the Russian G8/G20 NGOs Working Group with support of the Russian G20 Sherpa, was attended by 140 representatives of non-government organizations and academic institutions from all around the G20.

The participants focused on civil society's involvement in the global political dialogue and its interaction with state officials based on the priorities of the agenda of the Russian G20 presidency.

The tradition of the presiding country organizing consultations with civil society dates back to 2009. The Global G8/G20 Civil Society Working Group compiles recommendations for the G20 leaders, which are then discussed at the Sherpas' meetings, ministerial conferences and working groups. Six of these conferences have taken place since then, one per each G20 Summit (London, Pittsburg, Toronto, Seoul, Cannes and Los Cabos).

In 2013, Russia is launching a pilot project to expand the dialogue and democratize the process of consultations with civil society. In June 2013, a G20 Civil Summit will be held for the first time in the G20 history.

The dialogue at the conference was organized through several international expert groups: the Working Group on Environmental Sustainability and Energy; the Working Group on Food Security; the Anti-corruption Working Group; the Working Group on Post-2015 MDGs; the Working Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Education; and the Working Group on Labor and Employment. Each working group is co-chaired by a representative of the Russian civil society.

Expert working groups will collect civil society proposals and develop policy documents in their fields using crowd-sourcing techniques and the Civil20 website. An editorial committee will be set up to draft an address to the G20 heads of states and governments. The Civil20 Meeting will consider these policy documents and the address to the leaders.

Representatives of international academic institutions led by Russia's Higher School of Economics has set up a tactical group, the Civil Task Force, which aims to study how social inequality affects economic growth in the G20 countries. The results of the group's work will be set out in a report, Equality for Sustainable and Balanced Growth, which will be presented to the G20 Sherpas in May 2013.

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