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Technical Workshop on CSOs Engaging G20 held in Beijing during 11-12, January 2016

China will take over G20 presidency and chair the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou. The G20 countries represent around 90 per cent of global gross national product, 80 per cent of world trade (including intra-EU trade) as well as two thirds of the world population. However, the G20 is also home to more than half of the world’s poor people and inequality is increasing in many G20 countries. In 2013, Russia institutionalized the Civil 20 (C20) process to conduct policy dialogue between the political leaders of G20 countries and representatives of CSOs working on the issues related to the agenda of G20 Summit. The C20 process continued in Australia in 2014 and also Turkey in 2015 where 16 NGO delegates from China took part and proactively in the policy recommendation discussion.
To promote Chinese CSOs engagement with global platforms such as G20,  China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) and Oxfam have launched a project: “Strengthening the Advocacy Capacity of Chinese CSO Network on Global Advocacy Platforms”. As part of the project, the Technical Workshop on CSOs Engaging G20 was held in Beijing during January 11-12, 2016. This workshop was aimed to raise Chinese CSOs awareness and understanding about G20,  build and increase their capacity of engaging G20. Local and international experts from cutting edge intuitions including WWF, Social Resource Institute, Global Environmental Institute, Greennovation Hub, Oxfam and Save the Children, etc. participated in this workshop, sharing and exchanging experiences in engaging G20, and discussing Chinese CSOs engagement opportunities in the G20 to be held this year.
Following the opening address by Haoming Huang, Vice Chairman & Executive Director of CANGO, the event kicked off with two keynote speeches on global advocacy platforms and G20 background. One was given by Steve Price-Thomas, Oxfam Deputy Advocacy and Campaigns Director and another was by John Ruthrauff, Director of International Advocacy. Next were three presentations by experts from Russia, Australia and Turkey, three countries that used to be the host countries of C20 summits during 2013-2015. Besides all the experience from the international perspective, the workshop also invited national and local experts who focused on China G20 and T20 to give presentations about 2016 G20 priorities (innovation, invigoration, interconnectivity and inclusive growth) and Chinses CSOs G20 engagement network. And the highlight of first day agenda was the panel discussion hosted by Dr. Fuqiang Yang, Senior Advisor of Natural Resources Defense Council. The topic was how Chinese CSOs can engage 2016 G20 effectively. Panelists from Kangzhong Health Education Service Center, Economic Justice Network, Oxfam in Turkey and GCAP Russia were all of rich experience in respective field of work including gender, economy and civil society development.
The next day was about specific working group’s work plan to engage 2016 G20. At the workshop there were totally six working groups which have been initiated by leading international/national organizations prior to the workshop. These groups were food security working group (led by SRI), gender working group (Co-led by Kongzhong, Tongyu and Hongyan), inclusive growth working group (led by Save the Children China), climate change and energy working group (led by WWF), green finance working group (Co-led by G: HUB and IISD) and sustainable trade and investment working group (including infrastructure) (Co-led by GEI and Heinrich Boell Foundation China). Among all these six working groups, inclusive growth working group and gender working group each held a side-event allowing more detailed questions or concerns to be discussed with all participants.
After participating in this two-day workshop, many participants said that this workshop really helped them thinking through how to engage 2016 G20. This great goal was mentioned repeatedly during and after the workshop, especially in some concrete outputs of this workshop, including Civil Society Engaging G20 Handbook and a timeline to be applied in following engagement work suggested by all working groups. And CANGO is fully prepared to work together with Chinese CSOs to reach this goal with more upcoming events promoting China’s role in global civil society.