Washington: Finance Ministers of the G-20 group of nations have reaffirmed that development agenda will remain at the core of their priorities, and development and global economic issues can no longer be treated in isolation.

In a joint communiqué issued by their finance ministers, including those from the US, China and India, said that G20 will work to promote a strong, balanced and sustainable growth to narrow gaps in levels of prosperity, to foster a shared and inclusive growth, to further reduce poverty, promote gender equality and contribute to job creation.

The First G-20 ministerial was held in Washington on Friday at the invitation of France.

Observing that the global economic crisis affected disproportionately the most vulnerable people, the communiqué said, in the context of global risks, there is a growing need to develop mechanisms to offer better protection and ensure a more inclusive growth path.

The statement said, "In that perspective, we welcome proposals to implement and expand national social protection floors defined by the countries themselves according to their individual circumstances, to reduce the cost of remittances transfer, to promote private investment, job creation and human resource development, to enhance domestic resource mobilization and to enable a growth- enhancing regional and
global trade environment."

The G-20 Finance Ministers also supported the implementation of the Action Plan of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

"We welcome the progress made by the Development Working Group in advancing the Seoul Development Consensus on Shared Growth and its Multi-Year Action Plan, and look forward to its report to Leaders for the Cannes Summit," the statement said.

The ministers said they reviewed two priority areas of actions to maximize growth potential and economic resilience in developing countries, food security and infrastructure that will be taken forward by their Leaders in Cannes later this year.

Noting that lack of infrastructure dramatically hampers the growth potential in many developing countries, they agreed that this challenge needs to be addressed without delay, especially in Low Income Countries and whilst not exclusively, with a special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa.

"We welcome the contribution of the High Level Panel on Infrastructure Investment and ask it to finalize its innovative work under the three work streams responding to its mandate, notably for promoting enabling environments, diversifying sources of funding and identifying sustainable infrastructure projects to be presented to our Leaders in
Cannes," the communiqué said.

A summary of the meeting issued by France, in its capacity as the G-20 presidency, said that the grouping has requested the implementation of a joint action plan for the multilateral development banks (key stakeholders).

The move is intended to improve the functioning of the multilateral development banks and enhancing their capacity to finance infrastructure requirements through internal measures aimed at strengthening support for regional projects, improving the harmonization of procedures to facilitate co-financing arrangements, and making better use of project preparation funds, it said.

The effects of the global economic crisis have fallen disproportionately on the most vulnerable, and in a context of heightened economic risk there is an increasing need to develop mechanisms to offer greater protection and ensure a more inclusive path toward growth, it said.

In this perspective, the G-20 proposals are intended to support the creation or development of domestic social protection platforms in developing countries; and agree on a shared objective of reducing the cost of migrant remittances so as to reduce average costs to 5 percent by 2014.

Achieving this objective will generate an additional USD 15 billion for people in developing countries.

(Agencies)