Buenos Aires, 1 December 2018

Excellencies, good morning. This session deals with one of the most urgent tasks facing the global community: Creating a pathway to prosperity for hundreds of millions more people, without causing irreversible damage to the environment. Allow me to add three points to this important discussion.

First, on climate change, where recent scientific reports have highlighted the increasingly dire situation, there is one concrete action that can be taken by G20 Members, and all of us: Ratify and fully implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which phases down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Fewer than half of the G20 members have done so.

This measure will enter into force on 1 January 2019, and it enjoys strong support from the business community. Implementing the Kigali Amendment would prevent 0.5°C of temperature increase by 2100, a major contribution toward the Paris Agreement goal.

Second, on sustainable development, I wish to applaud President Macri and Argentina for placing women’s empowerment at the top of the G20 agenda this year. Addressing the structural barriers that keep women from participating fully in the economy would guarantee a more prosperous and productive future for all of us.

It starts with a mindset change that no longer accepts the marginalisation of women as something normal or inevitable.

Third, trust in the global financial architecture, and related institutions, is closely linked to sustainable development. The African Union therefore attaches considerable importance to yesterday’s discussion of international financial and tax systems.

Including Africa in mechanisms to automatically share tax information is a vital tool in the fight against illicit financial flows, which cost Africa around $50 billion a year. I thank you.