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Round up: G20 Consumer Summit 2018 in Argentina

25 May 2018

On 15 and 16 May 2018, Consumers International and the Argentinian Directorate for Consumer Protection co-hosted the second G20 Consumer Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Summit, which was opened by Miguel Braun, the Argentinian Secretary of Commerce, Fernando Blanco Muiño, National Director for Consumer Protection, Argentina and Bart Combee, President of Consumers International was an opportunity for senior representatives from governments, businesses and consumer groups to discuss some of the key issues facing consumers internationally. The two-day agenda started with a keynote address by Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary General, Organization of American States and included sessions on three issues, emerging challenges for children’s online safety with a focus on the security of online products, emerging issues in product safety and international co-operation on alert systems, and how to tackle food waste.

‘Huggy Bug Your Family Today’

The topic of children’s online safety was introduced with Consumers International’s new ‘spoof’ advert for Huggy Bug – an internet connected toy that markets products to children, collects and sells data that is collected through its microphone and camera and has weak security that is an invitation for hackers.

As well as discussing other emerging challenges, panelists discussed what role businesses and governments could take to better protect children. Consumers International will be taking the call for better security of children’s connected toys to the meeting of the G20 Digital Ministers in August.

You can support our call for #SecureToys by watching and sharing the video below.

Day 2: Product safety and food waste

On the second day, the first panel discussed emerging challenges in product safety recognising that the growth of digital products was creating new challenges that now exist alongside many traditional issues that continue to persist. The following panel on international product safety alert systems achieved an important first – bringing together representatives from three of the largest alert systems on the same panel for the first time to discuss how the systems could co-operate and work together to better protect consumers.

Finally, the summit considered the issue of food loss and waste. The sessions that included some great examples of campaigns from different countries looked at what role consumers could play in helping to reduce food waste.

A statement from the Argentinian Directorate for Consumer Protection and Consumers International, as the co-hosts of the summit, reflected many of the issues discussed over the two days and made several recommendations for how the G20 ministers can take action.

Our view

“Consumers International was proud to have co-hosted the G20 Consumer Summit this year with the Argentinian Directorate for Consumer Protection. It was an excellent opportunity to ensure the voice of our members was represented on the global stage. Working with Argentinian government, we raised awareness around some of the key emerging issues affecting consumers globally. We must now work together as an international community to address the gaps in protection that continue to leave consumers vulnerable and exposed”

Amanda Long, Director General, Consumers International