Development effectiveness has slipped down the global agenda
On Tuesday 25 March, the Development Committee of the European Parliament (DEVE) discussed the EU position for the First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation taking place in 15-16 April in Mexico.
In the two years since Busan, development effectiveness has slipped down the global agenda and urgent action is needed to reinvigorate the development cooperation effectiveness principles and commitments.
The 1st High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) in Mexico (Mexico HLM) will determine the future relevance of development effectiveness agenda agreed. The meeting in Mexico will be a possibility for the international development community to reflect on progress towards achieving the commitments made in Busan two years ago as well as identify measures to clear the way of existing bottlenecks.
Moreover, the Mexico HLM is also an opportunity to critically assess the commitment to inclusive development partnerships that emerged from Busan, including the mandate and the operational arrangements of the GPEDC. Mexico HLM can change the trend and make aid and development effectiveness agenda successful and relevant again for a new post 2015 development world.
EU Commission position
The European Commission, represented by Gustavo Martin Prada, highlighted the positive aspects of GPEDC –such as inclusiveness of different stakeholders (emerging donors, private sector and civil society) and as well new topics brought on the development agenda (role of private sector, South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation). The EC identified two issues for improvement of the GPEDC – involvement of emerging donors and governance of GPEDC. The EU has two main priorities for Mexico in which the EU has made the progress since Busan – Transparency and Joint Programming including reducing fragmentation.
Business Europe reaction
Business Europe, represented by Sofia Bournou, advocated for the expansion of the role of private sector in development. In addition, Business Europe defended the inclusion of an expanded role of the private sector on the EU development cooperation through blending and Public Private Partnerships as a key way to achieve development through jobs and growth.
CONCORD, represented by Zuzana Sladkova (CONCORD AidWatch Coordinator), welcomed the debate and highlighted the importance of getting the institutions engaged in the process and presented the EU CSO Position for Mexico HLM.
CONCORD stressed that the EU as the largest donor block should play a key role in this process and can lead by example. The EU and its member states should agree on an ambitious and action-oriented joint position ahead of the Mexico HLM to ensure that the Mexico HLM will deliver a plan to accelerate progress and foster inclusive development partnerships.
However, as shown in the 2013 Concord AidWatch Report: The Unique role of European Aid – the Fight against Global Poverty only seven EU member states have a full strategy in place for implementing the Busan commitments. EU needs to recognise its longstanding and previously made commitments on aid effectiveness, where the global partnership is partly built upon. The EU should adopt more ambitious monitoring by the EC (building on the EU Accountability Report of Financing for Development) which could make an important contribution to driving progress on implementation.
Finally, CONCORD stressed that all stakeholders involved in the GPEDC should be advocating for aid and development effectiveness principles to be included in post 2015 framework while acknowledging the work is still to be done to refine these principles and ways of working in practice.
EU Parliament reactions
MEP Charles Goerens agreed with CONCORD on the need of revitalizing the aid/development effectiveness agenda including ambitious position of the EU for Mexico HLM and highlighted its potentialities on the future development framework.
See the video of the session here.