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Why partnering with the private sector is key to inclusive growth

Why partnering with the private sector is key to inclusive growth | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
By Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Vice-President of Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations, Asian Development Bank   Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and the Pacific r...
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Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and the Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals(MDGs).


But more than 1.6 billion people in the region continue to live on less than USD 2 a day and remain vulnerable to shocks — whether economic or environmental. The region is also confronting widening inequalities and the challenge of enabling a decent quality of life.

A strong need remains for both dedicated knowledge support and for financing to address the region’s social and infrastructure gaps, including urgent measures to address climate change.


Over the past few years, policymakers and development finance institutions (DFIs) have increasingly looked to the private sector to help meet these financing needs. In the right investment climate, the private sector can support the inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth that is at the heart of the global development agenda.


A key contribution of the private sector is in promoting economic growth, which it does through investments, knowledge transfer, and enhanced productivity. By creating new markets, fostering competition, and making investments, the private sector helps allocate resources productively and efficiently, improving prospects for economic growth. Economic growth generates resources that can be used for future investment as well as social development.

According to the World Bank, the private sector is the source of nearly 90% of the world’s jobs. So by providing direct employment, as well as finance to the sectors and geographic regions where it is most needed, the private sector promotes not just growth — it promotes inclusive growth.


The private sector also helps to boost living standards. This extends beyond extreme poverty as captured in the MDGs to areas such as the availability and quality of goods and services such as housing, infrastructure, health, and education. In this context, the private sector also plays a critical role in improving service delivery through public-private partnerships. These are particularly relevant in the case of infrastructure, as they allow for risk sharing, and are benefitting from improved institutional capacity and clearer legal and regulatory frameworks.


The private sector can also promote the adoption and/or retrofitting of environment-friendly technologies. This is valuable in the face of climate change, which can adversely impact many critical development goals such as food security, health, and water. The largest mitigation opportunities, especially for energy efficiency, remain in middle income countries.

Lastly, the private sector is a reliable source of revenue for government operations through its contributions to taxes and duties.


Given these advantages, it is not surprising that DFIs have come together relatively quickly to agree on a core set of principles that would guide support for private sector initiatives. These include commercial sustainability, promotion of high standards and additionality – that is, the extent to which a new input or action can add to already existing ones. More importantly, the private sector itself, not least due to the fall-out from the global financial crisis, has begun to reexamine its role in promoting economic growth as well as its responsibility to society. It is therefore increasingly open to engagement on these issues, particularly with DFIs.

Asia and the Pacific’s financing needs are indeed daunting. We, the multilateral development banks, need to engage the private sector on all fronts to an even greater extent than we currently do, to leverage both finance and knowledge.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has long recognised the private sector as a key driver of change in attaining its three long-term strategic agendas of inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. In line with our commitment to transparency, ADB publishes the annual Development Effectiveness Review, with 89 performance indicators to assess progress in implementing these priorities. The dedicated 2013 private sector operations Development Effectiveness Report was published on July 25th.


With $1.8 billion approved in 2013, our Private Sector Operations Department provides comprehensive financial assistance including loans, equity investments, guarantees, cofinancing and technical assistance. Our clients are private companies, banks and financial institutions, investment funds and state-owned enterprises. All our private sector interventions are aimed at maximising development impact. In doing so, our aim is to supplement or complement commercial finance, particularly in areas where perceived or persistent market gaps are inhibiting private investments.

What can ADB contribute to effective development co-operation with the private sector? Firstly, we are an Asian institution with a long and stable relationship with developing countries in the region. Based on the foundation of our strong infrastructure and financial sector exposure, we are increasingly entering sectors where we see promising potential for sustainable inclusive business models, such as agribusiness, education and health. Our strength lies in the synergies we derive from our sovereign operations in the core areas of policy and regulatory support.


Our private sector portfolio has more than doubled since 2006, totaling $6,219 million in 2013, comprising 155 accounts and 140 projects in 20 countries. Aligned with ADB’s core specialisations and sector priorities across individual member countries, 96% of the portfolio supports infrastructure, environment, and finance sector development.

Asia and the Pacific’s financing needs are indeed daunting. We, the multilateral development banks, need to engage the private sector on all fronts to an even greater extent than we currently do, to leverage both finance and knowledge.

Lakshmi Venkatachalam is the Vice-President (Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations) of Asian Development Bank since June 2010, leading ADB’s private sector initiatives and cofinancing activities. Based on the Midterm Review of its Strategy 2020, ADB’s activities in private sector development and private sector operations are targeted to reach 50% of its annual operations by 2020.

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Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation
The Secretary-General (Kofi Annan) has established a High-level Panel to explore how the United Nations system could work more coherently and effectively across the world in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment. Background - The Outcome Document adopted by global leaders at the 2005 World Summit in New York calls for much stronger system-wide coherence across the various development-related agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations. In addition to supporting current, ongoing reforms at building a more effective, coherent and better-performing UN country presence, it specifically invites the Secretary-General to "launch work to further strengthen the management and coordination of United Nations operational activities." The Outcome Document calls for such work to be focused on ensuring the UN maximizes its contribution to achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, including proposals for "more tightly managed entities" in the field of the environment, humanitarian assistance and development. Scope - As set out in the Outcome Document, the three elements of the study will need to have slightly different scope: In the field of Humanitarian Assistance significant progress has already been made in recent years in providing more coordinated response to emergencies at country level. The Outcome Document also commits the GA to the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations and separate follow-up work is already underway in this regard. However, the growing scale and scope of disasters, particularly natural disasters, underlines the importance of improving the timeliness and predictability of humanitarian funding, in part by improving the Central Emergency Response Fund. In part through a thorough evaluation of lessons learned from recent experience. This part of the study will also need to focus on ways of developing and improving mechanisms for the use of emergency standby capacities for a timely response to humanitarian emergencies.  In the field of Environmental Activities two separate issues need to be addressed. First in the normative area, is a full assessment of how the United Nations can best provide more comprehensive and coherent management and monitoring of the growing range of multilateral environmental agreements. This should include the development of stronger scientific and analytic capacity in monitoring, assessing and reporting on critical environmental trends. Second is the need for better integration of the environmental perspective within the broad principle of sustainable development in UN country-level activities and in particular capacity building and technology support undertaken by the entire UN system. The GA may launch its own deliberations on the issue of international environmental governance issues in early 2006 and it would be important to ensure these efforts are complementary. In Development , despite wide-ranging reforms over the past five years strengthening the role of the Resident Co-ordinator and the UN Country Team, developing and donor countries alike remain concerned that overall UN's development impact at country-level remains overly fragmented and supply-driven. The Outcome document commits all countries to map out their own national strategies to meet the international conference goals including the Millennium Development Goals. In this context, the study will need to analyse how the UN system as a whole can be better re-oriented to provide more efficient, coherent demand-driven support to national partners by building on its core normative, technical assistance and capacity building strengths to partner with the longer-tem financing and other support brought by the World Bank and other international partners. In this regard, it will be particularly important to consider how to strengthen linkages between the normative work and the operational activities of the system. It will also need to examine how this work can support and complement the wider role the Outcome Document envisages for ECOSOC in ensuring follow-up and assessing progress of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the internationally agreed development goals; and playing a major role in the overall coordination of funds, programmes and agencies, ensuring coherence among them and avoiding duplication of mandates and activities.  In all three areas, the study will need to encompass both organizational and funding issues, ranging from the duplication and overlap of work products across UN agencies, funds and programmes to prospects for joint, multi-year funding and programming arrangements. The broad issue of more predictable financing of the UN system... READ MORE http://sco.lt/5WR09B
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Simona Marinescu on Twitter

Simona Marinescu  on Twitter | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
1st meeting of the Global Partnership 4 Effective Development Cooperation Advisory Group #GPEDC @UNDP ahead of Addis pic.twitter.com/XMQrkDazbc
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IHP+ event at World Health Assembly - IHP+

IHP+ event at World Health Assembly - IHP+ | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
26 May 2015

A discussion about progress in effective development cooperation in health, challenges and opportunities, and the official launch of the IHP+ 2014 monitoring report: Geneva, 20 May 2015.
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“If we align behind countries’ health strategies, we will achieve better results,” said Finn Schleimann, from the IHP+ core team, opening the lunchtime meeting, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. Fifty participants including IHP+ signatories from developing country governments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and development partners all met to discuss progress and challenges in effective development cooperation (EDC) in health. The place of IHP+ in the post-2015 development framework also featured in discussions.

Launch of Monitoring Report

The event was the official launch of the IHP+ Results monitoring report and scorecards, and the findings from the report formed the basis of the discussion. The monitoring exercise showed that developing countries have generally not gone backwards in effective development cooperation, but unfortunately this is not the case for development partners. Some development partners have regressed in terms of recording aid on developing countries’ budget (aid on budget) and the proportion of aid channeled through national systems has declined compared to earlier years.

Dr Imad Kayona, Director General of Planning and International Health Department in the Ministry of Health, Sudan, emphasized that the monitoring exercise was important for their country. “The monitoring process is an important tool for tracking performance of IHP+ signatories, and is a good advocacy tool. The country-led process is a good development. In Sudan it enhanced country dialogue between the government, CSOs and development partners, and resulted in an increase of development partners involved in the process. We need to institutionalize this monitoring process in our national M&E frameworks. Some of the monitoring indicators are now part of our M&E framework,” he said.

The monitoring exercise showed that while governments see that CSOs participate more in health policy and planning processes, CSOs often feel that it is tokenistic and not meaningful. CSOs are often expected to perform a ‘watchdog’ role in effective development cooperation, holding governments to account. From the panel, Bruno Rivalan, Policy and Advocacy Manager from Global Health Advocates, and the alternate Northern IHP+ CSO representative, argued that CSOs should be seen beyond such a watchdog role. “There is a growing consensus that involving CSOs in health policy is not only the right thing to do, but it also leads to more effective and more impactful health policies,” said Bruno.

From the panel, Dr Marijke Winjroks, Chief of Staff, from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, responded to a question about the monitoring exercise and progress on financial indicators. She pointed out that the monitoring exercise measured the Global Fund’s behaviour before their new funding model came into place. “The new Global Fund strategy launched in March 2014 has a different way of supporting countries, and predictability of funding should be better now and close to 100%. Countries now get up front information about the funding that will be available. Countries can submit concept notes in a cycle that is aligned with their own planning and financial cycles. Also new, is that the concept note should be based on the national strategic plan and our technical review panel checks this.”

EDC progress and IHP+ post-2015

From the panel, Dr Lamine Yansane, Health Policy Advisor, from the Ministry of Health in Guinea argued that coordination and harmonization is important in crisis situations, such as ebola. “The first thing we did was to get a national plan for ebola; we needed each partner to use their comparative advantage. We put in place a strong reporting and monitoring and evaluation system, and a single report for all the partners. We have accepted that if we work together, we all get better results. This coordination allows us to rationalize our efforts. Coordination is an ongoing experience – it is continuous – each day we must try,” said Dr Yansane.

Dr Lo Veasnakiry, Director, Department of Planning and Health Information at the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, explained how Cambodia has achieved such significant improvements in development cooperation effectiveness. “From a Ministry of Health policy and planning perspective, we have a joint annual review process, a joint annual budget and joint action plans. This encourages development partner support behind Ministry of Health priorities. The challenge we currently face is for development partners to use one M&E framework. We will renew and develop our M&E framework so that the development partners will be willing to use it,” said Dr Veasnakiry.

Japan is a new signatory to IHP+, and Dr Takao Toda, Director General For Human Development at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), spoke on the panel about Japan’s long history of working closely with partners. “JICA and Japan maybe the newcomer in IHP+, but as many of you know, we are an old friend and have been working for a long time with you all.” He also emphasized the dynamic nature of the IHP+ partnership and called for south-south and triangular cooperation to go further and be described as ‘multi-angular’, incorporating all global experience and encouraging lesson sharing between all nations.

Brenda Killen, Deputy Director of the Development Cooperation Directorate, at the OECD Brenda Killen, spoke about the post-2015 development framework saying that, “IHP+ is the right type of structure for post-2015. It has a broad range of partners, and encourages equal voices around the table. It also has access to evidence to show what is working, and how.”
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UN official: More development doesn’t mean less immigration

UN official: More development doesn’t mean less immigration | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
François Crépeau [United Nations]

François Crépeau, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said today (18 June) that the assumption that more development aid would reduce immigration was wrong.

Crépeau, a Canadian national and a Professor at Montreal's McGill University, met with Brussels officials, and the press, to talk about his annual report to the Human Rights Council on the management of the external borders of the European Union and its impact on the human rights of migrants.

The debate on the root causes of immigration is skewed, Crépeau said, because politicians make the equation that more development means less migration.

“Wrong! All the research I’ve seen shows that more development means more migration. Because all the people who wanted to go for a long time and didn’t have the means to, suddenly have the means to go, and they go," Crépeau said.

He gave Italian migration to North America as an example, which grew continuously from 1945 to the oil crisis of the 1970s, reaching its peak in the '70s, and finally slowing in the 1980s.

“For 30 years the immigration continued, when the Italian economy was booming. So more development usually means more migration, over a generation. If the idea (is) that we should do more development to reduce migration, we are on the wrong footing,” Crépeau said.

He added that this didn’t mean that the developed countries should not help other countries to develop, but that if politicians thought that putting €500 billion in Africa was going to reduce migration in the next five years, this was an illegitimate expectation.

Crépeau’s main message was that Western politicians were driven by their electoral constraints and didn’t have the courage to admit that immigration wasn’t a threat, but an opportunity for their countries. He welcomed the European agenda for Migration the European Commission had recently proposed, mainly because it admitted that saving lives was more important than protecting borders.

But he added that he realised how difficult it has been to draft this European Agenda for Migration, and how difficult it would be to rally the support of the states around it. In fact, EU ministers on Tuesday rejected the main elements of the proposal.

>>Read: Ministers reject Commission’s immigrant quota proposal

The UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein recently said that the EU could easily take in one million refugees.

>> Read: UN says one million refugees should be no problem for EU

Crépeau also said that the “global North” could take one or even two million Syrians over five years without difficulty.

EurActiv asked him how he could propose millions, when EU countries couldn’t agree on the distribution of 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to the rest of the EU.

The UN official said the numbers were confusing, because nationalist and populist discourses are dominating the debate.

“They are making as (though) 20,000 was a huge number. 20,000 people is 0.00004% of the population of the EU. This is minuscule. It’s an extremely small number. Any country of the EU can afford that,” he said, point out that Germany had accepted 400,000 Bosnians during the Yugoslav wars for several years.

“If we frame the question in the terms of the nationalist and populist movements, yes, it’s a huge problem. If we try to frame it otherwise, it’s not a big problem. And the million over five years I’m talking about is not a huge problem. We did that for the Bosnians 20 years ago. This is something we can entirely manage if we frame the question properly.”

Asked about the Hungarian authorities planning to erect a fence on their border with Serbia, Crépeau said, “This is a nationalist populist response.” He argued that erecting fences was only entrenching the smugglers.

>>Read: Hungary to build fence at Serbian border
Background

Meeting in Luxembourg on 16 June, EU interior ministers rejected a plan by the European Commission to distribute 40,000 immigrants from Italy and Greece to the other member countries, according to quotas proposed by the EU executive.

On 27 May, the Commission proposed the relocation of 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece to other EU countries, as well as the resettlement of 20,000 from outside the EU, across member states. The Commission's scheme needs to be adopted by the Council of the European Union, voting by qualified majority.

It was clear from the outset that the proposal stood no chance of being accepted by most member states, given the reactions of EU leaders at the extraordinary summit on migration on 23 April (see background).

>>Read: Commission on collision course with member states on migration

It also became obvious that many countries, including France and Germany, do not reject the idea of burden-sharing, but consider that the proposed quotas need to be re-worked.

>>Read: Germany and France urge Commission to revise immigration plan

>> Read : Many EU countries say “no” to immigration quotas
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Raising Awareness on EU Development Policy

Raising Awareness on EU Development Policy | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to improving people's lives across the globe, but mostly in regions where it's most needed to eradicate poverty. In Europe specifically the foundation is seeking partnerships with governments, civil society, and media. What we're trying to achieve here is really build long lasting relationships in order to improve the quality and quantity of aid spending. But also make sure that development stays high on the agenda.

Development policy is not enough in the media, it's not enough talked about. And so I think EurActiv provides an excellent platform that on the one hand side has high-quality coverage of development topics and on the other hand also offers workshops across the key member states within the European Union tackling the topics of development policy that are pertinent to these markets. So I think the combination of these two things makes it a very powerful influential platform for us.

We're very much looking forward to working over the next 18 months to a really important year, 2015, when the MDGs are up for renewal. I think it's a crucial time for development. Germany will be hosting the G8. So there are a couple of really important events and we're counting on EurActiv to help make sure that they raise people's attention.

http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy
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How volunteers in development aid can make a difference, Pauline tells her experience

How volunteers in development aid can make a difference, Pauline tells her experience | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Pauline Kibe, a volunteer currently specialising in institutional capacity-building in the areas of health and HIV/AIDS, shares her experience on how she helped solve the issue of petty cash in an organisation she worked with. She spoke to EurActiv’s Georgi Gotev following a conference organised by VSO focusing on the role of human capital in development aid, held in Brussels on 2 December 2014.
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German development aid hits record high in draft budget

German development aid hits record high in draft budget | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Finance Minister Schäuble's draft 2016 budget plans a hefty increase in German development aid. [Deutscher Bundestag / Thomas Tritschel / photothek.net]

Berlin's draft budget is on its way, with plans for a massive increase in development aid. Still, critics fear the numbers could be distorted, and warn against the improper allocation of resources. EurActiv Germany reports.

The federal government approved the largest increase and the highest development aid budget in the history of the Federal Republic on Wednesday (18 March).

The 2016 budget plans to increase allocations for development aid to €7.4 billion.

“In this way, we are underlining our development policy responsibility, particularly in light of the ongoing humanitarian crises and growing challenges in the area of international climate protection financing,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Wednesday, presenting key points of the draft budget.

German ministries would have around €1.3 billion more at their disposal to provide aid in poor countries throughout the coming year. The Development Ministry (BMZ) would receive an additional €860 million, the Foreign Office €370 million and another €50 million would go to the Environment Ministry.

By 2019, development aid is planned to receive more than €8.3 billion in total additional funding.

Schäuble cited the “increasingly difficult international environment” as the reason for boosting spending. The German government is confronted with growing “imponderables and uncertainties”, a ministry spokesman said.

>>Read: Schäuble criticised for ‘cosmetic’ increase in development funds

Development Minister Gerd Müller wants to use the majority of the additional funding for the refugee crises in the Middle East and Africa.

The Development Ministry plans to take measures to prevent refugees from leaving their homes and help integrate them in their countries of origin, he explained. To do this, Müller indicated plans to implement an infrastructure programme for these regions.

The centre-right politician also wants to support projects combating world hunger and aimed at protecting the climate and natural resources.

0.7% ODA target still far off

As a part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) announced in 2000, the international community pledged to increase its ODA expenditures to 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015.

After national elections in 2013, the German government also indicated continued commitment to the goal in its coalition agreement.

But even with the latest budget increase, Germany is far from reaching the 0.7% target. Calculations by development campaigner ONE expect the current ODA rate of 0.38% – compared to 0.72% in the UK – to rise to 0.4% in 2016. By 2019, ODA could increase to 0.46%.

“We will fix ODA at 0.4%,” Schäuble confirmed.

Still, the Social Democratic Party’s development expert in the Bundestag, Sascha Raabe, welcomed the “unusual and drastic” step.

“It is a good day for all those who have, for years, been pushing for more resources for the poorest people in this world,” Raabe said.

The German Foundation for World Population also praised the boost in funding, while pointing out additional room for improvement. “The funds are not enough to reach the 0.7% target,” the foundation’s managing director Renate Bähr reminded.

“Focus on women”

ONE also prompted the German government to focus on the fight against extreme poverty in its latest budget increase. 50% of funds should be allocated to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the NGO said, referring to the 48 poorest countries in the world.

“To this day, many top receivers of German development aid continue to be G20 countries and newly industrialised countries,” explained Andreas Hübers, a political advisor at ONE.

“If we hope to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, we can only achieve this if we better utilise the potential of women. After all, they are the ones most affected by extreme poverty,” Hübers continued.

ONE and the German Foundation for World Population are demanding a concrete step-by-step plan from the German government. The latter must clearly specify when and with which resources it hopes to reach the 0.7% target, the organisations argue.

Climate versus development?

Meanwhile Germany’s Greens warns against premature excitement. “The devil is in the details,” warned Uwe Kekeritz, development spokesman for the Greens' Bundestag faction. “We fear that the funds for climate protection and development will be played off against each other – at the expense of long-term development goals.”

Müller has been counting each euro twice, Kekeritz said, once for climate projects and at the same time for development projects. “More transparency is needed here and, most importantly, additionality,” he contended.

Speaking with EurActiv Germany, Kekeritz also argued for more targeted use of financial resources.

“The development ministry keeps churning out more and more projects, many of which are hardly useful,” the Greens politician said. “We need structural changes in our development cooperation.”
Background

In 2005, member states pledged to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 and included an interim target of 0.56% ODA/GNI by 2010.

These were based on individual targets of 0.7% ODA/GNI for the EU 15 and 0.33% GNI for the 12 member states which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, according to the European Commission.

Countries that were already at or above 0.7% ODA/ GNI pledged to sustain their efforts. Heads of state and government reaffirmed their commitment to reach the 0.7% target by 2015 at the European Council on 7/8 February 2013.

A Eurobarometer survey from October 2012, said that 85% of polled EU citizens believed that Europe should continue donating aid to developing countries.
Further reading
Press articles

EurActiv Germany: Milliarden gegen Welthunger: Bundesregierung beschließt Rekorderhöhung

EurActiv.de by Dario Sarmadi translated by Erika Körner
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Germany backs ‘ambitious’ draft UN development goals

Germany backs ‘ambitious’ draft UN development goals | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
While some of the UN's MDGs will be met by 2015, many, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are still far off. [Shahnawaz Sid/Flickr]

The German government has determined its negotiating position on the new, global development goals, but NGOs claim the ambitious plans are unrealistic. EurActiv Germany reports.

Ahead of talks over the Post-2015 Agenda for sustainable development, the German government released a report revealing its intention to back the ambitious 17 targets drafted by the UN Open Working Group.

In just a few weeks, the international community will start negotiations over the UN’s new global development goals.

“We have a clear position,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Wednesday (3 December) in Berlin. “We want to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide and make it possible for everyone to lead a dignified life.”

In addition, Germany hopes to protect natural resources, promote humane working conditions in developing and newly industrialised countries and strengthen good governance, Seibert indicated.

Germany’s Development Minister Gerd Müller outlined a similar strategy. “We can either solve these major global challenges together, or not at all. That includes combating extreme poverty and hunger, climate and environmental protection, securing peace and safeguarding human dignity worldwide.”

>>Read: Germany’s Development Minister tables 8-point plan for a better world

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks was particularly keen on integrating environmental protection and sustainable economic practices.

Germany should lead by example, to convince other states to do the same, she said.

“Others will only follow us if we move forward resolutely on environmental protection and sustainability,” Hendricks emphasised.

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are set to expire in 2015. Some of the targets, defined in 2000, have been reached, while others, particularly for sub-Saharan Africa, will be missed by a long shot.

January will mark the start of negotiations over the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over the summer, an open working group set-up by the United Nations has already drafted a catalogue of 17 targets over the summer. And this week, the German government announced its decision to commit to these goals.

“ODA stinginess” and preserving the coal industry

The German aid organisation “Brot für die Welt” welcomed the government’s decision, after several states, including the United Kingdom, moved to reject the full catalogue of targets.

David Cameron’s government was particularly opposed to development targets that would shift more responsibility to the domestic economy and politics. These include climate protection and sustainable consumption.

“It is good that the German government no longer wants to untie the ambitious 17-point package,” said Thilo Hoppe, a development policy analyst at Brot für die Welt, to EurActiv.de.

But the former Green Party politician called on the German government to act accordingly. Germany must make a binding commitment to increase financial support for development aid, he added.

The country’s ODA quota – the amount of development funds as a share of gross national product (GNP) – remains around 0.38%. In Europe, this level is only average.

The United Kingdom, for example, increased its funding to 0.72% this year.

Climate protection reveals a similar trend, according to Hoppe, who said referring to oneself as a leading country and simultaneously propping up the coal industry simply do not fit together.

“I am baffled by such a striking difference between wishes and reality,” the development policy analyst stated.

Lack of focus on “social injustice"

Oxfam also said it considered the report too abstract. “The targets outlined must be reinforced with concrete action plans. The government must quickly explain which measures it hopes to employ to combat poverty and extreme hunger, for example,” explained Oxfam’s Tobias Hauschild, speaking with EurActiv.de.

A central aspect that is hardly touched on in the German government’s report, the development analyst pointed out, is the issue of social injustice in the world. “This is a burning issue that the German government does not dare to address,” Hauschild said.

So far, the mantra behind development policy has always been to create growth in the countries, something all people will benefit from in the end, Hauschild explained, but it does not work.

“Take Zambia, for example, a country that has risen from a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a Middle-Income Country (MIC). At the same time, poverty is growing there,” the development expert stated.

Oxfam is calling for the creation of a modern tax system in developing countries that would generate more income for fighting poverty.

“That also means launching a decisive offensive against tax evasion. Otherwise, millions of development funds will continue to be lost,” Hauschild added.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble simply lack the political will,” said the Oxfam analyst. “That is fatal, because, as a country that will chair the G7 in the coming year, [Germany] must lead by example.”
Background

In 2000, the United Nations set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met by 2015. The goals are:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development

In 2008, governments, businesses and other organisations reinforced their commitments to meet the MDGs, raising some €12.3 million in new funds for development. Two years later, the MDG summit adopted a global action plan, again reinforcing the drive towards meeting the MDGs.
Further reading

German government's report on negotiations for the Post-2015 Agenda (German language): Eine Agenda für den Wandel zu nachhaltiger Entwicklung weltweit. Die deutsche Position für die Verhandlungen über die Post 2015-Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals
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Financing Africa’s future: The fight against poverty

Financing Africa’s future: The fight against poverty | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Drought-stricken Africans. [Stuart Price/United Nations]

European Union member states fell short of their collective aid commitments by a shocking €39.5 billion last year, writes Tamira Gunzburg.

Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director of The ONE Campaign. ONE is an NGO co-founded by rock star Bono which seeks to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

“The Ebola outbreak devastating parts of West Africa is a stark reminder of the hardship faced by millions of people living in extreme poverty. Thousands of lives have already been lost to the disease, and hundreds of thousands more are at risk of hunger or preventable diseases. People aren’t going to work, schools and businesses are closed, the health systems are shattered and food prices are skyrocketing.

The urgency of the need for a properly coordinated response cannot be overstated. But once the immediate crisis is brought under control, we must begin the difficult job of addressing the longterm effects, most importantly strengthening and rebuilding West Africa’s health care systems.

There could not be a clearer example of the importance of governments stepping up to meet their promises on international development. And yet new research by The ONE Campaign shows that, with a few notable exceptions, the majority of donor countries are failing to stick to their pledges. The European Union member states fell short of their collective aid commitments by a shocking €39.5 billion last year.

There is good news. The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day has halved in the last 20 years. The EU has played an important part in improving people’s lives. For example, between 2004 and 2012, EU aid secured food for 46.5 million people, connected 70 million people to clean drinking water and immunised 18 million infants against measles.

But just four of the 28 member states are doing their part of the joint EU commitment to dedicate 0.7 % of collective gross national income to development. Countries like Portugal and the Netherlands have even been cutting aid drastically. Whereas some, such as Italy and Croatia, are gaining ground, almost all member states are failing to meet their pledges to spend aid money in countries where it is most needed. The least developed countries are inevitably those who are most dependent on aid, but their share of the total pot has been shrinking.

In Liberia, for example, a fragile country that has been rebuilding its institutions after a devastating civil war, the government revenue in 2012 was just $132 per person. With their health service shattered by the Ebola crisis, it is only too plain that this is nowhere near enough. Sustained and strong support from donors is crucial, in Liberia and the rest of the world’s least developed countries, not just to address humanitarian disasters but also to strengthen their national systems for the long term to help build resilience. It is with these real life stories in mind that the EU and its member states should redouble their efforts to fulfill their commitments and target aid effectively and where it is needed most.

Of course, African governments need to step up too. Too few are meeting their own pledges to commit their domestic resources on health, education and agriculture spending. They must prioritise investment in building the vital infrastructure that would equip them with the tools to address crises swiftly. Many African countries however suffer from a loss of potential revenue, due to illicit financial flows resulting from corruption and tax evasion. It is clear that in the poorest countries, this financial haemorrhage is costing lives. Here, too, the EU can help. By making its businesses more transparent so as to avoid complicity, it can help fight corruption and free up resources for investments in critical services such as healthcare.

2015 could be a turning point in global development efforts. A new blueprint for sustainable development is on the horizon, but the historic opportunity to virtually wipe out extreme poverty by 2030 could be lost unless governments – north and south – increase their efforts on and beyond aid, and sharpen their focus on helping the very poorest people.
Further reading

ONE: The 2014 DATA report: Fighting poverty and financing Africa’s future
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German development policy ‘lacks coherence’ before landmark year

German development policy ‘lacks coherence’ before landmark year | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
School girls in the Central African Republic. [Pierre Holtz UNICEF/Flickr]

With its 2015 European Year for Development, the EU hopes to inspire citizens to fight global hunger and poverty. But as ambitious targets threaten to remain unfulfilled, experts warn that a lack of collaboration among political actors is to blame. EurActiv Germany reports.

With the G7 Summit in Germany, the UN Conference in New York and the World Climate Summit in Paris, 2015 is set to be a landmark year for development policy.

The summit marathon will be accompanied by a European Year for Development, set by the European Commission and flanked by an extensive awareness campaign.

In preparation, Germany’s Federal Development Ministry (BMZ) also drafted a “Charter for the Future” and, in public fora, is calling for a change of direction in the debate over sustainability.

“2015 is not only an opportunity, but also a risk,” warned Wolfgang Jamann, CEO of the development NGO Welthungerhilfe, at a recent workshop hosted by EurActiv in Berlin. The public is tired of the “bad news” about hunger and poverty, he said.

To reinvigorate interest in global problems, development policy must be retold without reverting to old stereotypes, Jamann indicated.

But to do this, he said, politicians must start by developing concrete solution plans. “We are no longer believed to have a positive influence on global development,” Jamann emphasised. Instead, people take to the streets protesting refugees without discussing the problems in the countries of origin, Jamann explained.

For months, German Development Minister Gerd Müller has been promoting the development and sustainability agenda to the public. Just a few weeks ago, Müller presented the Charter for the Future – in cooperation with numerous NGOs. The measure is to be the basis for the summit year and pave the way for the creation of new Post-2015 Sustainability Goals.

“But does anyone really believe that Economic Affairs Minister Gabriel went home after the presentation and dwelled on global questions of the future?” a WWF expert from the audience asked rhetorically.

But the magic word for development experts at the workshop was political coherence. It is supposed to ensure the development minister's ambitious plans are also echoed by his colleagues in the federal cabinet.

Since 2007, the European Commission has been forming a coherence report. In the document, it lays out the reciprocal effects between development policy and twelve political categories. These categories were determined in 2005 by the European Council as the areas that have the most significant effect on countries in the south. The twelve include trade, environment, climate change, security, agriculture, fisheries, social dimensions of globalisation, employment and fair working conditions, migration, research and innovation, transport, energy and information society.

MEP Arne Lietz, who hails from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) called for a similar coherence report for Germany. The Bundestag's Europe Committee could take on a leadership role and conduct negotiations with other departments, he said.

The Bundestag has already started initiatives to rework development policy affairs across all departments, said Christian Democrat MP Georg Kippels. “We have created working groups with representatives from the Committees for Health, Research and Development, for example. These have considerable overlap,” said Kippels.

“The organisational demands for development policy have become larger and more far-reaching,” explained Imme Scholz, deputy chairman of the German Development Institute (DIE). German parliamentarians could play a key role in compiling a coherence report, she indicated. But Scholz emphasised that the report’s mandate should be extended.

At the EU level, political coherence on development has been under analysis, “but we must extend the report to cover the global dimension and the dimension of securing public goods like the environment”, said Scholz.

That is precisely the task of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the development analyst added.

In a few weeks, the global community will begin negotiations over setting new global development targets – the so-called Post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The new targets are expected to be set by September 2015, when the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire. Meanwhile the German government has already expressed its support of 17 ambitious goals recommended by a UN working group.

“We are working on a global social contract that is about linking development with sustainability,” said Ingolf Dietrich, who is the representative for the task force “Sustainable Development Targets” at the BMZ.

The fear that the 17 targets with 169 sub-targets are too broadly formulated and are hardly measurable was something Dietrich dismissed. “This is an ambitious, demanding development agenda, but the global challenges have also grown and have become more complex. We will attempt to sell these targets to citizens as best we can,” Dietrich explained.

Unwrapping the package again and reducing the targets – as the United Kingdom is hoping – to ten or less targets, is something Germany will not permit, Dietrich confidently commented.

Welthungerhilfe’s Jamann backed the BMZ’s agenda, but indicated that he had his doubts over whether the plan could be credibly presented to the public. To do this, politicians must work together, he said, and so far other departments have hardly collaborated to create more sustainable development policy.

“Mr. Schäuble is stepping on the brakes with regard to development financing and [Minister President of Bavaria] Horst Seehofer hopes to win elections with the automobile toll, instead of helping his fellow party member Müller solve global issues,” Jamann said. “These extensive discussions must take place, otherwise every summit or ‘Charter for the Future’ will fall flat.”
Background

In 2000, the United Nations set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met by 2015. The goals are:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development

In 2008, governments, businesses and other organisations reinforced their commitments to meet the MDGs, raising some €12.3 million in new funds for development. Two years later, the MDG summit adopted a global action plan, again reinforcing the drive towards meeting the MDGs.
EurActiv.de by Dario Sarmadi translated by Erika Körner
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Der DATA Bericht 2015: Die Ärmsten an erste Stelle setzen

Der DATA Bericht 2015: Die Ärmsten an erste Stelle setzen | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Das Jahr 2015 wird den Lauf der Geschichte prägen. Eine Reihe neuer globaler Entwicklungsziele – die Nachhaltigen Entwicklungsziele (Sustainable Development Goals, kurz SDGs) – werden im September beschlossen und den Weg in eine fairere, wohlhabendere Welt und die Beendigung extremer Armut ebnen.

Aber Ziele allein sind nicht genug – sie brauchen einen klaren Aktionsplan und die entsprechenden Mittel, um erreicht zu werden. Mitte Juli werden sich die Staats- und Regierungschefs zur Dritten Internationalen Finanzierungskonferenz in Addis Abeba, Äthiopien, zusammenfinden: Dies ist der Schlüsselmoment des Jahres. Um das Ende extremer Armut zu finanzieren, braucht es einen neuen Globalen Pakt, der sich speziell an diejenigen richtet, die es am dringendsten benötigen – die ärmsten Länder und die ärmsten Menschen, insbesondere Mädchen und Frauen.

Der DATA-Bericht 2015 gibt einen Ausblick auf die Konferenz in Addis Abeba und stellt zentrale Verpflichtungen heraus, die das Potenzial haben Entwicklungszusammenarbeit grundlegend zu verändern, besonders für diejenigen, die in den ärmsten Ländern dieser Welt leben, den am wenigsten entwickelten Ländern (Least Developed Countries, LDCs).

ONE fordert einen Pakt mit gegenseitiger Rechenschaftspflicht, der Grundversorgung, wie Bildung und Gesundheit, sichert. Dies erfordert eine Erhöhung der internationalen Mittel sowie der Eigeneinnahmen der Länder. Jeder muss seinen Anspruch erhöhen und seinen Anteil beitragen.

Dieser sogenannte Mutual Accountability Pact (MAP), also der Pakt gegenseitiger Rechenschaftspflicht, beinhaltet:

Mindestausgaben für die grundlegende Leistungen, wie Gesundheitsversorgung, Bildung und ein Minimum an sozialer Grundsicherung, sichergestellt durch:
Die Erhöhung von Eigeneinnahmen;
Die Erhöhung der ODA auf 0,7 Prozent des BNE und die Hälfte der Mittel für LDCs;
Gezielte Investitionen in Landwirtschaft, Infrastruktur, Energie und Technologie, um nachhaltiges und integratives Wachstum und Entwicklung voranzutreiben; und
Eine Datenrevolution anzustoßen, damit dank einer robusten Rechenschaftspflicht mit klaren Mechanismen sichergestellt werden kann, dass Verpflichtungen eingehalten werden.

Diese fünf Schlüsselempfehlungen werden ausführlicher im DATA Report vorgestellt. Dies beinhaltet Analysen zur öffentlichen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Mobilisierung und Verteilung von Eigeneinnahmen, sowie Profile wichtiger Länder.
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EDD15 - Replay - How can development cooperation effectively fight corruption?

It is estimated that corruption costs the world economy US$ 1 trillion a year. Corruption and development are linked. Corruption, which adversely impacts poor ...
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Development aid to be on same or higher level in coming years | Prague Monitor

Development aid to be on same or higher level in coming years | Prague Monitor | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Prague, June 7 (CTK) - The Czech bilateral development aid should remain on the same level at least, which means that it should not decrease under 854 million crowns a year in the next three years, the Foreign Ministry has proposed in a document that the government will discuss on Monday.
The Foreign Ministry would like to agree with the Finance Ministry on a rise in the development aid to approach the EU commitments in this area.


The contribution of the Czech Republic is deep below the EU prospects.
At present, the Czech Republic earmarks 0.11 percent of GDP for development projects, while the EU commitment is 0.7 percent.
"A strong pressure is being exerted by the EU and the countries receiving this aid on the member states to increase their contribution," Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa admitted.
However, the Foreign Ministry needs the Finance Ministry's consent to such an increase.


According to the Foreign Ministry's document, the Czech Republic should keep sending its development aid to 12 countries that it has long supported: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Mongolia, Palestine, Serbia, Ukraine and Zambia.
The Foreign Ministry is at the same time striving for the aid to Afghanistan and Ukraine, which has so far been time-limited, to continue.
In view of the current debates in the EU, the Czech Republic would like to target its development aid on immigration prevention, for instance to build new facilities to boost employment is these countries, Tlapa said.
($1=24.426 crowns)

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Finland slashes development aid by 43%

Finland slashes development aid by 43% | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
In his former capacity of Commissioner Olli Rehn was already advocating austerity [EC}

The new centre-right Finnish government has decided to cut development aid by 43%, prompting furious reactions from NGOs and fears other EU countries will follow its example.

The new Finnish government, which took power on 29 May and has former Commissioner Olli Rehn as minister of economic affairs, has decided to reduce the budget for development co-operation by 43%.

The cuts will start this year. No more revenue from emission allowance auctions will be allocated to development cooperation. Another cut worth €300 million would come in the 2016 budget. The cuts combined would mean a cut of 43% compared to 2014. The funds available for helping the world’s poor were then €870 million.

The decision by the three parties forming the government - Centre Party, Finns Party and Coalition Party - is a huge turn-around in Finnish foreign policy, where international solidarity has been one of the core elements, Marko Ulvil, chairperson of the Siemenpuu Foundation said in a statement.

Rilli Lappalainen, secretary general to Kehys, the Finnish national platform within the European NGO confederation for relief and development Concord, told EurActiv that the cuts would “kill the NGO sector”.

Lappalainen said that the decision wasn’t unexpected, as it has been part of the coalition agreement. He also said that cuts were made in all sectors of society, but the biggest cuts were for development aid and for education.

He also said that the NGO sector had approached the government for further details, but those were still unavailable and would be announced shortly.

“They are really killing the NGO sector, especially the small ones. This is really dramatic. Finland has always been one of the champions of development and a reliable partner,” Lappalainen said, lamenting the consequences for the partners in the developing world, because in his words this aid was a matter of life and death.

The foreign ministry, which is responsible for the development cooperation budget, has already warned NGOs that they should prepare for 30–40% cuts next year. This does not only impact new programmes, existing contracts will reportedly be affected as well.

Representatives of Finnish NGOs and civil society have also published an open letter to Lenita Toivakka, minister of Foreign Trade and Development, reminding the minister that the work Finnish development organisations do is valuable and benefits the poorest of the poor.

They wrote, “We represent regular Finnish people who want to participate in working for a more just world. Development cooperation has wide support. Over 80% of Finns consider development cooperation important. If you implement the planned 30-40% cuts, you’re eroding the foundations of the long-term and effective work of our organisations.”

“We find it shocking that Finland, who has been a stout supporter of civil society, leading by example, decides to deliver a death blow to a number of NGOs, who will be unable to continue their work after these cuts. This is a worrying signal to send out, especially now when the space for civil society is under threat in many countries all over the world,” Reetta Helander, Communication officer of Kehys, told EurActiv.
EurActiv.com by Georgi Gotev
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Finn Schleimann on Twitter

Finn Schleimann on Twitter | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Japan today signed on to #IHPplus - a joyful and important moment for effective #development cooperation #post2015 pic.twitter.com/uc3I3O9K4W
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EU-Cuba talks progress on trade

EU-Cuba talks progress on trade | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Government mural, Havana. [Jaume Escofet/Flickr]

The 4th round of EU-Cuba negotiations for a framework agreement for political dialogue and cooperation was held yesterday in Brussels (16 June), making progress in the economic area, but lagging behind on the political dialogue chapter.

An EU senior official told journalists that the sides had achieved a “near complete” agreement on the trade and economic issues, “very broad” agreement on the cooperation chapter, which is the biggest.

But he added that the sides now had a better understanding of their respective objectives, ambitions and sensitivities in the political dialogue chapter, which will enable them to prepare for the next round, to be held shortly after the summer break.

The EU and Cuba began negotiations in April 2014 year to rewrite their bilateral political agreement, part of a deepening of ties since the 28-nation bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008.

In the meantime, Cuba began its sudden engagement with the United States, as the former adversaries announced in December they would restore diplomatic relations.

The United States and Cuba quickly arranged high-level meetings in Havana and Washington, while EU-Cuba talks were postponed twice. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in March she hoped that the basics of a deal could be reached by the end of this year.

>> Read: EU, Cuba to speed up talks, seek deal by end of 2015

In the meantime, French President François Hollande visited Cuba on 11 May and met Cuba's 1959 revolutionary leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. Unlike some other member states, France and Spain have maintained reasonably good relations with Cuba. In January, Spain urged the EU to speed up its process of normalisation so as to not lose ground to Washington, particularly on trade.

The EU official said his Cuban counterparts had been well-prepared for the talks, with a willingness to move forward.

Sensitive issues

Asked what the sensitive issues were, the official said it was no secret that the EU understanding of what represents effective and accountable governance, or how fundamental rights should be interpreted and applied diverged with those of the Cuban officials.

The official added that there were other sensitive issues in the technical and economic areas, areas, because those those touched on issues that are either difficult in Cuba, or in the EU. In this context, he mentioned the issue of migration. As in any agreement, there was a suspension clause, which could be triggered in case of human right violations, or the violation of non-proliferation agreements, he explained.

“If we don’t obtain those, there will be no agreement," he said.

According to the EU official, the EU was a very legalistic organisation and it was therefore necessary to make it clear what is the purpose of the agreement, what are the goals the sides are trying to achieve.

“We have had a political dialogue which was initiated in 2008 and has met with what we might call an irregular regularity. But we have nothing much to say what that dialogue should do, should cover, should aim to achieve,” the official said.

He argued that in a framework agreement, the sides could spell out much more clearly what they hope to achieve.

“In my view, the dialogue should serve to inform future cooperation. We need to agree that we don’t talk to each other for the pleasure of meeting and talking. We talk to each other because we want to identify areas where we can move forward together, because we want to identify the actors with whom we can take work forward together,” he said.

Asked about the timeframe for reaching a final agreement, the official said that he was aware that Federica Mogherini had stated that she hoped for an agreement by the end of the year. But, he added, it was more important to deliver a good result than a result at a given point in time.
Background

Since 1996, EU policy toward Cuba has been guided by the so-called Common Position, which rules out full relations with Havana until it makes reforms in areas such as more diverse political participation and freedom of expression.

The EU suspended talks with Cuba in 2003 after Havana launched a crackdown and jailed 75 dissidents in a direct response to calls for liberalisation and greater respect for human rights.

It was only in 2008 that the EU started lifting some sanctions unilaterally, the year Fidel Castro retired from the presidency permanently and power passed to his younger brother Raul.
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UNICEF: Aid for Nepal needs to move faster

UNICEF: Aid for Nepal needs to move faster | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
“The biggest challenge is getting in more supplies,” said UNICEF Crisis Communications Chief Sarah Crowe in an interview with EurActiv, after over 5000 people died in a massive earthquake in Nepal last week .

“The Kathmandu airport is highly congested and it is unable to take large cargo plane loads at the moment,” Crowe added.

Nepalese officials have conceded they had made mistakes in their initial response, leaving survivors stranded in remote villages waiting for aid and relief.

According to UNICEF, “help is coming in, but it needs to move faster.”

On Sunday, the European Commission released three million euros in emergency aid, in addition to assistance offered by individual EU nations and the deployment of European Commission humanitarian aid and civil protection experts to the crisis area.
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Ethiopian Minister of Health: We are the champions of country ownership in development

Ethiopian Minister of Health: We are the champions of country ownership in development | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
In an interview with EurActiv, Ethiopian Minister of Health Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu described the impressive improvements of healthcare in his country over the last years, stressing that the reforms have been designed and implemented without following foreign prescriptions.

“A program designed in Brussels or Paris or New York or London may not necessarily fit into the local context in Africa. So we don’t accept prescriptions from our development partners, regardless of whether they are well intentioned or not. We truly honestly believe in country ownership, meaning countries designing their own strategies, coming with their own ambitious plans,” Dr. Admasu said.

Regarding the way his country works with the EU and other donors, he said:

“When you deliver, when you demonstrate that plans you have developed, the strategies you have set in place, the policies you have designed deliver, donors always support you.”
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Development goes hand-in-hand with peacemaking, EU official says

Development goes hand-in-hand with peacemaking, EU official says | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Poverty is aggravated by the absence of peace and security, so the EU should not only provide development aid to but also get actively involved in negotiating solutions to conflict, said the EU special representative to the Horn of Africa.



Speaking at a high-level conference on peacemaking and mediation, Alexander Rondos stressed the EU should be more decisive in participating as a full-fledged actor in peacemaking processes and enhance its mediation capacity.

“Since we are financing [development], we are shareholders and shareholders have a vote,” he said stressing the EU is accountable to its taxpayers for the money it spends, and this is an argument that should be pushed in order to open doors at the negotiating table.

Drawing on his experience after 18 months in the Horn of Africa, Rondos said it is the only leverage that can be used in countries where the EU cannot use the prospect of an association agreement.

“To engage in a conversation for lasting peace we need to say: If you want us around [providing development aid], we also have an interest in creating lasting peace in the Horn of Africa,” he said, arguing for bringing regional neighbours at the table.

Finding a solution in the Horn of Africa is even more complex as “we are beyond the day when it was fashionable to have a victory of one against the other.”

The Horn of Africa - Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan - is grappling with an overlay of conflicts and humanitarian challenges. The region is prone to droughts and food insecurity as well as territorial and interethnic disputes, making it one of the biggest recipients of development and relief aid.

The EU also operates an anti-pirate patrol mission of the coast of Somalia.

“The point is to create security conditions that would allow Somali to engage in the type of discussion where they could make the compromises to go through a transition which would allow somewhat more normal politics,” he added.

To date, the EU is the biggest donor to Somalia, having committed €215.4 million for 2008 to 2013, of which €55 million was allocated for economic development and food security. The EU is also a major donor to Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea and supports UN relief operations in the region.

Mediation as an EU policy tool

Echoing Rondos, Oliver Wils from the Berghof Foundation said the EU should not just look at the high-level mediation only.

“Being in the spotlight, although relevant, will more or less diminish in the coming years, because issues have become more complex,” he said, adding that peace agreements go more into details of power sharing and resources distribution.

There is also an increase in the number of actors, not least the BRICS countries and Turkey, in the sphere of mediators, but also civil society and local actors.

Even though mediating between conflict parties carries certain political risks, the EU must use both a strong strategic understanding at headquarters and a decentralized approach in the conflict area, Wils added.

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which has empowered the EU to play a growing political role on the global scene, the institutional restructuring, including the EEAS, has also focused on supporting peace processes through mediation. It has even created a division focusing on conflict prevention and mediation instruments.

Although some are sceptical about the EU peace mediation role, the EU has continued building its expertise in the area.

“Now we need to integrate peace mediation in all our activities,” said Catherine Wollard, executive director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office.
Background

The promotion of peace and the prevention of conflict have been key drivers in the development of the European Union, as recognised by the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

The creation of the European External Action Service, with its global network of delegations and a dedicated mediation support team, seeks to enhance the EU’s capacity for peace mediation.
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Fragile states need new form of development aid, OECD report says

Fragile states need new form of development aid, OECD report says | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
In September 2015, the United Nations is set to determine the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [United Nations Photo/Flickr]

Nearly 1.5 billion people live in countries riddled with conflict, fragility and violence, and which have also shown the least progress on achieving development goals, according to a new OECD study. EurActiv Germany reports.

Progress in the fight against poverty is good news ahead of the steadily approaching deadline to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

But 50 of the developing countries who will not reach the target are becoming increasingly marginalised, a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states.

Almost 1.5 billion people – 20% of the world population – live in conditions affected by conflict, fragility and violence.

These countries have made the least progress in development over the past few decades, despite the fact that 20% of last year’s funding from the KfW development bank went to these countries.

The report alarmingly concludes that fragility and violence constitute a massive barrier to development.

More efficient use of resources

“We must focus more on the question of how these development aid funds can actually be used efficiently,” said the director of the OECD’s Directorate for Development Cooperation (DCD), Jon Lomøy. He spoke at a presentation of the report in Berlin, which is intended to contribute to the development of the post-2015 development agenda.

Fighting poverty is crucially dependent on advances in reducing fragility, Lomøy indicated.

Promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, and thereby the reduction of all forms of violence, is a basic condition for this process, he said.

The report identifies 50 countries, including 28 in Africa, as fragile states.

“Poverty is expected to build up in fragile states until 2030, according to our predictions,” warned OECD development analyst Jolanda Profos.

Poverty can only be sustainably fought if a state has stable institutions, she emphasised.

This is demonstrated by the rate at which children attend elementary school in developing countries. In fragile states, this was only 12% of children. But in other developing countries, the rate is around half of the children.

Concentration and calls for peace

“Our aid must become more political,” argued Jürgen Zattler, an analyst for European and multilateral development policy in the German Development Ministry (BMZ).

Peace and stability have a lot to do with sustainable development, Zattler pointed out. So far, two-thirds of the fragile countries have not done enough to reach the MDGs, he said.

>>Read: Conflict-ridden states cannot reach MDGs without help, NGO says

A known difficulty for development aid in unstable countries is getting the aid to the right places, rather than further promoting fragility, Zattler explained.

Here, careful coordination between contributing countries, local platforms and multilateral organisations is indispensable to ensure aid is delivered at the right spot, the development analyst emphasised.

Flexibility on recognising changing lines of conflict

The fact that this approach requires constant flexibility and close contact with experts on the ground, was also indicated by Susanne Wolfgarten, from the German development organisation Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

“Lines of conflict can change and shift rapidly,” Wolfgarten said. But at the same time, being able to understand them is hugely important, she explained, saying only then is good and correct aid possible.

Long-term measures are also important, according to Wolfgarten. These can help sustainably improve many things at a local level in fragile areas, she added.

Oliver Knabe, from the Civil Peace Service, is also calling for long-term aid. Such assistance creates trust among the local population, Knabe said, acting as a catalyst which is necessary for development.

The conclusion of the report indicates that new instruments and measures are urgently needed to sustainably promote development, especially in unstable countries.

>>Read: Sustainable Development Goals: Central, but unnoticed

In the discussion over the new sustainable development goals, a new understanding is needed on the role the international community can and should play in this process, the OECD’s Zattler emphasised.

“So far,” he said, “peace and security have not received enough attention in the Millennium Development Goals.”
Background

The United Nations set the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met by 2015. The goals are:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development

In 2008, governments, businesses and other organisations reinforced their commitments to meet the MDGs, raising some €12.3 million in new funds for development. Two years later, the MDG summit adopted a global action plan, again reinforcing the drive towards meeting the MDGs.
Further reading

UNESCO: Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2015
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Campaigner: Crisis dwarfs EU’s development aid

Campaigner: Crisis dwarfs EU’s development aid | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
EU’s collective aid levels went down last year and Germany, France and Italy are responsible for 68% of the funding gap. Meanwhile, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Greece have achieved less than 25% of their spending promises made to Africa, says Eloise Todd.

Co-founded by Bono and other activists, ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. EurActiv Senior Editor Georgi Gotev spoke to Eloise Todd, who heads the Brussels office of ONE.

EU has always been the most generous donor of development aid worldwide. Did the eurozone crisis impact negatively on this tradition? And if so, how exactly?

There has been an impact. ONE’s Data Report shows that the EU’s collective aid levels went down last year for the first time since 2002, while some big donors have slashed their aid budgets. For example, the Spanish government cut their budget by nearly 30% from 2010 to 2011, and proposed a further cut of €1.4 billion for 2012. Budget projections by the European Commission suggest there will be further cuts by other countries too.

But this would be the worst time to scale back the fight against extreme poverty. Despite real progress in recent years, and more evidence than ever before that aid is working, there are still over a billion people still living in extreme poverty.

There are reasons for optimism, however. Countries such as the UK remain firmly on track to meet their aid commitments, having taken the political decision to ensure that austerity cutbacks should not cost lives. And the Netherlands has maintained their strong record on development assistance throughout the eurozone crisis.

Supporting the proposed levels of development funding in the next Multiannual Financial Framework [the EU budget] presents an opportunity to help countries to get closer to their aid targets. Governments have many issues to deal with in these negotiations, but we want to see governments protecting effective development investments. That means keeping the proposals made by the Commission for Heading 4 and the European Development Fund intact.

Are there important differences among EU member states, and especially among the 15 older member states, with regard to development aid? Are some of them becoming stingy? Would you name and shame some of the countries?

ONE’s Data Report, published today, looks in detail at how the EU as a whole and individual member states are performing against their aid targets. On the overall aid target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), progress is mixed. There are four countries already exceeding 0.7% GNI - the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg and Sweden – and their efforts should be applauded and encouraged to continue. And Cyprus and Malta are making excellent progress towards the 0.33% GNI target that was set for the EU12 when they acceded to the Union.

However, the main focus of the Data Report is assessing the progress that’s been made towards African targets. In 2005, the EU committed to spending half of all aid increases in Africa. Our analysis shows that we are very far off this goal. In 2010, the EU missed the collective interim target for spending in Africa by €10.5 billion. Just three countries – Germany, France and Italy – are responsible for 68% of this funding gap. Along with these three countries, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Greece have achieved less than 25% of their spending promises made to Africa.

But rather than “name and shame” individual countries, we want to “name and explain” why effective ODA matters and encourage them to step up and do the right thing. Investing more in Africa and in effective development mechanisms will not only save lives – it is also in our own long-term interest. It is only by supporting poorer countries to provide these vital services that we will enable people to escape from the cycle of extreme poverty once and for all, and eventually end the need for aid altogether which is something we all want to see.

While MFF talks are ongoing, what are the messages you are trying to convey? Do you see the European Commission as being at your side, or perhaps what it has to say is not so important today?

Aid spent via the European Union institutions is amongst the most effective out there. According to an independent study run by Washington’s Center for Global Development, the EU institutions score higher than member state aid agencies on average in all areas of aid effectiveness. Since 2004, EU aid has been responsible for vaccinating over 5 million children against measles, has resulted in 9 million kids being enrolled in school, and has connected 31 million people to water. These are impressive statistics, and provide only a snapshot of what EU aid can achieve. Strong levels of development spending in the MFF can not only help deliver effective aid to those most in need, but it can also bring member states much closer to their aid targets; on average EU member states spend around 20% of their aid via the EU institutions.

We are fully supportive of the Commission proposals both for Heading 4 (all external spending) and for the European Development Fund for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. We are particularly interested in protecting the €21 billion earmarked for the poorest countries within Heading 4 (the Development Cooperation Instrument) as well as the €30 billion earmarked for the EDF. We are calling on governments to rally round and protect this €51 billion, which is less than 5% of the overall MFF, in order to ensure that cutbacks do not cost lives.

EU countries tussle what should come first - austerity or growth - what would be your advice?

It’s not an either or. We need the MFF to be invested in the most effective way possible. For those with a long-term view, this means as much investment in vulnerable countries as possible – not only for the sake of continuing Europe’s proud record of being the world’s leader in development, but because it’s in our own long-term economic interest. Africa, with its growing economies and expanding middle classes, offers fantastic opportunities for trade – but these opportunities will only be realised if we continue to provide the smart aid that creates the conditions for further economic growth.
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Aid should reach the poorest people first

Aid should reach the poorest people first | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
A new funding plan to deliver basic health and education for everyone is essential to end extreme poverty, according to The ONE Campaign’s DATA Report 2015: Putting the Poorest First. The report was launched today (26 May), in advance of theForeign Affairs Council on Development held the same day.

Eloise Todd, ONE’s Global Policy Director, said that the new global goals will be worth little if leaders fail to back them with an ambitious financing plan. Everyone, no matter where they are born, should be able to access basic services, including health and education, she said.
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MEP Neuser: 'Missed 0.7% target is eating away at Germany’s credibility'

MEP Neuser: 'Missed 0.7% target is eating away at Germany’s credibility' | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Germany lacks the political will to invest more in development cooperation, says MEP Norbert Neuser. [European Parliament]

Germany’s lack of investment in development cooperation is damaging the country’s credibility and is a catastrophe for developing countries, says MEP Norbert Neuser in an interview with EurActiv.de, arguing that effective development aid could greatly reduce worldwide suffering and could have prevented the Ebola outbreak.

Norbert Neuser is a German politician who hails from the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He was voted into the European Parliament in the 2009 and 2014 European Elections and serves on the institution’s Development Committee. He spoke with EurActiv Germany’s Nicole Sagener.

The Millennium Development Goal to cut worldwide poverty in half by 2015 has been reached ahead of time. But on education and health of mothers, the MDGs are falling through. What should be done to make better progress on these issues?

Here, one must differentiate between individual countries. But a big problem is that the governments are not showing enough commitment in certain developing countries, regarding women’s and children’s health or education. Far too little is demanded of elites in India and sub-Saharan countries, for example. Here the EU must join with governments to set certain focus areas, which countries should invest more in. Rwanda is proof that this model works. There, active government work has achieved much in the way of helping the poorest among the population.

Development cooperation must become fundamentally more effective. That does not mean every donor country has to be involved in every developing country. It would be more useful for the EU to determine certain sectors in which certain EU countries are particularly active. The German dual education system is sought after all over the world, for example. And Germany is also strong in the areas of health and infrastructure. That is what we want to concentrate on.

Germany is lagging far behind on its own responsibility to increase spending on development cooperation to 0.7% of economic performance by 2015. In 2013, it was only at 0.38%. Why?

The fact that Germany is not honoring its self-defined target as one of the richest industrialised countries is shocking to me. Many other countries like Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are much further than 0.7%. But over the past few years, not a single German government has treated development policy as an important issue – except on catastrophes like natural disasters, Ebola or the current refugee crisis.

>>Read: German development policy ‘lacks coherence’ before landmark year

We have not kept our promise. That eats away at our credibility – also with regard to the upcoming climate negotiations during the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau and the Climate Conference COP21 in Paris in December. Why should other states believe that we will achieve climate targets if we do not fulfill the development goals?

In a recent resolution, MEPs call on member states to honor the 0.7% goal and develop timetables to reach this target by 2020. How optimistic are you that these can still be reached?

Unfortunately, reaching the 0.7% target by 2020 is not politically desired in Germany. Unless something sensational happens. Germany has a well-informed, well-positioned civil society that must make the targets an issue present in the public sphere.

The latest decision from the European Parliament also “stressed the need to mobilise domestic resources efficiently in developing countries as a key source of financing”. What could incentives look like here?

The focus should be on helping to build good structures in the tax, healthcare and economic sectors. Among other things, the private sector and small businesses – especially young people and women in this category – should be supported. In the long-term, this can even save money.

Take the Ebola crisis as an example. This huge catastrophe and many expenditures related to it could have been avoided if we had invested in a better healthcare system in the countries affected.

At the Petersburg Climate Talks, German Chancellor Merkel announced that Germany would double its development aid funding for climate protection by 2020 compared to 2014. Should we expect this commitment to come at the cost of other development projects?

I fear that this actually only means funds will be rearranged. These are old tricks, in the EU as well. We need more resources instead of rearrangement. Here, members of the Bundestag must exercise more pressure.

According to the latest data report from the organisation ONE, the overall scope of Official Development Assistance (ODA) that goes to the 48 least developed countries (LDCs) is alarming. In 2014, overall ODA for LDCs decreased by 6% compared to 2010. Should the international community set new targets here?

Official EU policy actually promises more money for the least developed countries. But at the same time there is repeated opposition from middle income countries.

Many countries of this kind are still strongly supported. Former colonial states like Spain still support their former colonies in Latin America, for instance.

In your opinion, what is important to tackle in order to fight poverty in the LDC states?

A significant problem in many LDC countries like Congo or Nigeria is the distribution of money. These states are actually rich in raw materials but nothing reaches the poorest of the poor. Still, donor countries are often dominated by the helper-mentality that does not actually focus on the basis of the problems. Top priorities should be building and promoting stable structures, such as in tax legislation, better governance and in the healthcare system.
Further reading

Non-Governmental Organisations:

ONE data report 2015
UN list of least developed countries (LDCs)
UN report on Millennium Development Goals 2014

EurActiv.de by Nicole Sagener translated by Erika Körner
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US frets as major EU powers join new China-led 'World Bank'

US frets as major EU powers join new China-led 'World Bank' | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
China is investing heavily in the European countries worst hit by the economic crisis. [ThomasPieterse/Flickr]

The United States has urged countries to think twice before signing up to a new China-led Asian development bank that Washington sees as a rival to the World Bank, after Germany, France and Italy followed Britain in saying they would join.

Berlin, Paris and Rome said in a joint statement Tuesday (17 March) that they want "to become founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)".

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble announced at a joint news conference with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai that Germany, Europe's biggest economy and a major trade partner of Beijing, would be a founding member of the AIIB.

The concerted move by US allies to participate in Beijing's flagship economic outreach project is a diplomatic blow to the United States and its efforts to counter the fast-growing economic and diplomatic influence of China.

Europe's participation reflects the eagerness to partner with China's economy, the world's second largest, and comes amid prickly trade negotiations between Brussels and Washington.

Frustration at slow IMF reforms

European Union and Asian governments are frustrated that the US Congress has held up a reform of voting rights in the International Monetary Fund that would give China and other emerging powers more say in global economic governance.

Washington insists it has not actively discouraged countries from joining the new bank, but it has questioned whether the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will have sufficient standards of governance and environmental and social safeguards.

"I hope before the final commitments are made anyone who lends their name to this organisation will make sure that the governance is appropriate," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told U.S. lawmakers.

In a joint statement, the foreign and finance ministers of Germany, France and Italy appeared to brush aside these concerns saying they would work to ensure the new institution "follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies".

Chinese media take victory lap

Chinese state media took a victory lap on Wednesday (18 March), gloating over the decision.

"Welcome Germany! Welcome France! Welcome Italy!" said a commentary published by the government's Xinhua news agency, describing the United States as "petulant and cynical".

Calling the triple decision a "brave yet rational move", Xinhua said it contained a stark message for the Americans.

Washington was "trying to forge an anti-AIIB front" among its allies, the commentary said, but "sour grapes over the AIIB makes America look isolated and hypocritical".

"As more and more Western countries mull over joining the China-led lending body, the US will feel lonelier if it continues to be a holdout," it added.

"So Washington, what are you waiting for?"

China touts the $50 billion institution as a tool for financing regional development alongside other lenders such as the World Bank and the Japan-led, Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The state-run China Daily insisted in an editorial that even though the new bank was proposed by and headquartered in Beijing, that "does not mean it is Chinese, or an instrument of Chinese soft power".

It sought to take the moral high ground over the latest developments.

‘US obstructionism’

"US obstructionism has been less than effective this time because it has failed to see that Washington and Beijing have no reason to stand against each other on a matter such as this," it added.

"Washington has been urging Beijing to act like a 'responsible' power. The AIIB is Beijing's latest answer to that call."

The Global Times newspaper, affiliated with Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, portrayed the European decisions as a clear victory for Beijing.

"Many analysts believe that the current situation proves the US lacks the ability to contain a rising China," it said in an editorial.

"As China has won the race around the AIIB, it has also gained some important rights for the future."

But it also warned against carrying anti-Washington taunts too far.

"An approach that sets the US as an adversary is contrary to China's doctrine."
Background

The World Bank is a United Nations financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.

The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty and the achievement of the UN's Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015.

According to its internal rules, all decisions by the World Bank must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of capital investment.
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Ploumen presents aid and trade agenda to OECD | News item | Government.nl

Ploumen presents aid and trade agenda to OECD | News item | Government.nl | Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation | Scoop.it
Trade and development minister Lilianne Ploumen is presenting her aid and trade agenda today to ministers from the countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In the OECD, 34 developed countries coordinate their social and economic policy. The Netherlands is chair of this year’s Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris. ‘Our role as chair is a great opportunity for presenting our policy to a wider audience and putting our approach in the international spotlight,’ said Ms Ploumen.

The Netherlands has been one of the first countries to effectively link the policy areas aid and trade. For this reason several sessions of the Paris gathering have been combined into a single meeting. ‘Aid and trade have to go hand in hand if we want to move forward,’ the minister said. ‘So for this meeting today, we’ve put promoting industry in developing countries, corporate social responsibility and international investment together on the agenda.’ She has also asked the OECD to study global value chains and advise member countries on how to better align their current trading system and development agenda.

The OECD is a key adviser on economic policy. It also sets standards for taxation and sustainable business, which will be important in funding the post-2015 development agenda that the UN will adopt this autumn. The new agenda’s main goal will be eliminating extreme poverty worldwide by 2030.

Besides Ms Ploumen, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp and infrastructure and environment minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen are attending the meeting in Paris. The Netherlands’ theme as chair is ‘Unlocking Investment for Sustainable Growth and Jobs.'
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