First meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation: Southern Players step up, will Northern Donors follow?

April 17, 2014
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The High Level Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Meeting in Mexico to strengthen efforts to fight poverty has ended with renewed commitments to improve aid and cooperation—but it has also highlighted the slow start of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

“The High Level Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Meeting in Mexico City was the warm up game. It is exciting to see Southern players taking the lead, now it’s high time for Northern players to step up their game. Let’s see how far this will take us in the post 2015 season,” concluded Carlos Zarco of Oxfam.

Poor countries are taking action against poverty

Since Busan, many poor countries have taken action to improve the impact of their anti-poverty efforts, but many rich countries have lagged behind. At Busan, a broad and diverse collection of donors, partner countries, middle-income countries, civil society, business and others made mutual commitments to make their efforts more useful, transparent, and accountable to deliver better results in the fight against poverty. The Busan monitoring report released at the beginning of April shows that most donors have so far failed to live up to the promises they made in 2011 to make their aid more useful to poor countries.

“More than one billion people—one out of seven human beings—remain trapped earning less than $1.25/day. Solving this challenge in a sustainable way is the most pressing challenge of our era”, said Zarco. “Fixing our development partnerships to deliver better results and ensure the rights of the poor must be an urgent priority.”

“We are pleased that governments at the high level meeting reaffirmed that urgency. But now is the time for action. We will be looking towards the planned workshops in Korea later this year to see how well all actors are accelerating their efforts.”

Are donors ready to step up to the challenge

“Southern countries are moving forward to make progress to end poverty; donors need to catch up in implementing their commitments”, said Zarco. “Donors must act to disclose aid data, work through country systems to strengthen them, and fully untie their aid. Ultimately, this is a question of political will; are donors ready to step up to the challenge, and take action to change how they do business?”

“This week, the Mexican government proved its dedication and commitment to ensuring that consensus among the diverse actors was reached,” said Zarco. “Whilst political battles played out behind the scenes, the Mexican government ensured that the Busan spirit lived on. The space for civil society within the partnership was preserved, which is crucial to ensure the voices of the poor are heard and their needs met.”

A truly inclusive approach

Zarco continued, “This week, we heard many inspiring stories. Stories of projects that give results and that need to be scaled up. Domestic resource mobilization and tackling illicit financial flows were hot topics, and Oxfam is glad to see that provider and recipient countries are taking on the challenge. As Southern governments assert their confidence and capacity they must ensure that they are being supported by all stakeholders through a truly inclusive approach that listens and responds to the needs of the women, men and children living in poverty.”

As the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed in the opening ceremony, the Global Partnership has a golden opportunity to set a new trend and standard in development cooperation. With 2015 around the corner, the Partnership urgently needs to assert how it will achieve this.

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